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Fatal Attraction due to Borderline Personality Disorder

I watched Fatal Attraction for the first time this evening with my boyfriend. It was a pretty good movie; with a nice way of putting don’t cheat, it can ruin your life. One bad decision completely changed Dan’s, the main character, life. It was about a weekend affair Dan and Alex had even though he is a married man. Alex then shows a very abnormal side of her personality.

In my opinion, Glen Close’s character, Alex, is likely to have Borderline Personality Disorder. She appears to have unstable interpersonal relationships. She was alone most of the time in the movie. Family was never shown except for an obituary clipping of her father. She never went out with friends, even at the party she was sitting at the bar by herself. She has an unstable self-image and emotion/affect. She is a poised confident woman at some points, such as in the restaurant before the affair started, and then turns into a crumbling insecure girl the next when Dan is about to leave. She has abandonment issues. She did not like it when he was going to leave, even for a little bit. When he was away she wanted him to come back over. She had marked impulsivity. Having sex in the elevator was a very impulsive thing to do and so is cutting. I think that might have been a way to try and keep Dan from leaving, but besides being impulsive she is at a high risk of injuring herself.

She had rapid mood shifts and went from a happy mood to a negative mood fairly quickly. She was happy and enjoying life one minute but as soon as Dan wanted to leave she changed instantly. The symptoms she displays seem to mimic bipolar type II quite a bit. She had feelings of emptiness and being hallow/sad most of the time after the affair ended. She engaged in an affair, which is a high risk behavior. She was putting herself in a position that she is the other woman who will possibly break up a marriage and family. She could/did get pregnant and she could have even caught an STD from that type of behavior. She is not a stable person to be around. One minute she accepts that the affair over and just wants him to be a part of the baby’s life, the next she boils the pet rabbit, ruins his car, and kidnaps his daughter. She reacts very poorly/scary to loss of him in her life.

If I was a psychologist and Alex came into my office I would start with having her get a physical and take the mini-mental status exam. After that I would state that I’m here for her and this journey we will take together to get her better. I would try to make it clear that I won’t abandon her but we are going to have specific time frames to be together each week and she will have to respect the fact that when they are over she will see me again but she must leave. I would try to do the following treatments with her: Transference Focused Psychotherapy and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. Perhaps we would meet a couple times a week initially until improvements had been made to where we could meet once a week or so. Hopefully in due time and with the proper treatment she would get better and be able to live a “Normal” life.

Psychology ; Movies


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