In the movie, “ As good as it gets”, Melvin Udall who suffers from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and is a writer, he engages in different rituals throughout the day, apart from this disorder he suffers communicating with people and lives angry at everyone. . His neighbor was brutally attacked so he had to take care of his dog, which he started falling in love and his feelings slowly started being nicer. While going to the same restaurant, he meets his waiter Carol, who he pays for her son’s medical issues so that his routine will go the same, after hanging out, Melvin starts falling for Carol, which makes him become a nicer, “normal boyfriend”, and his OCD can be seen getting controlled by the end of the movie. I selected this movie because I had heard of it before, and it was the perfect time to watch it.
In the movie there are different ways in which Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is portrayed in which contamination is a problem, based on the DSM-5 checklist, occurrence of repeated obsessions, compulsions or both, it is seen when he locks the door to his house and turns on/off the light for five time consecutively. It seemed like they are just voluntary behaviors that he does without really thinking about them, by doing this he feels his day is going out good and planned. He goes to the same restaurant, at the same time, orders the same thing, in the same table and the same waitress, if it doesn’t go like this he tends to have an awful day. He takes his own utensils to the restaurant in a plastic bag so they won’t be contaminated as well as picking up the dog. When he goes out he tends to not step on the cracks on the floor and by doing this it could get hard to not bump into people, since he also doesn’t like to be touched for the fear of getting germs, bacteria on him. What was interested is that he knows he had a problem, he has good insight on it, in the movie he tries to go to a shrink for help, and he didn’t get help since he didn’t set up an appointment but he knows he has an issue. The second DSM 5 checklist is that the obsession or compulsions take up considerable time, he tends to wash his hands several times, with a different bar soap in really hot water, he stays for a while washing them, he has an obsession of writing several number of pages every day at night and won’t stop until the same numbers are done each day. The Third checklist is significant distress or impairment if something doesn’t go on planned to his routine he feels anxiety creeping up and does whatever he can to try to make it his way, regardless of whatever it is. At the end since he falls in love, he tends to forget to do the stuff he usually does, Carol notices that he has “issues” and tells him to be a “normal boyfriend”, after a while he forgets to lock the doors, as well as stepping on the floor cracks.
I found this movie really interesting in that the character played a good role on his role and on his disorder, I felt like it did both of helping and perpetuating the stigma. It did good because it showed us the daily things people with this disorder feel or how stressed, they feel when something doesn’t go the way they always do and the things they are able to do in order to make things their own way. At the same time, it did perpetuate the stigma because people will call him stuff, be rude to him without really knowing him and as well as them knowing he had some sort of disorder, in my opinion I feel like in reality a lot of people tend to really judge a person that knows they suffer from a disorder but since they think they are not “normal” like them they think of that specific person as a freak or something out of the ordinary social life.