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Different mental states depicted in the film
The film “Ordinary People” clearly depicts how people can react differently in the same situation, thereby, activate different mental states based on their reactions. As to Conrad’s diagnosis, he showed symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Conrad’s mother, Beth, showcases characteristics of a narcissist (Brooks et al., 2018). She refuses to talk about the death of her son. She attempts to ignore the hurt she is feeling and this makes her grieve process longer.
Additionally, the fact that she does not care for her other child confirm her narcissistic behavior. She forces Conrad to participate in “normal” activities despite the fact that he (Conrad) does not want to as the said activities remind him of his brother. Indeed, one can argue that Conrad’s mother (Beth) is rigid due to the fact that she refuses to change her lifestyle. Agreeably, this is one way of dealing with loss, where the affected person wants things to remain the same in order to avoid more change in their daily routine. It can also be argued that it is for this same reason that Beth does not want to talk about her loss. Whereas this might seem like arrogance, it is a psychological way of dealing with loss. Whether it is effective or not is a different aspect all together.
Stigma associated with mental health
The different characters in the film all go through the different types of stigma. First, Conrad is referred to as a “crazy” person. This labeling is based on the fact that Conrad had suicidal thoughts and kept to himself. Unlike his mother, however, Conrad avoided activities he used to do with his brother. Indeed, this is another way of dealing with loss. Change in a daily routine helped Conrad avoid triggers that reminded him of his brother. One can then argue that both Conrad and his mother suffer from some form of post-traumatic stress disorder. The additional fact that Beth (Conrad’s mother) also suffered from persistent complex bereavement disorder is also valid. She refuses to address the death of her oldest son, and by doing so, takes more time to grieve.
The impact of social events on mental health
Different relationships can help manage mental health conditions. In the case of Conrad, his relationship with his mother is particularly strained after the death of his brother. The fact that Conrad perceived his brother as his mother’s favorite child also affects how he relates to his mother, and deals with his brother’s death. As the film progresses, Conrad is able to heal and move on. He accepts the help of a therapist who then guides him on how to best come to terms with his brother’s death.
This proves that mental health issues can be managed properly if the right medical help is sought (De Vries, Roest, Burgerhof, & de Jonge, 2018). Additionally, strong social support systems are critical in dealing with mental heal concerns. This is proven by the fact that Conrad’s mother indifference made it that much harder for him to deal with the loss.
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De Vries, Y. A., Roest, A. M., Burgerhof, J. G. M., & de Jonge, P. (2018). Initial severity and antidepressant efficacy for anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder: An individual patient data meta-analysis. Depression & Anxiety, 35(6), 515–522.