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Personality Disorders In The Film Harold And Maude

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The Film, Harold and Maude, which was released in the year 1971, follows a 20 year old boy, Harold, with a narrow view on life. He spends his time attending funerals of people he does not know and faking suicides in attempts to get his mother’s attention. She however finds his actions immature and foolish, thus showing the strain on their relationship. One day however, at a random funeral, Harold meets Maude, a 79 year old women with a zest for life. She is fun-loving and happy at all times. Their friendship grows as Harold’s mother simultaneously tries to find him a wife. Harold soon develops an intimate love for Maude that she reciprocates. Harold’s spirits are lifted and he breaks from his unhappy existence by leaving his mother to marry…show more content…
Histrionic personality disorder, which is a part of cluster B of personality disorders, is classified by an extreme desire for attention. In order for a person to be diagnosed with it, they must exhibit at least 5 of the symptoms in DSM-5, which include awkward social encounters, shallow expression of emotions, talking in a way that lacks details, theatrical acts, and finding relationships more intimate that they actually are (Kupfer & Skodol 667). Personality disorders as a whole are characterized by lasting behaviors that inhibit normal social functioning (Myers 596). Histrionic personality disorder specifically however is the one where people need to get attention. They make all their relationships about themselves and look to have social events focus on them more than others. While it can seem that many people have it, especially since it is sometimes referred to as the “teenage girl syndrome”, it is only seen in about 1.84% of people (Kupfer & Skodol 668). This disorder is commonly treated through cognitive-behavioral therapy which aims to change people's negative thoughts as well as behaviors. For people with histrionic personality disorder, understanding why they think the way they do as well as learning coping mechanisms can help their alter their behaviors that were formerly socially
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