The Theme Of Mood Disorder


The Theme Of Mood Disorder In The Movie Silver Lining

The movie The Silver Lining is an adaptation of Matthew Quick’s novel. Fleetingly, the movie depicts the story of a man called Pat who has recently been discharged from a mental hospital after staying there for 8 months. Pat suffers from a mental disorder termed as bipolar disorder. Pat has suffered from this mental disorder for the most part of his life but it is only discovered when he catches his wife cheating on him and beats up the guy. It is through this irrational act that he realizes that he is actually mentally ill.


Once he is released from the mental institution, Pat moves back to his parent’s residence determined to win back his wife’s affection. The decision to leave the mental institution was not advised by his medical practitioner, but he did it anyway. All Pat focused on was sustaining a positive approach that his estranged wife will come back to him. The negative aspect about the aforementioned statement is that Pat was no longer under medication thus his plan would be marred with manic episodes.

Pat manages to accurately exhibit bipolar symptoms such as frequent outbursts and mood swings. Even though this was the case Pat reveals that such adverse actions he makes are not intentional.  A scene in the movie which clearly illustrates the above assertion is when Pat is at his doctor’s waiting room. He gets upset and throws a tantrum knocking over a rack full of magazines.

He immediately realizes that he has scared people in the vicinity and apologizes profusely for his overreaction. Shame and embarrassment are written all over Pat’s face. An individual is forced to have the perception that Pat has had the mental illness for a large part of his life; since the illness is revealed for the first time when he actually assaults the guy who is cheating on his wife with. In Pat’s case, the actual cause of his mental illness is not utterly recognized. However, issues such as environmental and neurochemical factors assume a decisive role in the progression of bipolar disorder.

The subsistence of the mental illness in Pat’s life had a huge impact on his life. The existence of a bipolar condition in Pat’s life manifested itself in a realistic and excruciatingly mundane way. Pat had frequent manic episodes in public places which is not a normal thing for other people. Nevertheless, Pat made an effort to cope with the current situation and he actually managed to channel his mania into jogs and rants about Hemingway. Pat spent most of his free time jogging around the neighborhood in an attempt to keep fit while wearing a garbage bag in order to induce sweating. Ultimately, Pat appears to be an individual who invokes appeal and daunting at the same time (Anderson, 2012).

Pat learned about his bipolar disorder while he was still committed to a mental institution which he was sent to after assaulting his wife’s lover. When Pat was released from the mental institution he returns to his parent’s home armed to the teeth with knowledge about his illness. However, this does not change the fact that he refused to take his medication until the moment he realized he was in love with Tiffany (a lady suffering from depression). Pat believed he had a mental illness since he admitted to it although citing that Tiffany was crazier than he is.

The movie reveals that mutual support should be accorded to every individual regardless of the subsistence of mental illness. The plot of the movie goes further to explain that once one is not afraid of mental illness and he/she does their best to make the disease known than the symptoms of the disease can be managed and the individual can live to his full potential. Pat received treatment in the form of therapy and pills. Once Pat started taking his medication consistently his health improved, thus elucidated that he was better off while taking his medication. Furthermore, the medication-assisted Pat to let go off his delusions.


The movie takes a realistic stand since it manages to portray the various aspects of mental illness. The movie adopts methods of treatment and symptoms that are consistent with what I learned in class. Symptoms like mood swings which are mentioned in class have been highlighted in the movie. Other factors such as the form of treatment Pat underwent are compliant to the treatment mentioned in class. Treatment in this movie was portrayed in the form of psychiatric assessment and taking pills in the form of antidepressants. Ultimately, the movie managed to capture a more humane experience of mental illness.




L.V. Anderson, (2012). Is Silver Linings Playbook Really About Mental Illness? <>

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