Where The Wild Things Are Psychology

Words: 2426
Pages: 10

Case Study Example |

Max - From the book: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak used by permission of the author, Maire Kennedy |

This paper explores a psychological case study on the character of Max from the film Where the Wild Things Are. By using various sources, it is asserted that Max may have suffered from a Brief Psychotic Break. This paper examines common diagnoses for children (ADHD, early acute schizophrenia), as well as treatment options. It will discuss making a diagnosis based on the DSM-IV criteria, as well as the importance of interviewing family members when it comes to childhood onset psychological disorders. It also discusses the various motivations for prescribing medication for children,
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He is currently coming in for one hour of therapy a week, and that seems to be a beneficial schedule.

During his therapy, we discussed in detail the night that he ran away from home. His hallucination was extremely vivid: he believes he saw, heard, and felt the Wild Things, as well as the water from the storm and the heat of the sun. It was a tactile immersive hallucination. The Wild Things he encountered seem to be representations of himself and his family (Peele 2009). While it may have been a psychotic break, it did start Max on a path of coming to terms with his home life.


Examining Max with the DSM-IV, I have ruled out several diagnoses that his mother was researching. I do not see that Max has ADHD, as he is not displaying six or more of the symptoms of inattention table and hyperactivity-impulsivity table (APA 86). It is true that he sometimes runs around excessively, and is easily distracted at times. However, he does not meet enough of the criteria for any form of ADHD – and this is looking at codes 314.00, 314.01 or 314.9 (APA 86-89). Another thing to note is that Max’s teachers report that he is a good student, who is quiet and attentive in the classroom, and spends the recess period running around with his classmates. Therefore, since he does not exhibit enough of the symptoms both at home and