Mental Disorders in "Don't Say a Word" Film Review by Quality Writers

Mental Disorders in "Don't Say a Word"
An analysis of various mental disorders displayed by the character Elizabeth in Gary Fleder's film "Don't Say a Word".
# 102497 | 1,220 words | 7 sources | APA | 2008 | US
Published on Mar 26, 2008 in Psychology (Disorders) , Film (Analysis, Criticism, Etc.)

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This paper examines the movie "Don't Say a Word", directed by Gary Fleder, and focuses particularly on its deeply disturbed protagonist, Elizabeth. The young lady manifests a number of mental problems, so many and so variable that her psychiatrist becomes suspicious that she is faking. The paper points out that she is indeed partially faking her symptoms. At the same time, she is a troubled young woman and does suffer from depression and related problems because of certain traumatic events. The paper adds that the link between the events and her reaction is clearly made and serves to show her portrayal to be realistic. The paper takes a close look at how well she mimics certain problems so convincingly, enough to fool even medical professionals. Ultimately, she is diagnosed with counterfeit schizophrenia. The paper concludes, however, that the severe traumas in her life might have led to the onset of real disorders.

From the Paper:

"Schizophrenia may be the most severe of the psychiatric disorders, and this problem leads to a disability resulting from negative symptoms and cognitive deficits, which may at times include delusions and hallucinations. These symptoms are in keeping with what psychiatrists in the film see when they examine Elizabeth. The modern conception of schizophrenia was made first by German psychiatrist Emil Kraepelin at the beginning of the twentieth century, and in 1959, Schneider offered a set of first rank symptoms of the disease. These symptoms included audible thoughts, hearing voices arguing, hearing voices commenting on one's actions, the feeling of influences on the body, thought withdrawal, delusions, and the belief that one's feelings and volitional acts are influenced by others (Stefan, Travis, & Murray, 2002, pp. 12, 15)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Brasic, J.R. (2007, January 8). Catatonia. E-Medicine. Retrieved March 13, 2007 from
  • Fleder, G. (2001). Don't Say a Word. Twentieth Century-Fox.
  • Keefe, R. & Harvey, P.D. (1994). Understanding schizophrenia: A guide to the new research on causes and treatment. New York: The Free Press.
  • Marton, P. & Kutcher, S. (1995, January). The prevalence of cognitive distortion in depressed adolescents. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience 20(1), 33-038.
  • Natale, R. (2001, October 24). Analyze This: What's Behind These Psychodramas? Los Angeles Times, F1.

Cite this Film Review:

APA Format

Mental Disorders in "Don't Say a Word" (2008, March 26) Retrieved February 06, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Mental Disorders in "Don't Say a Word"" 26 March 2008. Web. 06 February. 2023. <>