Reviewing Mental Disorders with a Reverent Understanding of the Macabre

Reviewing Mental Disorders with a Reverent Understanding of the Macabre (REDRUMTM) is a psychopathology course taught in the Department of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, NJ. REDRUMTM reviews the full spectrum of adult mental disorders within a comprehensive curriculum based on horror films. Our course runs over the academic year and is divided into 3 modules. For an overview of our course, click here. If you would like the grizzly details about the films we watch and discuss, click on the links below and follow @ATobiaMD and @Dr-Gram_675.

Module 1: Beyond the Vail (Necromancy)

Beyond the Vail is our first module where learners analyze films depicting the corporeal undead. Examples from film include subgenres such as ghost stories and accounts of spirit (demonic) possession.

A. Campfire Tales: Ghost Stories

Topic: Cognitive Disorders (Delirium)

Topic: Mood Disorders

B. Accounts of Spirit (Demonic) Possession

Topic: Major Neurocognitive Disorder (Duma Key written by Stephen King)

Topic: Eating & Feeding Disorders (Carrie, 1976)

Topic: Psychotic Disorders (The Shining, 1980)

Topic: Dissociative Disorders (Stephen King’s It, 2017)

Module 2: The Classic Monsters

Our second module links five psychiatry topics to five iconic monsters in filmography. Examples include Frankenstein and Dracula teaching personality theory and the Personality Disorders, respectively.

Topic: Personality Theory & Disorders

Topic: Impulse Control Disorders

Topic: Culture-Bound Syndromes

Topic: Substance Use Disorders

Module 3: The Cabin in the Woods (The Slashers)

Our final module links five psychiatry topics to five ‘80s slasher films. One example includes New Jersey’s own Jason Voorhees teaching the Substance-Induced Disorders.

Topic: Substance-Induced Disorders

Topic: Anxiety Disorders

Topic: Sleep Disorders

Topic: Sexual Disorders

Topic: Somatic Symptom Disorders

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