Schizophrenia Possession Of Multiple Personality Disorder In Fight Club Case Study

Length: 4 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Film Type: Case Study Paper: #66995014 Related Topics: Multiple Personality Disorder, Schizophrenia, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Fight Club
Excerpt from Case Study :

Case Analysis: Jack

In the film Fight Club, Jack is a single white male, mid-30s, insomniac. He is mildly depressed, bored with his day job, and looking for something more fulfilling in his life. His father left the family when he was young and though they maintained some contact it was negligible. Jack has essentially had no substantial father figure in his life and he feels as though he is trying to compensate for some lack of manliness in his character by joining a fight club, where he can duel with other men who feel the same as he does. The fight club seems to take on a life of its own and soon the members have formed a kind of vigilante squad whose aim is to eliminate the emasculating elements of society that keep men from returning to a hunter/gatherer type of existence. It turns out that Jack has been leading this squad without realizing it: he has dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder).

DSM-5 states that criteria used for diagnosing dissociative identity disorder are that alterations occur in the person’s state of consciousness or in his identity, to produce such symptoms as amnesia, somnambulism, fugue, and multiple personality. DSM-5 also takes into consideration that spirit possession may be an alternate diagnosis. While in the case of someone like Jack Torrance, possession is a real possibility based on what is revealed in the film The Shining, for Jack in Fight Club there is no indication of possession. Instead, the film clearly shows that Jack has multiple personality disorder as he shows symptoms of altered states of consciousness, amnesia, somnambulism, fugue and multiple personalities throughout the film.

Possession would be ruled out as a diagnosis as would schizophrenia because there is no evidence of spirit possession and Jack does not show any symptoms of schizophrenia—no hallucinations, no irrational speech patterns, no disordered thinking or inability to concentrate. He does exhibit anti-social behavior at times but this is perhaps a co-morbidity that…someone he is not.

What Jack needs is honest talk therapy where he discusses who he is and where he comes from—the way he does with his 2nd personality Tyler. He and Tyler have conversations together. The fact that they do have conversations together could suggest that he is hallucinating his relationship with Tyler, which could perhaps indicate schizophrenia, but he has no other signs of schizophrenic behavior in the film and the hallucinations are perceived to be more of a theatrical/cinematic trick to deceive the audience as to what is really going on with the protagonist than an accurate reflection of his mental state. CBT and the miracle question could be used to help Jack identify the negative triggers that prevent him from addressing issues in a positive manner so that he can resist slipping into the other personality to cope with stress or cultural or trauma-related issues. Optimal functioning would look like a well-adjusted Jack who fits in well with others, has friends, and feels…

Sources Used in Documents:


Naumova, O. Yu., Hein, S., Suderman, M., Barbot, B., Lee, M., Raefski, A., Dobrynin, P. V., Brown, P. J., Szyf, M., Luthar, S. S., & Grigorenko, E. L. (2016). Epigenetic Patterns Modulate the Connection between Developmental Dynamics of Parenting and Offspring Psychosocial Adjustment. Child Development, 87(1), 98–110.

Perry, B. D., & Szalavitz, M. (2006). The boy who was raised as a dog: And other stories from a child psychiatrist's notebook – What traumatized children can teach us about loss, love, and healing. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Shriner, B & M. Shriner. (2014). Essentials of Lifespan Development: A Topical Perspective. Bridgepoint Education: San Diego, CA.

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