The Perks Of Being A Wallflower

1181 WordsNov 19, 20155 Pages
In the film The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Charlie, an introverted boy, coping with the recent suicide of his friend, begins high school. He finds trouble making friends until he meets Patrick and Sam. As Charlie attempts to improve his social interaction, and cultivate a sense of self, he continuously experiences blackouts and triggers. Nearing the end of the film, Charlie has a mental breakdown, which leads to his hospitalization, and he uncovers his repressed memories of his Aunt Helen molesting him. Charlie shows symptoms and behavioral tendencies of post-traumatic stress disorder in addition to a comorbid diagnosis of depression and social anxiety. Charlie’s sexual abuse follows the main criterion of PTSD, in which he experiences direct exposure of a traumatic event. According to the DSM-5, the presence of reoccurring, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories, recurrent distressing dreams, dissociative reactions and flashbacks, and intense or prolonged mental and physical distress at exposure of internal or external cues, are typical symptoms of PTSD (Butcher et al., 2015). Charlie experiences several flashbacks from his childhood, around the time of his molestation and his Aunt Helen’s death, as well as blackouts. In addition, his sensitivity to seasonal triggers, during the winter holidays, increases his depressive mood. When one of his friends, and love-interest, Sam sexually touches his leg it triggers a flashback of his Aunt touching his leg saying,

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