Psychopathology in the movies: “Awakenings”

Time : 17:30 for 18:00–21:00
Length of Training : 3 Hours
Type of Workshop : Movie Night
Who should attend

Anyone with an interest in psychopathology, in particular:

  • Psychologists
  • Psychometrists
  • Registered Counsellors
  • Psychology interns
  • Students

As a tribute to Robin Williams, the movie “Awakenings” will be shown. Robin Williams, who suffered from Major Depression, acted in many movies with a Psychological theme, e.g. The Fisher King, Good Will Hunting, and Awakenings.

In line with the DSM-5 theme for the movie nights, “Awakenings” was selected as it portrays patients suffering from catatonia. One of the (arguably) biggest changes in the DSM-5, are the changes in the Schizophrenia category. Schizophrenia has been one of the most stable categories in all of the editions of the DSM. Not only has the name of the category, Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorder (DSM-IV) changed to Schizophrenia Spectrum and other Psychotic Disorders (DSM-5), but there have also been a number of other changes in the category, i.e.:

  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder is noted in this category
  • The sub-types of Schizophrenia have been eliminated
  • Catatonia is now described separately from Schizophrenia, allowing for it to be diagnosed on its own or in conjunction with a number of other disorders.

The movie, Awakenings, is based on the true life story of Oliver Sacks (a renowned Neurologist and author) who discovers the beneficial effects of L-dopa in the treatment of catatonia. Unfortunately, as is portrayed in the movie, the beneficial effects are short term.