Mental illness is often negatively or misrepresented by the media to our naive society
Mental illness is often negatively or misrepresented by the media to our naive society. Due to the lack of knowledge about mental illnesses audiences tend to believe that what they see on the television or the movies is the truth when in fact it is not. Worse then the stigma attached to the people with mental illness is the stigma attached to the psychologists and psychiatrists who try and help these people better understand what ails them. Many are portrayed as crazy or suffering from a form of mental illness themselves. In reality though these doctors are just doing their jobs, which is to help these people out, not to suffer the backlash that comes with the job and stigma attached to it.Synopsis and SummaryHide and Seek is a cinematic picture that tells of Dr.
David Callaway, a psychiatrist played by Robert DeNiro, and his young daughter Emily Callaway, portrayed by Dakota Fanning. Dr. Callaway wakes in the middle of the night to find that his wife has committed suicide in their bathtub. Emily also sees this gruesome sight and is sent to see Katherine, played by Famke Janssen, who is a psychologist and one of Dr. Callaway’s old students. Dr.
Callaway sees that a change in environment is needed and moves him and his daughter to a little town in upper New York called Woodland. While in Woodland Emily “creates a make-believe play buddy” who seems to get her into a lot of trouble. “Charlie”, as she tells her father is his name, likes to recreate the bathtub scene of her mother’s death and write on the walls “it’s your fault that she died.” Emily continuously tries to tell her father that Charlie is the one doing all this. Dr.
Callaway starts to show interest in another woman named Elizabeth, played by Elisabeth Shue. Charlie pushes Elizabeth out of Emily’s window and then proceeds to put her in the tub and again recreate the suicide scene. As the movie comes to an end the audience is clued in to the fact that Dr. Callaway is suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder and that he is in fact “Charlie”, and that he killed his own wife. Luckily for Emily, Katherine visits her and realizes what is going on. She shoots Dr.
Callaway so that he will no longer try and attack herself, his daughter, or anyone else for that matter. This violence shows audiences that people with mental illnesses are dangerous and out of control. Also it portrays psychiatrists in a bad light, showing that they too suffer from these illnesses because they are around these people all the time. It makes mental illnesses look contagious when they are in fact not. The movie has done nothing but further fuel the stigma that is associated with these people.General Themes and Issue AnalysisDr.
Callaway, played by Robert DeNiro, is portrayed as a widowed husband with a young daughter. He is emotionally not dealing with the suicide of his late wife and is instead concentrating on his own daughter’s grief. He is the one who makes the decision to move away to Woodland to get away from the apartment that they lived in against his daughter Emily’s psychologist’s wishes. The move was to intended to be seen as doing something good for Emily when in fact the move was for himself.
Dr. Callaway never shows that he is dealing with his wife’s death. Instead he bustles around the house and town trying to meet new people for his “daughter’s sake”. He uses his young daughter as a ploy to attract a woman, Elizabeth, to talk to him who is with her niece in the park. This trick allows him to approach her and forget about his daughter for a little while who is sitting in the car glaring at him.
He invites her and her niece over so the two girls can have a play date together. Eventually Dr. Callaway starts to become more romantically linked with Elizabeth, which upsets his daughter Emily. Throughout the movie Dr. Callaway is portrayed as this grieving father who wants nothing more then to move on with his life and forget about his “troubled” daughter.Emily, Dr.
Callaway’s daughter played by Dakota Fanning, is misunderstood in the movie. The audience is intended to believe that “Charlie” is not real and just an entity that this crazy little girl made up. She is constantly being blamed for “Charlie’s” actions when they are not her own. With her father always accusing her of everything she learns to mistrust him more and more.
While her mother was still alive Emily loved her with all her heart, even more then she did her father. Emily is made to seem as though she hates her father for letting her mother, Allison, commit suicide and wants to make his life miserable now. This is again another factor that makes it seem like Emily is really “Charlie”. She enjoys talking and seeing her psychologist Katherine because they are long time friends and Katherine does not constantly put her down or make it seem like she is crazy. Besides Katherine is Emily’s link back to her childhood while her mother was still alive and the life she lived in her other town.
Katherine, played by Famke Janssen, is Emily’s psychologist and one of Dr. Callaway’s old students. She plays an important part in figuring out that Emily is not lying and that Dr. Callaway is the one with the problems. Dr.
Callaway does not take her words of advice because she is one of his students, so he knows better then she does. With her professionalism being taken as a joke she has no other way of convincing Dr. Callaway to listen to her. She eventually figures out the truth and becomes the hero of the movie. As she has the gun pointed at David he tells her that she does not have it in her to kill him.
Obviously she pulls the trigger and does indeed kill and takes on the role of the primary caregiver to Emily. This motherly instinct to protect her saves Emily’s life. Also feelings of guilt about how she never noticed what Dr. Callaway was suffering from and allowing Emily to live in that situation probably ties into why she ends up taking care of Emily.
“Charlie”, who is Dr. Callaway’s “other personality”, is the reason why everything bad that happens happens. Charlie just wants to play but his ideas of games are not what we would call sane. Charlie is the reason why two innocent women, Elizabeth and Allison Callaway, are dead along with a cat. He is made to seem as though Emily thought him up and is a part of her mind, but in fact he is a part of Dr.
Callaway’s. Charlie does all the things that Dr. Callaway wants to do. He is no longer in love with his wife and suspects her of cheating so Charlie kills her. Dr.
Callaway also knows that he should not be seeing another woman, Elizabeth, so soon after his wife’s death especially without talking to his daughter first about the situation. Charlie takes it upon himself to help the old doctor out and offs her by pushing her out of Emily’s window. Charlie also kills a catDiscussion, Evaluation, and Synthesis of the Portrayal of Mental Illness”Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)…
is a dissociative disorder involving a disturbance of identity in which two or more separate and distinct personality states (or identities) control the individual’s behavior at different times. When under the control of one identity, the person is usually unable to remember some of the events that occurred while other personalities were in control. The different identities, referred to as alters…
[alters] may harbor aggressive tendencies, directed toward individuals in the person’s environment, or toward other alters within the person.” (NAMI)People who suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder or as it in now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder usually suffer a traumatic event. Normally it is seen in children that have been sexually or physically abused and “dissociate” themselves from the abuse. Soon this can often create another personality to deal with the situation and the emotions that rise because of it. Dr.
David Callaway and/or “Charlie” displays aggressive tendencies above and beyond the type mentioned above. “Charlie” kills for Callaway and tries to make it known that he exists.The media portraying “Charlie” as extremely dangerous and a threat to others just adds to the struggle to remove the stigma attached to this illness. The myth that people suffering from mental illnesses are dangerous is just fueled by the movie. In reality only a very small amount actually are dangerous at all. Most are withdrawn and isolated to themselves.
Many people do not get the help that they need due to this stigma and stereotype associated with this particular illness and others. NAMI did not yet write an article about this movie as they have done in the past for Me, Myself and Irene and Anger Management. Knowing what I do about the illness I am sure that NAMI would agree in the fact that this movie has done nothing but impede their slow progress towards the understanding of these illnesses.A common mistake that the audience viewing this movie may think is that Dr. Callaway is “schizo”. Often Schizophrenia and DID are confused with one another.
Schizophrenia is a “brain disorder that robs the people that suffer from it their ability to think clearly and logically.” (NAMI). Because the movie never clearly states what Callaway is suffering from or the fact that not everyone is like this the audience may tend to think that it is schizophrenia and that everyone is as violent as that. The media should not be allowed to continue such damaging misconceptions about mental illnesses. They can occur in anyone for a number of different reasons.
There is no one cause of them. It can range from social to biological or a mix of anything.Personal Reflection ; Summary and Professional ProjectionsWhile it is hard to relate specifically to suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, or now Dissociative Identity Disorder, I can say that at times I wish I were someone else. I would love to escape reality for a moment and do everything that I’ve ever wanted to do but was never allowed to. It would be amazing to know that someone else was taking care of all the drama that I no longer want to deal with. I would just wake from a trance and everything would be “fixed”.
But this is not true and will not happen for me. People who do suffer from this illness do not look on it in a happy tone as I just did. They do not know what their other personality(ies) may be doing. It is a temporary amnesia for them. All of a sudden they wake up and cannot recollect what they had been doing for a length of time. That thought would scare me.
I do not enjoy not being in control or knowing what is going on around me. I need to know what is going and who is around and know every angle of the situation. I guess that in the long run “my paranoia” will actually help me become a better police officer in the search of finding out the facts.I do not agree with the way that the movie ended or how people who suffer from this imparticular disorder are viewed. People who suffer from MPD or DID do not always have violent tendencies.
In fact many of their personalities are a coping factor and never express such anger. There are the few cases were violent personalities do exist but again it is rare and should not be viewed as something that always happens. This illness is usually sparked by a traumatic event which was never shown in the movie. “Charlie” was the one who killed Allison, so the mystery is sparked as to where “Charlie” first originated from.