Primal Fear Essay

1108 words - 5 pages

In the movie Primal Fear, Aaron was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder by the psychiatrist. As the plot is set up in the movie, everything seems to fall into place and fit with the doctor’s diagnosis. As the psychiatrist was interviewing Aaron and getting to know him, his rough childhood could have led to the disorder. Since DID is typically caused by severe childhood trauma, I believe the stories Aaron was telling along with his actions matched up to the psychiatrist’s diagnosis. With the evidence that the psychiatrist was presented with, I did agree with her diagnosis. Although, in the movie, it was clear that she was not an expert on Dissociative Identity Disorder; I believe that would have made her diagnosis invalid. She should have found another clinician that had more insight to the disorder and let him or her evaluate Aaron before proceeding to testify in court.
Aaron suffered a long history of abuse at the hands of his father, and later with the Archbishop forcing him to have sex with a girl and another altar boy while recording it; it was very likely that he could have suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder. Aaron suffered from spells of amnesia and could not recall long periods of time, which is a characteristic of DID listed in the DSM-5. Another characteristic Aaron also portrayed were two separate personalities, Aaron and Roy. Whenever he changed into Roy and then Aaron “comes back”, Aaron acts as though he cannot remember what happened during that period. Throughout the entire movie he was able to keep up this façade, which led me to believe he actually did suffer from Dissociative Identity Disorder. Aaron did not appear to have anyone to look out for him, his mother passed away, and his father did not seem fit; it was possible for him to go that far in life without seeking treatment for mental health. The Archbishop could have known that he suffered from a mental illness, but also could have seen it as an opportunity to take advantage of him for his own pedophiliac tendencies. Whenever Aaron was put on the stand for questioning in the Archbishop’s murder. At first the prosecutor was gentle while asking questions, and later began to ask more aggressive and upsetting questions. While she was getting more aggressive you could witness Aaron beginning to get uncomfortable, and switching personalities. Aaron made the switch into Roy, and attacked the prosecutor, this convinced the entire courtroom, as well as the viewers, that he was not guilty by reason of insanity.
At the end of the movie, Aaron’s lawyer visited him in his cell to tell him he had been acquitted, and he claimed that he could not remember what had happened. After a few moments of them speaking to each other he asked his lawyer to apologize to the prosecutor for threatening to snap her neck, and then it clicked that he did not suffer from DID. He finally came out to his lawyer as Roy. He tricked us! The entire time he was faking, which makes the...

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