Textbook

Psychiatry for Actors: Building a Character Using Psychiatric Principles is a textbook for helping actors, directors, and playwrights in creating characters in plays and films.

The textbook is based upon Dr. Fidler’s 30 years of experience of teaching medical students, teaching psychiatry residents, teaching acting students, coaching actors, and writing and directing plays and films.

The textbook is available through Fate Publishing Inc. and can be ordered from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Indie Bound, and Lulu. Price $25.00.

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The table of contents are listed below.

• Knowing What Our Characters Do Not Know: Building Preconscious Memories to Substitute for Characters’ Unconscious Influences
• The Unconscious as the Actor’s Friend
• How Body Movements Reveal Unconscious Wish Fulfillment and Psychopathology

Storytelling Bodies
Kissing Hands
Uncomfortable Hands
Sexual Hands
Depressed, Anxious, Manic, Psychotic Hands
Shuffling Feet
Other Foot Movements
Head Movements

• A Few Basic Acting Concepts

Entrances Are Not Simple
People Work to Hide Psychopathology
There Are No Pure Angels and Devils
Do Not Perform Psychotherapy on Characters
Moods Can Be Lies
Anger and Whining are Not Profound Choices
Guns and Swords Kill
Mental Illnesses Are Real

• Normal Psychological Phenomena

Imaginary Audience
Confessions
Family Romance
Triangulation
Revenge
Imitative Magic (Sympathetic Magic)
Identification with the Aggressor
Talking to Self

• Personality Expression

Inherited Traits
Culturally Influenced Phenomena
Upstairs-Downstairs Class Differences

• Humans Connections: Emotions, Language, and Attachment
• Emotions

Thinking in Emotions: A Normal Trait
Impact of Mental Illnesses Upon Emotions
Challenges of Unhealthy Emotions
Impact of Environments Upon Emotions
Actors’ Physiology Interfering with Performances

• Language: How Emotions Come First
• Attachment
• Coping and Defenses
• Simple Defenses

Suppression
Denial
Acting Out
Displacement
Splitting
Repression
Intellectualization
Humor
Sublimation

• Complex Defenses and Component Acting

Projection
Reaction Formation
Repetition Compulsion

• Human Development
• Erik Erikson Stages
• Jean Piaget Stages
• Margaret Mahler Stages
• Sigmund Freud Stages
• Lawrence Kohlberg Stages
• Developmental Regression and Arrest
• Psychiatric Symptoms and Disorders
• Moods, Depressive Disorders, and Bipolar Disorders

Sadness
Normal Grief
Pathological Grief
Depressive Disorders

• Major Depressive Disorder
• Persistent Depressive Disorder

Bipolar Disorders (Depression and Mania)

• Anxiety Disorders

Common Anxiety Symptoms
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Panic Disorder
Specific Phobia
Agoraphobia

• Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder

• Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders

Psychosis
Hallucinations
Delusions
Schizophrenia

• Positive Symptoms
• Negative Symptoms

Catatonia in Schizophrenia
Hebephrenia in Schizophrenia
Emotions in Psychoses
Directions for Actors Portraying Psychoses

• Delusions
• Auditory Hallucinations
• Visual Hallucinations and Illusions
• Other Types of Hallucinations
• Ambivalence
• Negative Symptoms
• Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders

Ruling Out Malingering and Factitious Disorder
Somatic Symptom Disorder
Illness Anxiety Disorder
Conversion Disorder (Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder)
Factitious Disorder

• Trauma- and Stressor-Related Disorders

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Adjustment Disorder

• Dissociative Disorders
• Personality Disorders

Paranoid
Schizoid
Schizotypal
Narcissistic
Histrionic
Borderline
Antisocial
Obsessive-Compulsive
Dependent
Avoidant
Other Personality Disorders Considerations: Passive-Aggressive Personality Disorder

• Mild and Major Neurocognitive Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities

Mild and Major Neurocognitive Disorders

• Etiologies (Alzheimer’s, Strokes, HIV, etc.)
• Delirium
• Mild and Major Neurocognitive Disorder Due to Traumatic Brain Injury
• Acute Symptoms from Mild Head Injuries
• Acute Symptoms from Serious Head Injuries
• Intellectual Disabilities (also called Intellectual Development Disorder)
• Chronic Symptoms of Prolonged Neurocognitive Disorders and Intellectual Disabilities

Personality Changes and Emotional Symptoms
Word-Finding Difficulty and Retrieval Failure

• Substance Use

Introduction
Ethanol (Alcohol)
Tobacco
Marijuana (Cannabis)
Cocaine
Opiates and Opioids
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD or “Acid”)
A Fascinating Case of Infamous LSD Research
Club Drugs/Party Pills/Rave Drugs/Designer Drugs
Final Thoughts about Actors Portraying Substance Use

• Treatment
• A Brief History of Treatments for Mental Illness

Pre-Professional Psychiatry
The Professionalism of Psychiatry and Evolution of Treatments
Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
Psychiatric Medications (Psychopharmacology)
Magnetic Stimulation

• Treatment Side Effects

Antipsychotic Medications
Antidepressant Medications
Electro-Convulsive Therapy (ECT)