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Borderline or Bipolar


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Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar Disorder
James Tierney
University of Maryland University College

Many movies have portrayed characters with either a form of Bipolar disorder or a type of Personality disorder whether it is for dramatic purposes or to engage the viewer into the mindset of a psychological thriller. Whatever their reasoning, more often than not, the portrayal is inaccurate. There is however a film that I have chosen that borderlines accuracy to a degree. Girl Interrupted is based on the memoirs of an actual person who was diagnosed with a borderline personality disorder. Although an adaption of her biography with the usual artistic liberties, it can be used as a case study in the theory of psychology. I intend to show the similarities between borderline personality disorder verses bipolar disorder. Susanna Kaysen, with whom the movie was based, was diagnosed as borderline back in 1967, if she were seen today by a mental health professional, would she now be considered bipolar?

Borderline Personality Disorder or Bipolar Disorder
Susanna Kayson was a young woman who was admitted into Mclean hospital at age 18 after a suicide attempt. A movie called Girl Interrupted was made chronicling her stay at this hospital. There she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. In the movie although they portrayed some of her symptoms accurately, it focused more on her friendship and experiences with other patients instead of her in particular. Today I am sure her diagnosis would have learned more toward a bipolar disorder rather than as someone suffering from a borderline personality disorder which is why I chose this particular movie for this paper. We are asked to use a movie as a backdrop for a case study; this movie is in fact based on an actual case study. She exhibits the signs that in fact overlap what professionals now

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