The topic of abnormal psychology and the different kind of aspects that this science encompasses project and highlight different kind of phenomena that tell us about the different mental and psychological disorders that people go through. These disorders and mental states can be in a variety of form such as bipolar disorders, alcoholism and the situation encountered in state hospitals.
However during the course of this discussion we would be assessing the different dynamics and dimensions of abnormal psychology and other mental problems with special reference to the famous American drama film ‘One who Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest ‘the film describes and demonstrates the problems and complications that are encountered by patients admitted in state owned mental hospitals and the processes that are applied upon them which deteriorates their mental condition to a larger extent.
The film sheds light upon various psychological problems that are encountered by patients in these hospitals and the prior condition that brought them into this state in the first place. (Halgin and Whitebourne, 2007)
Psychological abnormalities of patients
Before moving towards the discussion of the psychological abnormalities that are being encountered by patients it is important to mention or at least develop a brief outline through which we can develop an understanding about the key characters that are present in the movie. The key character of the film is of Randle McMurphy played by Jack Nicholson, a rebellious convict who has been sent from normal prison into a mental institution simply because it was difficult for the law enforcement personnel to handle him. Since like others he does not suffer from any mental or psychological disorder he is more of a diversion for the other patients who are present in the institution.
A major problem that is related to the psyche and disposition of McMurphy that he cannot resist a constant supervision of an authority upon him, an authority that constantly instructs him of what he needs to do and what to refrain from. Moreover this kind of psychology gains further momentum in his character and nature after he is coercively treated as a mentally challenged individual when the fact remains that he is not. The application of these measures makes his entre psychology drift towards the extreme ends of rebellious and rage, so much so that he even attacks and injures Nurse Ratchet who he is constantly at loggerheads with.
Even though, McMurphy does not have any specific or visible type of sign that can make him declare as being psychologically abnormal, but the circumstances and the conditions that he encounters within the environment of the institution transforms and constantly exposes the furious side of his temperament.
He is also enraged at the way decisions are taken in the institution and when he takes the initiative of raising a voice against such injustice procedures he is subjected to the torturous treatment of lobotomy which further aggravates the feeling of resentment and detestation for the staff that is present in the institution.
If the GAF or the Global Assessment Function of McMurphy is determined it can easily be placed within the Axis I category as he does suffer from any apparent psychological disorder, but because of the clinician approach that has been developed for his treatment it can be said that he can well be accommodated within the most dangerous categories of the GAF band. (Porter, 1989)
Another important character of the movie is Billy Bibbit who is a sissy and nervous sort of a guy admitted in the institution. Because of his serious mental behavior and approach he has also shown severe susceptibility and vulnerability towards the conduction of suicidal tendencies. Even though he is in his thirties he is still treated and considered a child because of the approach that he has towards the handling of life affairs and its problems.
Furthermore the diagnostic techniques that are applied for resolving the condition that he encounters are always aimed to further deteriorate the condition that he is normally confronted with.
Nurse Ratchet constantly threatens him that she will inform his mother about the activities that he is conducting in the institute due to which his tendency towards the conduction of suicides enhances, ultimately resulting in the loss of his life.
In psychological terms it can be stated that the condition that has been depicted by Billy can easily conform to the conditions and situations that are found in patients normally suffering from the signs and symptoms of psychological disorders of Axis II and Axis IV which shed light upon the features of developmental disorder and psychosocial complications surrounding an individual respectively.
Billy has not been provided with the environment through which he could interact with people and thus as a result of which he still remains a very childish and amateur person who has not even lost his virginity simply because his mother would scold him for sleeping or making love with a prostitute.
Signs and symptoms that Billy projects also highlights the fundamental flaws that are present and prevail during the phases when the child is undergoing different developmental stages of his life. There have been several cases of similar nature in which people even in a very late age could not escape the feeling of behaving like a child and these complications in their personality development are then overcome by providing them an environment of operant conditioning and development of special behavioral approaches where they could develop an interactive approach with other people around them.
The kind of behavior that has been demonstrated by Billy further manifests that as far as the position of this character on the GAF band is concerned it will be placed in the dangerous zone of 1-10 primarily because of the periodic times that he has attempted to commit suicide and such tendencies which are present in him in proactive form. (Blue shield, 2010)
Another very major character that needs to be analyzed from a psychological as well as psychoanalytic perspective is the character of chief Bromden. The condition that Bromden encounters is distinctive in the sense that he suffers from hallucinations in the form of fog machine and Air Raids which are basically also symbolized in terms of his mental clarity and ability to assess things through a rational perspective.
In his psychological condition these hallucinations and delusions gain momentum when he is in a state of mental instability and recede as soon as he returns back to normal.
There are a number of situation which can easily convince someone about the instability present in the character of Bromden, primarily because of the dangerous dreams that he observes, but the effect is mainly an outcome of the hallucinogenic drugs that have constantly been administered into Bromden for a long time.
Despite of all these frightening images that flash in front of him periodically Bromden shows the vigor and the zeal that needs to be present in order to contribute to a change in the tormenting and discordant environment that had been established in the institution.
Another factor that contributes to the psychological abnormalities and behavior that are present in Bromden can be traced back to his childhood times. These incidents also help us in reaching upon the conclusion that the in psychological terms the complications encountered by Bromden can also be referred and accommodated in the Axis II category of psychological disorders. He has repeatedly been intimidated by his mother who was of extremely dominating and totalitarian nature; it is also the reason that he appears deaf and dumb in front of other people of the institution.
The psychology of Bromden further reveals that he is a type of person who just requires a push in order to make the most impossible thing possible. The arrival of McMurphy came as a turning point in his life when he decides to get back his freedom and liberty by planning his escape from the institution along with McMurphy.
Once again in psychological terms Bromden can easily be placed within the Axis IV category as he has not been provided with the appropriate psychosocial and environmental conditions due to which many of his dreams and aims that he intended to achieve could not have been fulfilled.
The frustration of the non-fulfillment of these dreams and visions, he turned into a mentally disturbed patient and the spirit of continuing a normal life completely extinguished until the arrival of McMurphy who rejuvenates his soul and pokes a new vigor and zeal in his life about the struggle in his life to continue his chase for his dreams.
There are many researches that show that there is an overwhelming majority of people around us and present in our very own society who have lost the spirit and the enthusiasm of pursuing the goals that they intended to achieve in their life and thus gets themselves trapped in a midst of confusion and frustration. These frustrations further develop a feeling of inferiority within them and facilitate their movement towards the adoption of habits like alcoholism and drug addiction where they completely lose the purpose of living their life in an effective and useful way.
The actual and proper way of dealing with such people is not to behave indifferently towards them or treat them in a neglected manner, but rather address the depth and the magnitude of the gravity of the situation that they have been confronted with in order to revert them back towards a safe life.