Characters With Psychological Disorders: Adrian Monk And Dr. Gregory House

1149 words - 5 pages

It seems recently that the entertainment industry has provided America with authentic portrayals of characters that are suffering with psychological disorders. At first glance these characters seem to depict the disorders they are given in a somewhat realistic light. At closer examination though, the truth of the seriousness of these disorders seems minimalized and at times even glorified. Two characters that come to mind are Adrian Monk, of the USA network show Monk, and Dr. Gregory House of the Fox TV show House.
Adrian Monk was brought to life by actor Tony Shaloub, and was a funny and enjoyable detective show, which has now ended after eight successful seasons. Adrian Monk is a very likeable “Colomboesque” detective who was suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The storyline shows Monk as a former police detective who suffered from OCD throughout his life, but upon the murder of his wife, Trudy, found himself unable to properly function in society, especially in regard to his employment with the police department. The show depicts Monk working through his OCD with the help of a full-time nurse/assistant and also with the help of a therapist. Having so much help in dealing with his disorder is not very realistic to begin with! I don’t know many people that can afford to hire a full time nurse assistant and have years of visits to a therapist, without the worry of insurance being cancelled (they did address the insurance topic at one point in the show, during the eighth and final season). Monk exhibits many of the commonly known OCD behaviors such as his hand washing rituals, doing daily activities in a strict pre-established sequence, having items in his home organized in one specific way and never deviating from that, and touching certain items repeatedly (Feldman, 2008). At times this show came across as realistic showing Monk’s discomfort when trying to deviate from a compulsion and also the anxiety and sadness living under the confinement that those compulsions caused him. Frequently episodes would focus on Monk being obsessed with a singular thought for example remembering a schoolmate bullying him and on a different episode wondering if a friend was going to “steal” his therapist. Monk repeatedly stated that he wished he could be more like “normal people” which did bring to light the obviously unwanted nature of his disorder (Feldman, 2008). Often though, the show depicted his disorder as funny and sometimes cute and endearing to those around him. Since I have a cousin who has been struggling with this disorder her entire life, I know that this is not realistic. My cousin has not been able to keep many jobs, and has lost most of the relationships with friends and even family. Idiosyncrasies that may be funny at first glance become annoying and difficult for those around the person to understand and put up with, especially on a long term basis. I do feel this show made an admirable attempt at depicting this...

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