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Psychology in Shutter Island Movie

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Shutter Island is a movie portrayal of mental health. It is psychologically thrilling and an intense movie which leaves me guessing. There are hints, but what’s, in the end, is a surprising one. Shutter Island is an island comprised of patients with mental illness that is being taken care of by psychiatrists, nurses, and other health teams. On this island, they are far away from society or they’re like being isolated. The patients here may have a chronic mental illness or with criminal cases but also mentally ill.

In the beginning, Teddy Daniels seems like a normal person, a highly respected officer, I can’t even assess him that he has a mental illness, the way he dresses, he speaks, he acts then until I saw something “unusual” with him. The first hint is that when Teddy asks for records of Rachel Solando but is denied. He does not understand why the officials will not hand over the records despite he is a marshal and is appointed to investigate. Second hint, his wife and his children appear in hallucinations and also in his dreams. In his dreams, he sees images from his past. Teddy served in World War II and encounter many traumatic experiences also. The third hint is the symptoms that I assessed, such as migraines, shaking, sensitivity to light, irritability, paranoia, hallucinations, mood swings.

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According to the article that I read, the psychiatrist debriefs that Teddy is suffering from Delusional disorder, a mixed type. Though I wasn’t clearly heard it I read some sites over the internet. It is a mixed type, which means a combination of grandiose and persecutory. When Teddy believes that he is a US marshal with a specialized mission therefore people should obey his request, this shows a grandiose type. While the persecutory type, when Teddy believes that they are controlling him by giving cigarettes and meds that have effects causing him to become weak, can be manipulated and included in the experiment.

I came up also with two interpretations in this movie. One is that the doctors is psychologically manipulating Teddy through giving meds therefore he couldn’t reveal the dark secret of the island, while the other one is that the 67th patient is Teddy. In the climax, it left me heartbreaking because the psychological disorder that causes him to be like that is due to his past in which his wife killed his three children knowing that he didn’t do anything to save them ‘coz it’s too late and end up killing also his beloved wife. But in the end, it left me speechless, when Teddy told Chuck his last words, “Which would be worse: to live as a monster or to die as a good man?” Though he is faking his acts but made me understand he doesn’t want to live with those memories, thinking about the past, not possibly hurt anyone else, and doesn’t want to risk repeating the cycle anymore.  


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