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Sling Blade Essay

1256 words - 6 pages

Sling Blade – Mentally Challenged
Shannon Merritt
PSY 281 LN1
Professor Holly Schofield
March 28, 2012

Thesis: Stereotypes that misrepresent, mock, and trivialize mental illness should not be tolerated because they are hurtful as well as offensive; furthermore, they reinforce the stigma that discourages those who are ill from getting the help they need.

Karl Childers is a mentally-challenged man with a touch of simple goodness in him and a violent murderous background. He is very high functioning, very organized, and clearly knows the difference between right and wrong which leads me to believe that he might be slightly autistic. At the request of his father, Karl is in some way ...view middle of the document...

He was taught to believed that you if have to sacrifice to do the right then you should do it.
Karl had very little education because he dropped out of school because of the ridicule that came with his imperfections. His uneducated speech showed very much so that he himself was uneducated. Many of the town people looked at him as a “retard” and made fun of him by calling him these repulsive names, so Karl dropped out of school. He spent most his time in the shed where he learned the knack of small engine repair and lawn mowers. Even though he dropped out of school he seemed pretty intelligent in some sense. He read the bible in four years in the mental institution and he read many other books as well.
Upon his release from the mental hospital, Karl lands a job fixing lawn mowers and small engines in the town where he was born and raised. He immediately makes a connection with a young child by the name of Frank and his mother Linda. Frank accepts Karl for the way he is because Karl seems more childlike than he is a man. The two are inseparable and Karl came to have great empathy for this kid and his mother. He also makes friends with Vaughn and seemed to make a connection with a female worker from the dollar store. Karl was very uncertain around people he did not know and his weird behavior was revealed. His posture was bent-over, he rubbed his hands together repeatedly and echoed frequently “um-hmmm”
Karl has only been through one cycle of outpatient therapy treatment. He stint in this mental institution cost him twenty-five years for the killing of his mother and her lover in a fit of rage. This mental hospital was a controlled environment for Karl which kept him safe from harm others safe from him. After those long years there, the established order felt he had served his time and was not a threat to society anymore.
Humans are profoundly decent, and then they are tarnished by the environment. The theoretical speculation point of view about Karl is that his behavior was a learned behavior. His awful environment and the painful experiences he suffered through only shows why he had so much caged up behavior. Environmental experience, also called learned behavior, is the entire total of mostly all of life’s experiences that one individual has been subjected to in the past and to the recent experiences that will intrude on one’s behavior. Karl was simply a product of his own environment.

Axis I: 309.0 Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood

Axis II: 317 Mild Mental Retardation
Axis IV: Problems related to the social environment and Lack of primary support group

Axis V: Global Assessment Functioning = 80

Despite the difficulty in defining this diagnosis, the discomfort, distress, turmoil, and anguish to the patient are...

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