In the recent New York
Magazine 2012 Emmy issue
, our TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz wrote about how
the best shows are essentially turning viewers into shrinks. But why not turn to an actual expert? We had UCLA-affiliated psychiatrist Paul Puri diagnose TV’s most compellingly mental anti-heroes — and prescribe the treatments that might ease their conditions (but make their Emmy-nominated shows less interesting).
Bipolar I, traits of borderline personality disorder.
Periods of depression and mania, delusional thoughts, lack of personal boundaries, emotional instability.
Mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics.
Mentalization-based therapy, “which helps you recognize mutually opposing beliefs in your head. Like, how do you process the fact that you’re studying this guy and you’re also sleeping with him?”
Mild depression, compartmentalization, self-sabotaging tendencies.
Suppressing parts of his personality, difficulty connecting with others, mild anger issues.
A low dose of antidepressants for a trial period.
Role-playing as part of a broader program of psychotherapy. “He might rehearse different scenarios and tease out the things that he does to sabotage his relationships.”that he lived, that didn’t really exist yet.”