Mental Illness And Mental Health

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On the continuum of mental health, mental health and illness are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Most of the population lies somewhere in the middle of the spectrum; however, the line can be crossed putting an individual into the mental illness end of the continuum. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five adults experience mental illness in a given year in the United States (“Mental Health By The Numbers”, 2015). Although this is a relatively large number, mental illness is often represented in the media as something that is odd, different, or away from what is considered normal. Because of this, many representations of mental disorders are inaccurate and often times picks out certain features of a disorder to focus on. However, there are many media forms that portray mental health accurately. One such film is As Good As It Gets (1997), which is focused on a main character (Melvin Udall) who has a diagnosis of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Throughout the film his OCD affects many different aspects of his life and his relationships. This paper will summarize the main plot of the movie, summarize obsessive-compulsive disorder, and then look at the what is accurate and inaccurate about the films representation of an individual living with OCD. As Good As It Gets (1997) is about a writer named Melvin Udall (Jack Nicholson) who lives by himself in an apartment in New York City. He is an interesting man who has many funny quarks such as

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