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Behavior Disorders in the Shinning

Essay by   •  November 14, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,567 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,152 Views

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The Shining

The Shinning, a horror movie that was released in 1980, featured Jack Nicholson, as a writer who is left in charge of the Overlook hotel during the winter. During this time Jack began to developed schizophrenia among many other personality and mood disorders and attempts to murder his own family. After reviewing this film it became apparent that there was a mixture of accuracy and exaggeration of the development of schizophrenia. Jack had this disorder, but also had symptoms of other personality and mood disorders. For the sake of Hollywood the film did take schizophrenia to entirely new levels. Some of this hype was generated around Jack becoming a full fledge killer. The delusions that he suffered from were undeniably crazed and did have a central theme; however, they were induced by other substances. The themes that ran strong throughout this movie were persuasion. Jack was constantly told by his delusions that he needed to take control and steer his family in his own direction. When his family urged him to leave this hotel, it only generated more hostility and anxiety, which pushed the decline of his mental health.

When Jack arrived at the Overlook hotel it was evident that he had suffered from substance abuse in the past. Jack had once been a heavy alcoholic. This addiction had caused him to inflict violence upon his child in a violent rage. During this rage he snatched his son up by the arm and broke it. Although it is not clear, this could have been a sign that he was manic depressant. His mania could have been storms of violent rage instead of a constant high. In the beginning of the movie the viewer learns that Jack is a writer. This "creative" career" also has an important impact on his depression because his career can be up or down. In many cases, people who have careers in the arts such as writing, art, or acting can experience times of insecurity, which can induce a depressive state. This new change allowed Jack to start fresh and enable him to write with no distractions.

As Jack and his family start trudging through the long winter in the hotel it becomes apparent that Jack starts to develop "cabin fever." His writer's block causes anxiety and anger towards his wife and son. Jack also starts to develop an obsessive compulsive behavior personality disorder by writing pages and pages of manuscript that read, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." This form of receptiveness might even imply that Jack was entering a type of Schizoid behavior because of his detachment from others. He became very isolated from everyone. He had little movement and little speech and was completely engrossed in his writing, which was not amounting to anything.

Jack had many delusions in the thick of his mental breakdown. One in particular was a man named Grady who continuously told him to get rid (murder) of his wife and son. Some of his other delusions occurred while he would sit at the bar and drink with the bartender Lloyd, or see a strange woman in room 217, who later seduces him. Some of these delusions could have been "ghost," however, they were never really told whether they were, or were not. Jack could have developed these delusions himself in order to gain control of life. The bartender served him alcohol, which became his dependent and courage to follow through on his actions. The woman in room 217 could have taken his mind off of his wife so he could get the job done, and Grady could have been his strength to follow through with his actions.

Jack also had a strong sense of paranoia. He constantly thought that his wife Wendy was out to get him. He thought that she was going to take their son Danny away from him and accuse him of abuse. I feel that although Jack had more symptoms of schizophrenia it could be justified that he had an antisocial personality disorder. He never had any regret about his actions. When he began following through with his plan to kill his wife and son, it was if he was in a blind rage. He had no sense of emotion or regret, only a thirst to kill. Although not exactly precise, his deviant plans were planned out thoroughly and not executed at the spur of the moment. An example of this is when he disconnected all of the wires of the snowmobile and the two-way radio. Also, when his wife would speak to him about changing and not being so violent he would agree and act as if everything was ok. In these actions it became clear that he was very manipulative in order to get his way.

The main disorder that seems to be very distinctive throughout this movie is schizophrenia. However, because alcohol does play into the scenario it can become hard to depict what are actually brain severities and what is altered by the substance. Jack displays signs of schizophrenia in many different forms. In some instances he is catatonic and in others he is very emotional. Jack's catatonic state occurs after he is seduced by the woman in room 217. His eyes become fixated and all movements stop. Another example is when he is sleeping and Danny comes into the room to wake him. He holds his child, but shows no signs of emotion.

Jack also shows very emotional states as well. One example is when Wendy locked him up into the pantry. He cries hysterically while encountering delusions of Grady. His emotions are very extreme and over exaggerated. The majority of

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