Mental Health in 'Girl, Interrupted' Film Review by teesa

Mental Health in 'Girl, Interrupted'
This paper presents a sociological perspective on mental health concentrating on the film: 'Girl, Interrupted' by James Mangold.
# 102217 | 2,337 words | 8 sources | MLA | 2007 | US

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In this article, the writer notes that psychiatric hospitals and service professionals during the 1960s did not properly improve the lives of the mentally ill that were admitted in their wards. The writer discusses that James Mangold's film, "Girl, Interrupted," portrays many incidences of treatments that are considered unsatisfactory to today's standards. The writer maintains that there have been many improvements in mental health treatment, yet some of the controversial procedures seen in this movie are still practiced. The writer notes that considering this was a privately run hospital, the treatment exceeded the dreadfulness of what went on in state hospitals. The writer maintains that for the sixties, the treatment seemed satisfactory, but looking back at it from today's standards helps us see the much needed advancements that have been made and will hopefully continue to be made.

From the Paper:

"Winona Ryder played a young woman named Susanna that is sent into the hospital after attempting suicide. She was depressed, suffered flashbacks, and claimed to see things. Her symptoms all seemed to start taking place during a transition from high school to independence. It is fairly common for people at this age to have problems coping with the realization of entering the real world. Her therapist quickly decides to send her away for institutionalization after just one session, instead of spending time talking out her problems. Shortly after arriving at the psychiatric hospital, the on campus therapist diagnosed her with Borderline Personality Disorder, a DSM-IV Axis II illness. Axis II illnesses are considered untreatable. Perhaps Susanna was misdiagnosed because upon exiting the psych ward, she was labeled as recovered. Misdiagnosing is a frequent problem with mental illnesses considering there is no biological test for the illness and there is an overemphasis on the patient's symptoms."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Aneshensal, Carol S., Peter A. Lachenbruch, Carolyn M. Rutter. 1991. "Social Structure, Stress, and Mental Health: Competing Conceptual and Analytical Models." American Sociological Review 56:166-178
  • Atkinson, Roland. 2000. "Psychiatry Sixties Style, Interrupted." Human Encounters in the Movies. Retrieved: Aug 31, 2007
  • Horwitz, Allan V. 2002. "Outcomes in the Sociology of Mental Health and Illness: Where Have We Been and Where Are We Going?" Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 43:143-151
  • Johnson, Barclay D. 1965. "Durkheim's One Cause of Suicide" American Sociological Review, 30:875-886.
  • McGuire, Carson. 1962. "Cultural and Social Factors in Mental Health" Review of Educational Research 32: 455-463.

Cite this Film Review:

APA Format

Mental Health in 'Girl, Interrupted' (2008, March 18) Retrieved August 14, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Mental Health in 'Girl, Interrupted'" 18 March 2008. Web. 14 August. 2022. <>