As Good as It Gets Dsm Diagnosis - Anxiety Essay Example
The movie As Good As It Gets sets in New York City where the main character Melvin Udall (Nicholson) finds his life turned upside down when he is left with the responsibility of taking care of his neighbour Simon’s dog while he is being hospitilized. Melvin is a cranky, rude, bigoted obsessive writer that suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He eats breakfast at the same table in the same reestaurant everyday and brings along his own platsic utensils due to his fear of germs and takes interest in his waitress Carol (Hunt) who appears to be the only person that tolerated his behaviors.
Despite disliking the dog Verdell at the beginning, Melvin becomes emotionally attached to him and vuce versa. Melvin offers to pay Carol son’s medical expenses so that way she can return to work to serve him. She also accompanies Melvin along with Simon on a trip to Maltimore where Simon atempts to ask his parents for financial help after his assult and robbery. Simon moves in temoprarily with Melvin and encourages him to detest his love to Carol after she tells him that she no longer wants him to be a part of her life.
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Carol and Melvin eventually recognises the connection that they have with each other at the end of the movie. AXIS ONE: Melvin suffers from Obessive Compulsive Disorder which falls under the category of Anxiety Disorders. Melvin pschotherist disgnosed him with OCD because he avoids stepping on sidewalk cracks and touching other people, wears gloves all the time, wipes off door handles, switches the light five times, turns the door lock five times, eats at the same restaurant everyday, sits at the same table, insist n the same waitress, Carol, and always orders the same meal and brings his own pastic untensils at all times.
AXIS TWO: Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. AXIS THREE: None. Melvin seems not to suffer from any general medical conditions. AXIS FOUR: Social Issues. Melvin seems to be very misogynistic, homophobic, enti-semitic racist with an intense dislike of people and dogs. He avoids physical contact contact with people around him and most of his neighbors in his appartment building and restaurant avoids him. AXIS FIVE: According to the Global Assessment Functioning I woul asses a score of 31-40 to Melvin.
Althought does suffer from OCD, his daily life activity dos not seem to be greatly affected by his impairments. He is capable to writing, palaying the piano, cooking and even making it to his therapist appointments. According to the DSM, people with OCD suffer from recurrent obsessions and or compulsion both of which Melvin suffers from. Obsessions are defined as persistent ideas, thoughts, impulses or actions that are experienced as intrusive and inappropiate and that cuases marked marked anxiety or distress, which are difficult to dismiss, despite their disturbing nature.
These experiences tend to be more intrusive than excessive worries about real life problems. Melvin Udall has repetitive thoughts about germs and diseases which is evident in his use of his own plastice utensiils at restarurants, avoiding physical contact with others and compulsively washing his hands especially with new soap when he does so, The DSM also states that persons who suffer from OCD try toignore, supress or neutralise their obsessions with some other thought or actions and recognize that they are oroduct of their own mind.
Even thought portrayal of OCD eems realistic in most parts of the film, it would be unlikely for clients to handle a dog like Melvin does especially when they have an obsession about cleanliness as severe as this character, According to Criterion A. 3 of the DSM, melvint ries to neutralize his intrusive thoughts with compulsive actions such as turning the light switch on and off five times and turning the lock on the door five times as well. In addition, he is also aware that his obsessional thoguhts are a product of hisown mind since he reflects them in conversations with Carol, compulsive writing and playing the piano.
Compulsions are defined as repetitive behaviors such as excessie or unreasonable cleaning, checking a stove or locks on doors, such as requesting assurance or mental acts, such as repeating certain words silently. Counting, or praying excessively. Proof os such behaviors are seen in Melvins attempt to avoid every single crack that he comes across because he may brign bad luck. He also repetively washing his hands and swtches the lights on and off. Individuals part take in these behaviors as a form of coping mechanisms to reduce the discomfort with the anxiety or distress caused by obsessive thoughts.
In majprity of cases, these actions are designed to prevent some dreaded event of situations. Melvin does this by bringing his own utensils to his diner, so he does not have to risk contaminations from unclean silverware and fear of germ. He also lays out his plastic-ware in a ritualistic fashion as well because thishelps him feelless anxious since the world is nw more orderly and proper for him. The DSM criteria for OCD also mentions that at some point during the course of OCD, clients who suffer from this isorder recognize that their obsessions and compulsions are excessive and unreasonable.
Melvin knows that his compulsions are unreasonable because he tells Carol that he sees a psychiatrist and started to take medicatione in roder to deal with his problems. Even though obsessive intrusions can be distracing and requesntly result in insufficient performnce of cognitive tasks that require concentrayion, Melvin is porytrayed as a successful author. Sometimes he complains that his neighbors distract him from his workm while his character’s functioning as an author seems to remain mostly intact.
But whenever anything disrupts his well established eoutine, bececmes anxious and belligrent with people which I believe is the cuase of his obsessive and compulsive behaviors. Watching this film definitly helped me in developing a proper understannd of OCD and cleared up a lot of misconceptions that I had of the disorder. My understanding of OCD was that it was a disorder characterized by upsetting and demanding thoughts at all time that are hard to ever control. Ive learnt that not all cases of OCD are exreme and that one who suffers from this pathology can still carry out normal daily life actitivities.
I got a better understanding of why people suffer from such disorder and how they cope with the delimas they face. Despite Melvin’s rude and abrupt personality I came to understand that there was another side of him that was completeluy the opposiite, in my opinion , he was talented with the writings he did and even playing the piano. He seemed to be a very kind individuals who cared for others. Evidence of such is seen when he offers Simon to stay in his appartment while he is in financial distress and he also offers to pay for Carol son’s medical expenses.
I felt like that his misogynistic, homophobic and even racist behaviors were a result of him attempting to reduce the anxiety that he siffers from. I thought of him as a repulsive individual but at he end of the movie I saw him as another human being that was dealing with the obsticles in his life. In the end I felt like all he wanted was to be loved. He showed a lot of progess with having Carol. Simon and even Verdell in his life. He seemed to gradually overcme his isolation of affect and learn to recognise his feelings as well as the impact of his behaviors on others. For melvin, these progesses he made are as good as it gets.