Mommie Dearest is a movie about the turbulent relationship between Christina Crawford and her mother, Joan Crawford. The movie explores the psychological disorders that may have contributed to the dysfunctional relationship between mother and daughter.
While Mommie Dearest is fiction, it is based on Christina Crawford’s memoir of the same name. In the movie, we see Joan Crawford as a woman who is struggling with mental illness. She is frequently angry and paranoid, and she has difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. We also see glimpses of Christina’s own mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.
It is possible that both Joan and Christina struggled with borderline personality disorder (BPD). This disorder is characterized by impulsivity, extreme emotions, and difficulty maintaining healthy relationships. It is possible that Joan’s erratic behavior and Christina’s anxiety and depression were both symptoms of BPD.
Another disorder that may have played a role in the movie is bipolar disorder. This disorder is characterized by mood swings, from mania to depression. We see Joan Crawford experience extreme highs and lows, which may be indicative of bipolar disorder.
Both borderline personality disorder and bipolar disorder can be treated with medication and therapy. If Joan Crawford was diagnosed with either of these disorders, she would have been able to get help and improve her quality of life.
Joan Crawford is not simply a Hollywood actress and a mother; she’s also a mentally ill woman who has several personality disorders, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline, narcissism, and bipolar disorder. The first mental illness depicted in the film Mommie Dearest is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s an anxiousness condition characterized by compulsive thoughts about items that aren’t important to you.
She is extremely particular about how everything must be done and is constantly washing her hands. She also has a fear of germs and contamination, which leads her to compulsively clean herself and her environment. The next disorder that is displayed is borderline personality disorder, or BPD. This disorder is characterized by instability in moods, relationships, self-image, and behavior (Rathus 2010).
You see this disorder exhibited in Joan Crawford when she switches from being a loving mother to being an abusive mother in the blink of an eye. Her moods are very unpredictable and her outbursts are often unprovoked. The third disorder that is shown in Mommie Dearest is narcissism.
This disorder is characterized by excessive self-love or admiration and a lack of empathy for others (Rathus 2010). You see this disorder in Joan Crawford when she demands to be the center of attention and constantly puts herself first. The fourth and final disorder that is shown in Mommie Dearest is bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness. This disorder is characterized by severe mood swings from depression to mania (Rathus 2010).
In the movie, you see Joan Crawford go from being happy and loving to being angry and volatile in a very short amount of time. Each of these psychological disorders played a role in Joan Crawford’s life and caused her to behave in ways that were harmful to herself and those around her. If you are someone who is struggling with any of these disorders, it is important to get help. There are many resources available to you and with the right treatment, you can lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
She is obsessed with her appearance and has to make sure she cleanses herself thoroughly. Joan begins by washing her hands and face, which she first washes, rinses, and scrubs meticulously. It is an example of OCD since it is a repetitive and ritualistic behavior that helps to control her obsessive concern for cleanliness.
Joan’s compulsive need for order and cleanliness is also seen when she cleans her house in a second sequence. She goes from top to bottom cleaning her home and every other place in between. She must inspect each room after the maids have finished cleaning it to ensure that it meets with her standards of perfection.
This is another example of OCD. A third scene that displays her obsessive-compulsive disorder is when she is on the phone with her daughter Christina and she starts to berate her for not being a good enough daughter. She tells Christina that she is ugly and dumb, which triggers Christina’s low self-esteem. This is an example of narcissistic personality disorder because Joan has an inflated sense of self-importance and a lack of empathy for others.
Lastly, Joan has borderline personality disorder which is characterized by unstable moods, impulsivity, and chaotic relationships. For example, in one scene she is happy and loving towards Christina and then in the next scene she is screaming at her and calling her terrible names. This erratic behavior leads to difficulties in maintain close relationships.
Her relationship with Greg Savitt is a good example of borderline disorder in the movie. She came to him for everything, including adopting a child, and he made it happen. When she was in a slump in her acting career, she went to him for help getting the part she desired. But when they returned from dinner, she exploded on him for not being a gentleman to her, accusing all of her faults on him. Greg could no longer tolerate her continuous outbursts; therefore, he left her.
This showed that she had a disorder because she could not keep a man in her life for more than five minutes, and always needed someone to be there for her.
A second example of borderline disorder that is shown in the movie, is when she starts to date Douglas Babbitt. She was head-over-heels for him and even wanted to marry him, but he was not ready for marriage. When he told her this, she reacted by breaking all of his stuff and throwing it out of the apartment they were sharing.
She did this because she could not handle the fact that he did not want to marry her, and she blamed him for everything that was going wrong in her life. This showed that she had a disorder because she could not handle rejection and she would always react with violence.
Lastly, an example of narcissistic disorder is when she is writing her autobiography. She is only worried about how it will make her look in the eyes of others and does not care about the people that she has hurt along the way. This showed that she had a disorder because she was only thinking about herself and did not care about anyone else.
In conclusion, the movie “Mommie Dearest” gives insight into the life of a woman with multiple psychological disorders. These disorders include OCD, narcissistic personality disorder, and borderline personality disorder. While these disorders make her life difficult, she is still able to function relatively well and has a successful career. However, her personal relationships are strained due to her mental health issues. If you or someone you know is struggling with similar issues, please seek professional help.