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The Three Categories of Mental Illness

Updated on August 27, 2014

There are three disorders listed under odd personality disorder; they are paranoid, schizoid, and schizotypal (Comer, 2007). Patients that suffer from these disorders usually show symptoms that are associated with schizophrenia (but usually not as severe), such as social withdrawal, suspiciousness, and odd ways of thinking and interpreting things (Comer, 2007)..

​An example of a personality disorder that would fall under as “odd” would be a schizoid personality disorder. The best example of a character who would be considered a schizoid would be Jack, played by Edward Norton in the movie Fight Club.

In this classic movie, Jack has no true friends, not because he does not know how to make them, or because he is unpopular, but because he truly does not care. Jack prefers to make as little social contact as possible and sits around all day in his cubicle pretending to be intimate objects.

Like many schizoids, Jack does not show much emotion when praised or criticized, such as his boss coming up to his desk harping on his job performance; he once again goes to his thoughts in his mind, thinking about being an intimate object or pondering worst case scenarios. ​There are three disorders listed under the label of being “dramatic” they are, antisocial, borderline, histrionic, and narcissistic (Comer, 2007).

Unfortunately, since patients suffering from these disorders have moods and behaviors that are so unpredictable and climatic, they often have difficulties in deep meaningful relationships. A fictional character that suffers from narcissism would be Patrick Bateman, played by Christian Bale in the thriller American Psycho. During the whole movie, Bateman’s behavior is one after the other narcissistic, including his business cards not being the perfect shade, having the best and most paid for apartment and pedigree of girl friends. In the movie that he stars and narrates, you can hear his internal monologue thinking grandeur thoughts about how he is much better than everyone else, and how everyone is really just a waste of his precious time. During the movie, Patrick Bateman is solely focused on himself and lacks any empathy for others.

​The last clusters of disorders are anxious personality disorders and include avoidant, dependent, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders (Comer, 2007). Patients who suffer from these disorders, also display symptoms that resemble that of anxiety or depressive disorders (Comer, 2007). An example of an anxious personality disorder would be obsessive-compulsive disorder as the fictional character Adrian Monk on the popular television program Monk.

On this program, Monk has a constant fear of being in close personal contact with germinated or contaminated items. At times, he goes out of his way to avoid such items as by using gloves, masks, and other protective equipment. Monk also has a need for extreme orderliness, and any diversion in his carefully planned system are perceived as being chaotic. Lastly, he feels the urge to check himself many times to make sure he has accomplished all of his tasks as well as repeating certain names, items as many OCD patients do.


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    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 3 years ago from Washington State

      Good to know, interesting.