Please write a eight to nine page, typed and double-spaced paper answering ONE of the following questions. Grading will be based upon accuracy and completeness, and upon the extent of critical engagement – i.e. your informed opinions — with the material demonstrated by the student. Grading will also be based upon grammar, typos, syntax, etc. Students must include quotes from the assigned readings in the paper. Papers without any quotes will be penalized. “Please indicate the number you are answering and answer any one of the following questions below.”
NOTE: To answer ANY of the following questions effectively, you will need to describe in some detail the argument that Horwitz and Wakefield make in their book The Loss of Sadness. In addition, to answer any of these questions you may have to imagine how Horwitz and Wakefield’s argument applies to other mental illness besides depression. (Does it?)
Write a nice, wonderful, interesting paper on ONE of the following topics:
1. Pick any fictional character from a cartoon, television show or the movies (e.g. sponge bob, Sheldon Cooper, Olaf from Frozen, Gregory House (from the TV show House), Eeyore (the depressed donkey from Winnie the Pooh), etc., who is not identified as being mentally ill on the show or movie. (The character does not have to be from the above list. It can be any character.) Diagnosis your character using the DSM (III, IV, or V or their revisions). What mental illness does he or she have? Provide the specific list of symptoms of the diagnosis and show why he or she has the diagnosis. (It could be more than one diagnosis.) Then compare and contrast how Fromm (using his book Escape from Freedom) and Horwitz and Wakefield would likely explain the character’s illness. According to each, would or should your character be considered mentally ill? Why or why not? What might have caused the illness, according to the two sets of authors? (Was the cause social, cultural, psychological, biological, etc.? Be specific in your answers.) Which of the two perspectives do you think has a better way of explaining your characters’ illness and why? What do you think caused the illness? Explain.
2. Pick any fictional character from a cartoon, television show or the movies (e.g. sponge bob, Sheldon Cooper, Olaf from Frozen, Gregory House (from the TV show House), Eeyore (the depressed donkey from Winnie the Pooh), etc., who is not identified as being mentally ill on the show or movie. (The character does not have to be from the above list. It can be any character.) Diagnosis your character using the DSM (III, IV, or V or their revisions). What mental illness does he or she have? Provide the specific list of symptoms of the diagnosis and show why he or she or it has the diagnosis. Then compare and contrast how Horwitz and Wakefield would likely explain the character’s illness, with any ONE sociological OR any ONE psychological explanation for mental illness we have covered in this class (in the readings and lectures). According to each would or should your character be considered mentally ill? Why or why not? What might have caused the illness, according to the two sets of authors or perspectives? (was the cause social, psychological, biological, etc.? Be specific in your answers.) Which of the two perspectives do you think has a better way of explaining your characters’ illness and why? What do you think caused the illness? Explain.
3. This question asks you to describe, discuss and evaluation how Horwitz and Wakefield would likely respond to the following statements made by Fromm. Fromm writes: “The phenomena which we observe in the neurotic person are in principle not different from those we find in the normal. …. A brief discussion of the terms neurotic and normal, or healthy, seems to be useful …. The term normal or healthy can be identified in two ways. Firstly, from the standpoint of a functioning society, one can call a person normal or healthy if he is able to fulfill the social role he is to take in that given society. … Secondly, from the standpoint of the individual, we look upon health or normalcy as the optimum of growth and happiness of the individual. If the structure of a given society were such that it offered the optimum possibility for individual happiness, both views would coincide. However, this is not the case in most societies we know, including our own” (Fromm, p. 137). Explain what Fromm means by neurosis and by normal, then compare and contrast his understanding of such things with those of Horwitz and Wakefield. How are their understandings similar to and/or different from Fromm’s? Critically evaluate each argument. Which do you think is more right, and which do you think is more wrong? Why? Explain.
4. This question requires you to watch any ONE of the following three movies: 1) The Snake Pit (directed by Litvak); 2) Titicut Follies (directed by Wiseman); or, 3) Begging Naked (directed by Karen Gerhes). (You will have to find these on your own if you wish to do this question. The WCU library might have online access to one or more of these. You might also find them on Netflix or perhaps Amazon, though Titicut Follies and Begging Naked are not that common so you might have to look elsewhere.) The question is this: Compare and contrast how Horwitz and Wakefield and any ONE sociological or psychological approach we have encountered this semester would likely explain what happens in the movie you have selected. Which of the two perspectives do you think has a better explanation for what appears in the movie? Explain.
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