Psychological Disorder

First, you will choose one psychological disorder from DSM-5 that will be the focus of your
paper this semester. For the paper you will be required to:
1. Watch a movie or episode of a TV show that features a character with the
psychological disorder you have chosen from DSM-5 (see page 4 for a list of
potential media sources).
a. If a movie, make sure that a specific mental disorder is a significant part of the
plot. If a TV show, make sure that the fact that a character has the disorder is
either 1) explicitly discussed in the episode and/or 2) is a major theme of the
show. This is so that you can sufficiently critique how the disorder is portrayed in
the episode.
b. Provide a brief description of the movie/show and how mental illness and/or its
treatment plays a role in that movie/show.
c. Describe how accurate or inaccurate you think that portrayal is using DSM-5
criteria in your argument.
2. Search the PsycINFO database for a research article about the disorder on which
you are focusing (see page 5 for instructions on finding a paper).
a. Provide a brief summary of the main points of the article, including: the
hypothesis (what did they expect to find) and the results (did they find what the
expected? If not, how did they interpret their findings?)
b. What do you think about the results? Did they surprise you? Why or why not?
What are the implications? Why do they matter?
c. Evaluate how DSM-5 criteria were portrayed (or not) in this article. Were certain
criteria emphasized and others absent? Why does this matter?
3. Look online or in print media for a news article (not a research article) that
addresses the disorder on which you have been focusing.
a. The article can be from any reputable source (try Google News, not Wikipedia).
b. The article should not be a summary of the disorder (e.g., not a WebMD article)
or a first-person narrative (e.g., not a personal blog; that is the topic for the extra
credit assignment).
c. Briefly summarize the article – What was the main point the article was trying to
d. Describe how accurate or inaccurate you think that portrayal is using DSM-5
criteria in your argument.
4. Synthesize your findings from all three sources and reflect on what you have
learned, including but not limited to:
a. Compare how the disorder was portrayed across your three sources.
b. Describe your overall reactions to each of the three sources.
c. Reflect on what you learned/how your perspective on the disorder shifted through
interacting with these three sources and taking the class.

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