Borderline Personality Disorder

1206 WordsOct 28, 20085 Pages
Mental illnesses can affect a wide range of people and they do not discriminate. This is shown in the movie, “Girl, Interrupted,” which was directed by James Mangold. The movie is based on the memoir by Susanna Kaysen. Susanna Kaysen was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and spent a period of eighteen months in a psychiatric facility. The movie is based in a mental hospital, in the east, during the 1960s. After the main character, Susanna, attempts suicide, she admits herself into a psychiatric hospital. It is here that she is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by pervasive instability in moods, close personal relationships,…show more content…
Among the characters in the movie, Susanna appeared to be the least seriously ill. Some of the mental illnesses present in the movie are considered more unmanageable than they are now. People dealing with eating disorders nowadays do not get placed into a mental hospital, but rather a setting that specializes with this type of disorder. However, Susanna was in denial that she had tried to commit suicide and even that she was mentally ill. She claimed that the reason for consuming a bottle of vodka while swallowing a bottle of aspirin was just for a headache. According to NIMH (2007), a person with BPD may experience intense bouts of anger, depression, and anxiety that may last only hours, or at most a day. These may be associated with episodes of impulsive aggression, self-injury, and drug or alcohol abuse. Suicide threats and attempts may occur along with anger at perceived abandonment and disappointments. Prior to her admittance in the psychiatric hospital, Susanna had graduated from high school and appeared to have no desire to go to college. Her “break” and attempted suicide seemed to come from stressors and overwhelming feelings of not knowing what she wanted to do with her life. According to NIMH (2007), distortions in cognition and sense of self can lead to changes in goals, jobs, friendships, gender and identity. Some people with borderline personality disorder feel
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