Girl Interrupted Character Analysis

Borderline personality disorder is characterized by intense shifts in mood. This is often accompanied by periods of intense aggression, substance abuse, and self damaging behaviors. People with borderline personality disorder will sometimes attempt suicide impulsively in periods of extreme depression or anger. Often times people with borderline personality disorder feel extremely bored, empty, mistreated and alone. Intense feelings of loneliness usually are followed by frantic efforts to avoid being alone.

Suzanne is initially institutionalized for taking a bottle of aspirin with a bottle of vodka.

She claims that she was not trying to kill herself, but only get rid of a headache. At the beginning Suzanne claimed that she had no bones in her hand. This fits more with a delusional disorder. Suzanne often exhibits spontaneous damaging behavior that is mainly sexual. Other spontaneous behaviors include breaking out of the hospital, stealing her medical files, and not taking medication. She also aids in drugging a nurse and steals a guitar from the art room to help cheer up another patient.

Spontaneous dangerous behavior is one of the major signs of borderline personality disorder.

Suzanne has strange ideas about her symptoms and diagnosis, the major example being the bones in her hand disappearing and then reappearing. She often seeks to be alone; shows many social anxieties around people and had a lack of close friends on outside of the hospital. These symptoms go along with schizotypal personality disorder. Contradictions to the possible schizotypal personality disorder would include that she is sometimes the “life of the party” which falls in line more with borderlines.

She also desperately seeks male attention leading to her promiscuous sexual behavior that goes against the seeking of complete isolation often exhibited by others with scizotypal personality disorder. Her social anxieties are not clear in the movie and it is unknown whether they are because of negative feelings about her or whether she has paranoid fears.

Despite the schizotypal possibility it is more likely that she has borderline personality disorder. This is because she clearly exhibits the majority of the signs of someone with borderline personality disorder including self destructive behavior, feelings of emptiness, intense shifts in mood lasting only a short period of time, consistent suicide ideation, feelings of “rejection and not fitting in.” Even the schizotypal symptoms can be explained by borderline personality disorder. People with borderline personality disorder often have odd thinking, quasipsychosis, and unusual perceptions. Although Suzanne showed symptoms of many types of disorders, the Borderline that she was diagnosed with was the most fitting and prevelant in her actions in the movie.