Bipolar Disorder in “Silver Linings Playbook”

The academy award winning Silver linings Playbook takes you through the life of Pat Solitano played by Bradley Cooper, and the female leading role of Tiffany Maxwell, played by Jennifer Lawrence. In the opening of the movie, pat is admitted to a psychiatric facility and where he is later diagnosed with bipolar disorder after violently assaulting the man his wife was having an affair with. Once released from the facility, he tries to make an attempt in getting his wife back. In doing so it brings him closer to Tiffany, a woman who has been emotionally traumatized after the death and divorce of her ex-husband. The movie portrays her as having a type a personality disorder, without it ever being stated.

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In one specific scene, Tiffany burst into Pat’s house and begins to freak out. It is at this moment when Pat’s father, played by Robert De Niro, says to Tiffany and Pat, What is this craziness with Tiffany Maxwell? Thus, demonstrating the act of perpetuating stereotypes and the idea of making fun of a psychological disorder. To some it is very offensive when using derogatory terms, such as the word crazy.

The way the movie displays the act of bipolar disorder is very misleading in terms of the misconception behind it. Silver Linings Playbook, for some incidental reason, still renders the myth that people who have bipolar disorder tend exasperated emotions. The misconception that is seen in the movie first begins when Pat is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, which by the way is very hard to diagnose. Throughout the movie he primarily appears to be aggressive and have violent outbursts. This is misleading, because not all people with bipolar disorder behave in this manner. Another misconception is that bipolar disorder can be cured without medication. Throughout the movie is shows the bipolar disorder can be handled and managed with love, which is most definitely not the case. While, in most accurate cases it requires medication and it is proven that therapy often helps.

These frequent misunderstandings tend to have an impact on both the individual and society. For the individual with the actual disorder, it can be very offensive to be labeled as crazy, angry or even violent. In the eyes of society, this idea can almost be a priming technique. Watching this movie can prime people to think that all people with this disorder behave the same way, and that mental disorders make people crazy.

Ultimately when some people see a person with a mental disorder, a sense of Empathy-Altruism is created, and creates the sense of guilt. When people or individual see this, empathy take over and they begin to feel bad towards the people dealing with it. Lastly this whole movie can create the idea of confirmation bias, in the way of how it focuses on certain information that can confirm your set of beliefs. Tying it all together, if someone with the mindset of people with a psychological disorder are crazy and violet, confirmation bias comes into play by allowing the movie to focus on that set of belief and not the real facts.

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Bipolar Disorder in "Silver Linings Playbook". (2019, Nov 12). Retrieved October 3, 2022 , from

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