Psychological Assessment Coursework Example
The movie ‘3 Idiots’ is an Indian comedy-drama, shot in 2009. Most of the events take place in an imaginary Imperial College of Engineering, with its main characters being three freshmen (Farhan Qureshi, Raju Rastogi and Ranchhoddas Shamaldas Chhanchad nicknamed ‘rancho’) and the president of the College, Professor Viru, nicknamed ‘Virus’. The movie develops on a conflict of the college president and rancho, one of the freshmen. Rancho believes on should pursue excellence, not success, because success will always be guaranteed by excellence, an approach that Professor Viru refutes. His (the professor) belief can be inferred from believes of his favorite student, Chatur, who believes in mindlessly memorizing and cramming in order to ascend the cooperate ladder. Indeed, as the story reaches the climax towards its end, Rancho proves to his critics by being more successful as a result of passion for machines compared to his challenger, Chatur, who achieves less than rancho.
Professor Viru’s role is to represent the embodiment of perfectionist administration, afraid of change and external influence and indifferent to any other views other than what has been tested. Such an administration is always suspicious of anybody of contradicting opinion and may even resolve to use propaganda (like Professor Viru does when advising Raju to move in with Chatur) to distract any attention to such opinion.
The professor is suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. The following text seeks to show the signs giving away this diagnosis.
In definition, Obsessive –Compulsive Personality Disorder is a pervasive pattern where the individual is preoccupied with perfectionism, orderliness and mental control with no tolerance of flexibility, efficiency and openness. The character in reference, Professor Viru, exhibits many of these symptoms as I seek to show below.
During his first speech to the freshmen, Viru shows his unresolved conflict of many years; he has not met any student brilliant enough (in his 32 years of teaching) to inherit the astronaut pen he was awarded by his teacher as a sign of excellence. In other words, in since his graduation, no other student has ever been born who is brighter than he is. Indeed, even when riding his bicycle to the college, he does not withstand anybody overtaking him. Instead, he doubles his speed and overtakes him. He shows contempt for the less aggressive, advocates for ‘murder in survival for the fittest’ (when comparing two different birds), laments the inability of his son to qualify to the college even after three trials and ends by challenging the freshmen to win the astronaut pen. He is greatly infuriated when Rancho challenges his assertion that no other writing material (he says a pencil could do); at which he storms out of the gathering. This shows how contemptuous he was of any challenge by those he considered academically ‘immature’.
He is overtly preoccupied with rules, order, organization and schedules to an extent that the main purpose is forgotten. For instance, he has a habit of being shaved every lunch hour, irrespective of whether he has a long beard. The importance of this to the college is unclear. This pre-occupation leads to disagreements with both students and other personnel. His excessive devotion to work (anything concerning the college and its reputation) is astounding. He spends most of his time postulating how the college can be bettered, to an extent that he has no leisure activities, nor friends. His behavior actually leads to contempt from his family members, to an extent of his daughter accusing him of leading to his son’s death (because of demanding academic prowess that he could not achieve). It makes one more curious that his wife features nowhere, raising the question whether she might have left because of his obsessive behavior.
His demand for academic perfectionism reaches a climax when he obstinately tales one of his students that he would not graduate because he has not finished his project as directed. A plea from this student lands in deaf ears, and even after he commits suicide, Professor Viru is not moved; he attends the funeral with cold indifference, oblivious of his contribution.
Professor Viru is very reluctant to delegate tasks to others because he considers nobody strong and wise enough to do it his way. This is evident because he does not have a deputy, and is displayed throughout the movie as the only administrator. This, compounded with his rigidity and stubbornness earns him more enemies than friends; further isolating him from his own society. Finally, his adoption of a miserly spending style toward both himself and others and his viewing of money as something to be hoarded for future catastrophes make him a pathetic man. It is ridiculous to see a president of a college who has lectured for 32 years riding a bicycle to office. (Conway, Kevin 2005)
Multi-axial assessment of the character
In reference to axis 1 (which is reserved for clinical disorders, including developmental and learning disorders), Professor Viru can be diagnosed as suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This is because he displays a tendency to maintain the old order of things religiously without any proper reason to support it. Indeed, when rancho questions the college’s ambition to have many of its graduates in the U.S. instead of insisting on their excellence, Viru is infuriated and asks him if he thinks they will ever change the old method that has always kept the college’s reputation. Preserving the college’s reputation is his main preoccupation, though he does not know why.
In reference to axis 2, Viru is diagnosed to be suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder. This is because of his perpetual fear of making errors, fear that things will become disordered (accompanied by the need for order, specificity and symmetry). In addition, his overwhelming sense of doubt for others ability to work at his level and dread for any new idea that seems to change the existing order.
In reference to axis 3 (reserved for medical conditions and or physical conditions and disorders), Professor Viru’s diagnosis cannot be deduced since these entails taking measurement of some of his physiological parameters like hormones which are possible only for somebody who is physically present and willing. The fact that we rely on the movie to get the character of the imaginary ‘Viru’, this test cannot be done, but it is possible for real people suffering from the disorder.
In reference to axis 4 (referring to factors that affect or contribute to the current psychological disorder and treatment outcomes), Professor Viru can be said to be tormented by his own negative view of others which has strained his social life. In defense, he has further retreated to solitude, spending all his time thinking of college issues without sparing time for socializing. Thus, his main problem stems from his strained social life as a result of his deep mistrust of other peoples abilities and intentions.
In reference to axis 5 (reserved for global assessment functioning), Professor Viru ranks at 60. His overall performance level in usual daily activities and social, occupational, academic and interpersonal functioning is average. Of the above activities, he is most active in academic interactions and least active in social and interpersonal functioning (Zenko).
The condition in which Professor Viru is needs immediate action. His lack of good social relations means he has nobody to confide in when under pressure, predisposing him to burnout. In addition, his obsession with work can easily wear him out, given his advancing age. He needs urgent psychotherapy and medications. In his case, cognitive behavioral therapy is recommended, in which his thought patterns will be retrained and his routines changed so that compulsive behavior will no longer be necessary.
- Conway, Kevin P., et al. "Lifetime co-morbidity of DSM-IV mood and anxiety disorders and specific drug use disorders: results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions." Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (2006).
- Hirani, R. (Director). (2011). 3 idiots[Motion picture]. India: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.
- Zenko, Z. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.