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Published: 28-09-2019

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Black Swan Abnormal Psychology

The planet of ballet is extremely competitive and is identified to subject dancers to intense pressures in order to turn into perfect for their roles. Dancers are exposed to several internal and external forces that can prove to produce an incredibly stressful atmosphere: there is a demand to hold a slim but toned figure, continual competitors from other dancers in one’s company, as well as the endeavor for perfection in their on-stage performances. Black Swan, directed by Darren Aronofsky, is a film that follows Nina Sayers (Natalie Portman), a skilled ballerina who lands the significantly-coveted function of the Swan Queen. While preparing for the role, it is evident that she is the excellent embodiment of the White Swan: innocent, fragile, and pure. Nevertheless, the principal challenge of the film is that Nina struggles to play the Black Swan, a character who is dark, enticing, and seductive. The film follows her transition into learning how to become the Black Swan and can also be seen as a metaphor for each the physical and psychological challenges that a single have to endure in order to attain artistic perfection. Whilst Black Swan is a compelling psychological thriller that explores the sacrifices that need to be made in order to obtain artistic excellence, it is also a film that skillfully portrays Natalie Portman’s character experiencing several symptoms that can be diagnosed into many psychological issues like obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia nervosa, and paranoid schizophrenia.

All through the film, Nina suffers from a range of symptoms which could warrant a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Several occasions in the course of the movie, Nina expresses her obsession to be ideal. In the course of rehearsal, Thomas explains, “In the 4 years every single time you dance I see you obsessed receiving every and every move completely right” (Black Swan, 2010). Nina explains her exceptional discipline by saying “I just want to be excellent. (Black Swan, 2010). Nina’s obsession with perfection is reinforced in that even though she is an exemplary dancer, she focuses so intensely on the technical elements of her art that she can no longer ‘feel’ it. Even as she is dying at the finish of the film, she makes it a point to inform Thomas “I felt it. Best. I was ideal.” (Black Swan, 2010).

It is also essential to consider that Nina’s scratching and other self-harming behaviors are likely compulsions to decrease her anxiousness. She is seen to scratch her back following stressful events such as following dance rehearsals and following beratement from other individuals in her organization. In reality, this compulsion is so serious that Nina’s mother was forced to place socks on her hands to avert her from scratching herself during her sleep. Defined by unreasonable thoughts and repetitive behaviors, OCD relates psychological distress to anxiety. Nina’s scratching behaviors reflects the emotional tension as properly as the anxiousness that final results from her slow descent into insanity as the demands of the function drastically weigh down on her.

Additionally, Nina also exhibits symptoms indicative of anorexia nervosa. Whilst being a expert ballet dancer puts her at an enhanced threat of developing anorexia, there a quantity of scenes exactly where Nina is seen to be inducing herself to vomit in the bathroom. Even though it remains ambiguous as to whether or not she is vomiting since of external stresses or to maintain her weight light, the movie implies that following vomiting Nina is relieved from her anxiousness. Her extremely thin figure as nicely her preoccupation with perfectionism also point to her becoming anorexic. Nina’s morbid fear of weight gain is ideal observed by means of her dramatic refusal to eat a mere slice of cake right after landing the function of the Swan Queen as effectively as when she apprehensively stares at a little grapefruit. Nina’s competitive occupation as well as the strain she faces from both her mother and director shows how her atmosphere is a prominent element that led her to develop such symptoms.

In addition to OCD and anorexia, Nina experiences a wonderful number of vivid and visceral hallucinations and delusions which hint towards her being a paranoid schizophrenic. Nina’s delusions that Lily (Mila Kunis) is out to get her and steal the lead function is produced overt when Thomas makes Lily the alternate for Swan Queen. Nina starts to see Lily’s face on herself and others. Her psychotic episodes usually involve sexual themes which parallel the character of the Black Swan. These contain dramatic hallucinations where Nina has sex with Lily even though Lily claimed to have left the party with one more man and Lily obtaining sex with Thomas whilst Nina is at dance rehearsal. Lastly, in the third act of the film, Nina experiences yet another psychotic episode on the show’s opening night exactly where she finds Lily in her dressing space. Nina in the end stabs Lily, killing her. In a turn of events, it is later revealed that Lily was just yet another hallucination and in reality, Nina stabbed herself. Even though investigation shows a lot of causes for the development of schizophrenia, Nina’s stressful life circumstances including obtaining and preparing for the part of the Swan Queen, an overbearing and manipulative mother who is suffocating her, and abuse from house and at perform leaves her vulnerable to these symptoms.

Even though it is not explicitly shown in the movie when Nina developed these symptoms, it is safe to assume that her OCD as nicely as her anorexia symptoms began when she was a youngster largely in part to her mother’s efforts to make her a popular ballerina after she had to give up on her career in order to raise Nina. Furthermore, Nina’s psychotic episodes and schizophrenic symptoms appear to have begun after she started preparing for the part of the Swan Queen. As a outcome of these issues, Nina is left alienated from the other dancers. She is distrusting of every person around her, like those who are also in her dance organization, focusing solely on dance and her pursuit of perfection. As aforementioned, Nina’s psychotic episodes make her especially wary of Lily and her achievable ulterior motives.

While personally I do not like to get involved in other people’s businesses, I feel that if it had been in my spot, I would inform Nina that it is good to immerse herself in the character of the Black Swan, but not at the expense of possibly harming herself and jeopardizing her future. In addition, she must try to finally distance herself type her oppressive mother due to the fact she is holding her back on a developmental level. Society would probably respond to Nina much like the other members in her dance business currently does: maintaining their distance and avoiding any close relationships. To be completely sincere, I cannot see myself operating or living with folks so preoccupied with perfection that it is ultimately hazardous and prevents them from forming any meaningful relationships. Whilst it is essential to do the best you can in all that you set out to do, it is not worth sacrificing meaningful bonds and purposeful communication with other people.

Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan is a film with really robust visual and auditory elements that allowed the viewer to comprehend the experiences that Nina is going through. Even though the symptoms may possibly have been exaggerated, the film presents a vivid portrayal of obsessive-compulsive disorder, anorexia nervosa, and schizophrenia. Moreover, there was substantial character development that laid a solid foundation for these psychological symptoms.
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