Dissociative Identity Disorder in Fight Club Free Essay
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is a medical condition, in which one suffers shock in his early years, e.g. below the age of 10. The cause could be brought about by being hurt by the close people, through being beaten severely, or through a sexual abuse. Though most of us have had a placid dissociation, like building castles in the air, where the mind switches off for a moment, this cannot be termed as dissociative identity disorder. DID is a more severe type of dissociation, where a person loses identity, and has no connection with their own thoughts, actions, and feelings.
DID is characterized by different identities that strongly overpower one’s behavior.
A person is not able to remember essential information about themselves, such as name, relatives and even the family members. The mentioned behavior cannot be considered as sheer forgetfulness. A person experiences a switch in life, which can last for a few hours or even take days, and this is characterized by the “alter” personalities taking control of his/her behavior. They are usually imaginary persons, whom one admires, and wishes to be like him/her. DID symptoms are depression, attempts to commit a suicide, consumption disorders, doldrums, and slumber disorders. Some of the behaviors observed are over speeding, hostility or theft from close people. The actions exhibited are believed to be them being coaxed by an inner force (Haddock, 2001).
The given paper is going to look at this disorder, as portrayed in the film Fight Club. The film shows the narrator, Jack, as a guy who suffers from insomnia, while openly feeling disinterested in his job. The disorder causes sleeplessness, which he cannot really explain; Jack says he is not fully awake nor is fully asleep. He states that nothing is or feels real, when one suffers from insomnia.
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The sleeping disorder is well portrayed in the film, when he visits a medical facility, and the doctor does not give him medication. He instead refers him to support groups. During the group meetings, Jack is able to share how he feels inside. To some extent, it helps him to sleep, since he lets out some part of his emotions to the people with similar problems (Wartenberg, 2012).
His second condition is DID, also known as multiple personality disorder. It is the exhibition of two personalities, which Jack seems to suffer from. Subconsciously, he seems not to love his life, therefore, he forms an alter personality to take charge, so as to feel more satisfied. The personality is in the form of some Tyler Durden, whom he sees as physically powerful, good-looking, well-groomed and rebellious man. For a while, Jack seems to be getting along with the assumed character, but everything changes when his apartment is blown, and everything that he owned is destroyed. He gets a feeling that his life is ruined forever.
DID is believed to be a result of trying to come to terms with reality, as one has been facing stressful situations mostly from early childhood. It can be also a result of traumatic events experienced by an individual. Though this disease does not show itself in the early years, it is diagnosed later, when the individual suffers a stressful situation.
Creation of Tyler by Jack is a way for him to find his manliness, since the loss of his property takes it away from him. Jack and Tyler create a group by the name of Fight Club. Its sole purpose is to create a venue, through which men can relieve stress and regain their strength.
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In his confession, Jack says that he did not have a father figure during his upbringing, for his father left him at the age of six. It could be a reason as to why he is suffering from DID. His father would have played the part of a role model to Jack, which is considered important in the upbringing process, especially of a male child. Tyler tells Jack that it is the cause of never finding strength in himself. Therefore, he relies on Tyler, who showed him the boldness he never had, to overcome what he is suffering from. In a way, Tyler plays the role of a father figure to Jack, showing him the need of authority and aggression. The film leads us to believe that DID suffered by Jack was a result of his childhood life. One would assume that he was not able to deal with a stressful situation in his life time. The loss of property was not the only time that a stressful situation had taken a toll on jack.
According to surveys carried on DID, some therapist recommend prognosis to help both adults and children. If a patient suffers from DID and it is discovered early enough, the better the prognosis. It is believed that the symptoms are less chaotic in middle age, and some of them form a relief in the late 40s. It is more often made worse, in case the patient abuses substance or further suffers additional stress in life.
Jack’s condition on DID is seen to worsen until he realizes that Tyler is an illusion, which he has created. Therefore, he shoots himself and gets rid of Tyler. The shooting could happen in a number of analyses of the topic prognosis. The action could be seen as a form of attempted suicide, though to his mind, he is killing Tyler, and not Jack. On the other hand, the action of Jack shooting Tyler to get rid of the illusion in his mind could be seen as a sign of his recovery. Thus, he is making away with his alter.
As discussed earlier, Jack’s attending of the support group seems to serve as a way of therapy for his sleeplessness. When another person begins attending the classes, Jack is not able to express himself any more; therefore, he joins Fight Club, which becomes his new form of therapy. Tyler and Fight Club seem to take control of Jack’s mind every single day of his life, until he shoots himself and eliminates Tyler.
According to research, the supreme approach for DID treatment could be a combination of psychological and biomedical treatments. While psychological approach is mostly considered as therapy, the biomedical one deals with medication prescribed, or events that deal with the nervous system of the patient (Howell, 2011).
Psychotherapy in DID could help identify the alter personality by the treatment of traumatic events experienced, which would influence one’s coping capability. It could be done by identifying the patient’s personality. If practiced on Jack, the treatment would have helped him gain his self worth, and it would work better when performed in a group therapy, with people who have suffered the same. As seen in the film, this helped him acknowledge that he was not the only one suffering.
A biometric approach is appropriate when patients seem depressed. Jack was at a point so depressed that he attempted to commit a suicide. Through medication, he could take antidepressants, which would help calm his anxiety. However, prescription of medication should be considered carefully, since it could lead to alcohol and other drug related dependency.
In conclusion, it should be mentioned that through support and ways of managing Jack’s depression, he would not suffer from DID. The need for the creation of an “alter” personality would not have been made. Research has shown that DID is one of the forms of dealing with anxiety and depression, which are the main contributors of this disorder.