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"As Good As It Gets".

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Introduction

"As Good As It Gets" Melvin Udall is the most dysfunctional of men, an acid tongued romance novelist who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Never one to avoid confrontations, he takes pride in his ability to affront, repulse, offend and wound - as he has been. His targets are random; his aim reckless. Leave an elevator in which he stands; cross a street on which he walks. He is to be avoided at all costs, but some victims just cannot escape. Carol Connelly is the only waitress at the local caf´┐Ż that is willing to stand up to the sarcastic tirades of Melvin. Simon Nye has the distinct misfortune of living across the hall from Melvin in their West Village apartment building in downtown Manhattan. These three New Yorkers - non of whom appears to have a chance in Hell of finding real happiness - discover their fates intertwined because of the fourth complicated character in the piece, an ugly, tiny dog named Verdell." This is the description you can find on almost any website dedicated to the film "As Good As It Gets", and it is a good description of what you see when you view the movie. However, we shall take a closer look at one particular aspect - obsessive-compulsive disorder. Insistent, unwanted thoughts, urges and behaviors are typical of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). ...read more.

Middle

Melvin also takes medication, but Carol is the best remedy for this OCD patient. Some patients actually need nothing more than the medication and they make a full recovery and need no further treatment. Other OCD patients would definitely benefit from behavioral treatment called exposure and response prevention, and this is exactly what happens to Melvin - Carol is his behavioral treatment. I have included some interesting facts about OCD below: Although adults realize in part that these obsessions and compulsions are senseless, they have great difficulty stopping them. Children with OCD may not realize their behavior is unusual. There is a link between serotonin and dopamine, brain neurotransmitter chemicals, and OCD. Often OCD affects the family. Family members are sometimes drawn into the OCD behavior. Disability may affect family finances. Medication for OCD should be tried 10-12 weeks before judging effectiveness. OCD affects men and women equally. OCD can start at any age. In one third of adult patients the symptoms begin in childhood, adolescence or young adulthood. OCD afflicts approximately 2% of the population. The untreated symptoms may vary for years. The symptoms may go away, remain the same or worsen. Evidence suggests that OCD runs in some families and may be genetically inherited. It is not uncommon for a person with OCD to also have clinical depression, panic attacks, or both. ...read more.

Conclusion

The more pain one is willing to endure the less it is experienced. Although there is no cure for OCD, there are several treatments to help lessen the effects of OCB. The individuals who do use CBT as a form of therapy recognize a 50-80% decrease in the symptoms, and of the individuals who use SRI's, 50-60% respond to the effects. However, once the individual stops using SRI, the symptoms take over again. The best solution is to use both forms of treatment, or to use the SRI's as a quick start process, but then revert to using CBT as a later form of treatment. CBT is a fascinating treatment, because it allows humans to use the forebrain, which is the most highly developed portion of the brain. CBT is a conceptualizing exercise that pushes the OCB patient to understand both their irrational and rational sides. The process is extremely hard to swallow for the irrational side is automatic and involuntary, urging the patients to react to an event at will. However, if the person (Melvin) suffering from OCB practices this therapy extensively, though he may not be cured, life will become a lot easier. I believe that this is definitely the case with Melvin, since he gets better while on his medication and at the same time getting 'therapy' from Carol, the more time they spend together. Simon, Carol, Verdell, and all the other people that Melvin associates with on one level or another, is unconsciously helping Melvin improve over time. ...read more.

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