Archies Final Project: Mood Disorders

Subject: Psychiatry
Pages: 8
Words: 2240
Reading time:
9 min
Study level: PhD


The movie, Archies Final project, gives a clear analysis of the mood disorder that Archie Williams goes through. This paper offers an experience in employing clinical proficiency in diagnosis and conceptualization while watching a cinematic portrayal of a disorder, in addition to the deliberation of whether such portrayal impacts stigma.

Client presentation

Archies Final project begins with a scene that employs a green screen together with animation after which the audience is presented with a polished multimedia appearance that excellently illustrates the anguished and jammed psychological state of Archie. Depression is a condition of the mind in which patients feel sad and unworthy. In clinical views, certain cognitive tasks of alertness, speech, memory, mental synthesis, and conceptual reasoning are the most pertinent. Psychologists get an opportunity to understand the client’s problem in terms of social and family concerns. An assessment of the mental health condition collects valuable information concerning the past and current health along with substance abuse issues of a client (Padesky & Greenberger, 2012). As a result, medical problems’ evaluation and public interactions with the patient can be achieved through extensive interviews (T3 Resources, 2013). This depicts that understanding the behavior of a psychotic client is hard and requires the intervention of many to measure the real issue observed.

A clinical psychologist must be in a position to assess the conduct of a client to discern the actual status and treatment facilities required, for instance, interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) is a concept applied by medical practitioners to treat mood disorders. (Dugas & Robichaud, 2007). The main character in the movie is Williams, a student who contemplates suicide. In the second scene, Archie Williams is described as being an unfortunate boy who spends most of his life solving personal problems. He announces to the class that he would make a film committing suicide, which forms the basis of later scenes that describe his bipolar disorder. Archie’s life was negatively affected by talks going on in the surroundings about his attempted suicide.


A mental disorder is a condition in which a patient is diagnosed with some influence of the mind due to certain pressures like a failure. From the movie, Archie Williams’ cause of wanting to commit suicide is mundane. For instance, he believes that his parents disregard him (Craddock & Forty, 2006). His mother was a lawyer that ended up sacrificing her career due to pregnancy while his father spends most of the time in his chicken-based junk food business. Archie nonchalantly declares his plans in the classroom and these calls for the intervention of health representatives and a stay in the nuthouse for 3 days before constant counseling. In the nuthouse, Archie teases a doctor with comical overutilization of a particular crude slang term.

Mood disorders are concerned with the issues of mind thus signs and symptoms can be observed clearly (Simon, Bauer, Ludman, Operskalski, & Unützer, 2007). For example, Archie Williams presents significant signs that support his mood disorder condition, thus calling for prompt medical attention. Patients with mood disorder manifest sustained sadness as well as unexplained weeping, major shifts in appetite and sleep patterns, high level of temper, fury, worry, protest, anxiety, lost interest, loss of energy, guilt, and feeling worthless. It is also probable that victims make hasty decisions, alienate themselves from social practices, and get suicidal thoughts.

Mood disorder is accurately displayed in the film though Williams does not show all the possible symptoms of the disorder. From the aforementioned symptoms of mood disorder, Archie Williams portrays high levels of fury from the fact that he believes his parents have ignored him. In this regard, he decides to show protest with his suicidal thoughts. At one time he told the class that he contemplated killing himself in front of the camera (Pope, Dudley, & Scott, 2007). The desire of Williams to commit suicide and the reality that everyone is aware of it attracts the interest of Sierra (Archie Williams’ girlfriend), and she also wants to commit suicide. Archie Williams had made a vicious decision that called for mandatory counseling.

Literature Review

Etiology Formulation

Archie Williams is much talked about in school after declaring his intentions of committing suicide in the final video project that the class was to undertake. Following the disclosure of this plan, doctors, parents, counselors, schoolmates, and his girlfriend descend on Williams with some of these people wanting to help him, copy him, or just push him to do it. Like in the case of Williams, mood disorder affects a large group of people (Matsubara, Funato, Kobayashi, Nobumoto, & Watanabe, 2006). The patients experience shifts in bodily and mental activities resulting from discontentment and failure. In this regard, various models have been brought into play such as the DSM-IV-TR symptom analysis (Sperry, 2006).

A mental health care practitioner ought to practice sound observation and listening skills to realize the goals of attending to a depressed client (Ansorge, Hen, & Gingrich, 2007). This is because most people with mental conditions do not accept it due to fear of stigma. A clinical psychologist should assume a patient with several mood disorder symptoms to be depressed and hence treat him or her accordingly until such a time that the report proves otherwise. This allows the practitioner to assess the unexplained symptoms shown by a client for a mood disorder at the expected level of care and safety (Craddock & Forty, 2006). In case a patient has a high number of somatic ailments, it is most likely that he or she has mood disorders. The other clues include persistent worries as well as medical concerns of patients complaining of anxious feelings and outright panic.

A cautious historical evaluation of the present and past medical record, in addition to the various social and family issues, review crucial information for preparing the diagnosis. In the movie, the psychologist among the people preventing Williams from committing suicide could take the opportunity to understand that he, the client, was traumatized by his final project in school (T3 Resources, 2013). The practitioner should seek to understand the patient’s changed moods by assessing past and current mental stress and activities. The state of mind signifies the range of emotions and personal feelings created by the mood in which an individual is in. Personal feelings and emotions vary from time to time depending upon various aspects such as attention, concentration, interests, and innate concepts (Pope et al., 2007). Additionally, the state of experiencing hunger, sleepiness, and sexual pleasure, pain along a high level of anxiety or motivation can affect one’s mood. On the contrary, patients might depict signs of lost interest and pleasure in activities as well as the people they are used to liking. This leads to total frustrations, which otherwise result in suicidal feelings and social conflicts.

The psychosocial theory proposes that feelings of loss can cause the disorder particularly through trauma and parental loss. If individuals experience great losses as Williams did in his final project, they are more vulnerable to mood disorders. These losses could also include the loss of finances, parents, love from others, in addition to self-pride, due to the happening of an activity. The biological theory states that mood disorders can be episodic while permissive theory suggests that the disorder arises from family predispositions. It is also crucial to mention that depression impairs cognitive function. This is observable when patients lose focus while watching a television program or reading a book. On the latter, a patient may seem to concentrate on the same page over a long time without comprehending the concepts. This shows a loss of memory, thereby calling for psychiatric attention to regain the distorted cognition. Severe cognitive damage on account of depression is known as pseudo-dementia, though it is more observable in elderly populations. Psychomotor activeness is generally lessened in mood disorder patients by slowing down speech, motor movements, and thinking (Green, 2006).

Mood disorders can be characterized by persistent tears and endless anxiety. Mood disorder patients often complain about the sleeping disorder, feelings of guilt, sadness, and unsound level of anxiety owing to simple actions. This extends to self-criticisms and feelings of worthlessness due to past events such as failed examinations or broken relationships. This results in hopelessness ensuing in suicidal ideations. From the movie, it is evident that the origin and maintenance of mood disorder is the conception that the condition is medical rather than an individual’s fault and that it is related to life situations (Kelly & Jorm, 2007). Therefore, psychosocial research on mood disorders enables clinicians to apply IPT to treat and maintain the condition.

Past medical observation of patients suffering from mood disorders is important for medical practitioners who might be dealing with a lapsing episode. The proper inquiry into previous cases of bipolar disorder is significant for proper diagnosis and treatment. If the condition gets to repeated suicide attempts, the health care practitioner should question matters regarding suicide attempts, alcoholism, violent cases, and patients’ access to firearms, cause of mood disorder, and the social support afforded by the community. The patient might also be involved in preparatory activities such as preparing suicidal notes or else giving away personal belongings (Townend et al., 2007). Productive treatment of mood disorders begins with a careful assessment of the client. The three phases that follow psychiatric management include an acute phase that takes about 9 weeks, a continuation phase about 19 weeks on average, and the maintenance phase that observes cases of recurrent depressive episodes. There should be a continued therapeutic alliance as well as appraisals to monitor the patients’ welfare. In the acute phase, antidepressant medications are initiated to control the behavior of a client before a reassessment of the diagnosis to give further directions on the medication.

Origins of Mood Disorder

Mood disorders develop from behavioral changes in which the mind is said to be disturbed. The resultant distress affects the normal development or cultural conduct of the involved parties. Mental illness denotes psychopathology that influences the problematic patterns of judgment, feelings, and conducts that interrupt an individual’s working, logical, and social well-being. In America, about 40 million persons suffer anxiety disorders while 12 million of them suffer Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. These mental conditions originate from instructive ideas, images, and opinions that interfere with the mind setting (Kelly & Jorm, 2007). Several events are said to trigger bipolar disorder, including life experiences along with social factors. However, the condition appears mostly in late adolescence or else early adulthood when one has many activities to think about. Research suggests that the causative factors include genetic elements, the level of brain activity as well as environmental variables.

Traumatic life events would likely trigger mood disorders due to the distressing conditions people experience. For instance, if an individual is forced into a stressful environment that has negative life interactions; he or she is more vulnerable to developing bipolar disorder. For instance, Williams’ final project led to his suicidal thought. It is argued that families displaying high characterization of bipolar disorder easily extend the same to potential targets. The theory behind developing mood disorders rests on abnormal brain operation. However, studies done have failed to identify the genes that increase the chance of an individual getting the disorder. There is only a 9-16% probability that a child would develop a mood disorder if the parents suffer from the same (Green, 2006). Psychologically, mood disorder is caused by traumatic events in one’s life, such as the environment in which a person is brought up. In the social view, the mood disorder can be let in by death, a lost friendship, and tragic occurrences. I speculate that Archie developed the disorder due to social and psychological reasons.


Mental illness affects a large group of people, many of whom do not appreciate the condition. Most people that do not seek medical attention refrain due to social stigmatization, but suffer within themselves (Kelly & Jorm, 2007). The resulting mental change influences an individual’s thinking, feelings as well as to conduct. Stigma is grouped into two, including geopolitical and socio-political. Stigma is discussed based on societal avoidance by the mentally ill who refrain from public places. The refrain results in fear, prejudice, or criticism due to the mental disorder ailing a person. The worst of all is that mood disorder drives one into concealment, seclusion, vulnerability, dejection, and in the end suicidal missions. Therefore, the only weapon to mental illness is urgent medical attention as well as awareness campaigns to enhance counseling and support services by the society (Kelly & Jorm, 2007). The media campaigns should be aimed at eliminating the ‘us’ and ‘them’ feelings that often result in dire outcomes. In the film, the media, Facebook and Twitter, are used to encourage teenagers to share their experiences in an attempt to prevent suicide. Society should refrain from negative media influences such as Williams’ suicide attempt on camera. The movie, Archies Final Project, is significant in fighting suicide as being an ‘Archie’ gives the message that one is not alone. Archie films every instance in his high school life experiences right from drugs, violence, and sex that can be linked to most suicidal cases among teenagers in society today.


Archies final project accurately portrays mood disorder and an experience in employing clinical proficiency in diagnosis and conceptualization of the disorder. Mood disorder affects very many people across the globe. There is thus the need for further research for the eradication or minimization of the disorder.


Ansorge, M. S., Hen, R., & Gingrich, J. A. (2007). Neurodevelopmental origins of depressive disorders. Current opinion in pharmacology, 7(1), 8-17.

Craddock, N., & Forty, L. (2006). Genetics of affective (mood) disorders. European Journal of Human Genetics, 14(6), 660-668.

Dugas, M. J., & Robichaud, M. (2007). Cognitive-behavioral treatment for generalized anxiety disorder: From science to practice. Florida: CRC Press.

Green, M. F. (2006). Cognitive impairment and functional outcome in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 67(10), 12.

Kelly, C. M., & Jorm, A. F. (2007). Stigma and mood disorders. Current Opinion in Psychiatry, 20(1), 13-16.

Matsubara, T., Funato, H., Kobayashi, A., Nobumoto, M., & Watanabe, Y. (2006). Reduced glucocorticoid receptor α expression in mood disorder patients and first-degree relatives. Biological psychiatry, 59(8), 689-695.

Padesky, C. A., & Greenberger, D. (2012). Clinician’s guide to mind over mood. New York: Guilford Press.

Pope, M., Dudley, R., & Scott, J. (2007). Determinants of social functioning in bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorders, 9(1‐2), 38-44.

Simon, G. E., Bauer, M. S., Ludman, E. J., Operskalski, B. H., & Unützer, J. (2007). Mood symptoms, functional impairment, and disability in people with bipolar disorder: specific effects of mania and depression. The Journal of clinical psychiatry, 68(8), 1237-1245.

Sperry, L. (2006). Cognitive behavior therapy of DSM-IV-TR personality disorders: Highly effective interventions for the most common personality disorders. Florida: CRC Press.

T3 Resources. (2013). Web.

Townend, B. S., Whyte, S., Desborough, T., Crimmins, D., Markus, R., Levi, C., & Sturm, J. W. (2007). Longitudinal prevalence and determinants of early mood disorder post-stroke. Journal of clinical neuroscience, 14(5), 429-434.