This is one of my favorite movies of all time, and it stars my favorite actor, Jim Carrey. Here is a brief plot summary of the film. It starts with a very subtle mild mannered patrol officer called Charlie Baileygates ( Jim Carrey) getting married and having his wife leave him for the black limo driver, dropping three black kids in his lap. Charlie was such a pushover that he said that the kids were black because of his great grandmother, this is just an example of his gentile and gullible nature.
Eventually as the years past him by and his kids grew, a series of misfortunes stretched over decades built up within him a furious rage which finally erupts in the form of Hank Evans, his alter ego, his other personality if you will, as nice is Charlie was is how mean Hank became, he was the type of person who wouldn’t take anything from anyone, get into a fight against impossible odds even if he was going to loose just to hurt the other party, and even steal ice-cream from kids and growl at them when they cried!
Throughout the movie Hank appears whenever Charlie is hurt or in over his head to save the day, which is an example of Charlie running away from his inner demons, in the beginning it was either one or the other, Charlie or Hank who appears, but in the final scene they both appear taking over different parts of the body in a hilarious all out brawl over who should really own the body and who should disappear.
In the end, charley, driven by the love he felt for the woman he was supposed to be protecting, and fearing for her life when she is taken hostage, pushes himself out of his cocoon of safety and decides to take actions into his own hands, driving Hank away for good. What Charlie suffered from in this movie was a rude and violent split personality, caused by Advanced Delusionary Schizophrenia with involuntary Narcissistic rage. That is the mental disorder I will be talking about in this paper.
I will begin by splitting the diagnosis in half and talking about Schizophrenia first, then the narcissistic rage, and finally how the two go together. Schizophrenia is defined as a serious mental illness characterized as a loss of cognitive analysis, contact with reality, and a lack in emotional responsiveness. It commonly results in delusions and paranoia resulting in severe social and professional dysfunction for the individual, it is extremely rare and only affects about 1. 5% of the worlds population, targeting mainly young adults.
Diagnosis is given based on the patients testimony and through several personality tests, there is no clinical laboratory test for Schizophrenia. Put simply Schizophrenia is a split personality disorder where the afflicted individual seemingly has two different personalities; some can be very extreme such as the case of Charlie. To the more spiritual Schizophrenia might seem like two souls inhabiting the same body, two very different beings, life forces, living in the same shell, battling over its dominance.
There are five main types of Schizophrenia, mainly paranoid, which is where delusions and hallucinations are present, but thought disorder and lack emotional responsiveness are not, secondly, disorganized, where thought disorder and the flat effect (no emotional reactivity) are both present. Thirdly there is the catatonic type, where the individual might sit still and no nothing for extensive periods of time or display agitated fidgeting.
Fourth is the undifferentiated type, which implies that the psychotic demeanors are present but the criteria for the first three types have not been met, and finally there is simple Schizophrenia which is when delusions and thought disorder are present but in a very low concentration. Charlie was the paranoid type, as hank only came out when something bad was happening but both himself and hank could process everything like normal people, but in different ways.
Delusions and hallucinations were present, but they were certainly not lacking in the areas of cognitive thinking (they could both plan escape routes and plans of action very efficiently), disorganized behavior (Hank was a bit psychotic but that was his nature), or emotional reactivity (they both fell in love with the same woman but only Hank (the bad boy) got laid! ) Secondly there is narcissistic rage, which is defined as a violent reaction to narcissistic injury, or attacks on a person’s image of self-worth or self esteem.
Normally when a narcissist is under attack and feels like their image is being demeaned, their first reaction is one of rage in an attempt to bring down their attackers own self-image in order to feel better about their own. It’s the narcissist’s self defense mechanism against injuries to their self worth and should not be confused with anger, although the two are very similar there is a major difference, what might ause narcissistic rage to a narcissist, will not result in anger from a person not suffering from this disorder ( I think I might have it! f**k! ) …. (Ok now I know I have it because I’m really angry that I have it! Goddamnit! I’m a crackhead! Excuse the language I’m a bit flustered…. wow… narcissistic rage… who would have guessed? You were right! ). Another cause of narcissistic rage is when the narcissist is being prevented from achieving their ‘grandiose fantasies’ such as getting an A on a paper, totally hypothetical example!
I did not understand these terms when I watched the movie over and over again, but now I see how the two work together hand in hand in order to make this dynamic duo of Charlie and Hank. Charlie was the pushover and he kept holding everything in, one day he finally snapped (this is where the narcissistic rage comes in) but being the person he was he could not do anything about it. Research has shown that episodes of narcissistic rage can actually trigger Schizophrenia! And this is where Hank comes in to make his grand appearance, as Charlie’s way of relieving his anger.
Now that I think about it, every single time Charlie became Hank he was demeaned in some way, people made fun of him, he got knocked out, the machine robbed him, whenever he was about to get into a fight or confrontation, or if he was ever loosing one, his narcissistic rage would kick in and Hank would come out to save the day. In the final scenes when his loved one is taken hostage, even when he was already beaten, he was too scared to run away and leave her alone, he wanted to save her, he screamed out “I’m not running away anymore! intended for Hank who was holding his leg hostage because he wanted to be let out, at that moment Hank was gone forever, Charlie stood up for himself and faced his demons, the ones he was fleeing from the beginning of the movie, no longer bottling up his fears or confrontations but instead facing then head on, his narcissistic rage was gone, an with that the trigger for his Schizophrenia, and Hank.