What Is Wrong With Lisa in Girl Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted is a 1999 film based on the memoir of the same name by Susanna Kaysen. The film follows the story of Susanna, a young woman who is admitted to a mental institution in the 1960s after a suicide attempt. While in the institution, Susanna befriends a group of other young women, including Lisa, who is one of the most enigmatic and troubled characters in the film.

Lisa, played by Angelina Jolie, is a charismatic and unpredictable figure in the mental institution. She is known for her rebellious behavior, sharp wit, and disregard for authority. Despite her charm, Lisa is also deeply troubled and struggles with a number of mental health issues. Throughout the film, it becomes clear that there is something seriously wrong with Lisa, but the exact nature of her illness remains ambiguous.

So, what is wrong with Lisa in Girl, Interrupted? Here are nine interesting facts about her character and the issues she faces:

1. Borderline Personality Disorder: In the film, it is suggested that Lisa may have borderline personality disorder. This is a mental health condition characterized by unstable moods, behavior, and relationships. People with borderline personality disorder often have a distorted sense of self, fear of abandonment, and difficulty regulating their emotions.

2. History of trauma: Lisa’s behavior in the film suggests that she may have a history of trauma or abuse. Trauma can have a profound impact on a person’s mental health and can lead to a range of issues, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

3. Substance abuse: Lisa is shown to have a history of substance abuse in the film. Substance abuse is often linked to mental health issues, as people may use drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with their symptoms. Substance abuse can also exacerbate existing mental health conditions and make it harder for people to get the help they need.

4. Impulsivity: Lisa’s behavior in the film is marked by impulsivity and risk-taking. People with borderline personality disorder often struggle with impulsivity, which can lead to reckless behavior and difficulty controlling their actions.

5. Manipulative behavior: Lisa is a master manipulator in the film, using her charm and intelligence to get what she wants. Manipulative behavior is often a coping mechanism for people with mental health issues, as they may use manipulation as a way to protect themselves or meet their needs.

6. Lack of empathy: Despite her charisma, Lisa is shown to have a lack of empathy for others in the film. People with borderline personality disorder can struggle with empathy, as they may have difficulty understanding and relating to the emotions of others.

7. Difficulty forming relationships: Throughout the film, it is clear that Lisa struggles to form and maintain healthy relationships with others. People with borderline personality disorder often have unstable and intense relationships, marked by extreme highs and lows.

8. Identity issues: Lisa’s character in the film is marked by a lack of a clear sense of self. People with borderline personality disorder often struggle with their identity, experiencing feelings of emptiness and confusion about who they are.

9. Self-destructive behavior: Lisa’s behavior in the film is self-destructive, as she engages in risky and harmful actions. Self-destructive behavior is common among people with borderline personality disorder, as they may use harmful behaviors as a way to cope with their emotional pain.

In conclusion, there are many factors that contribute to Lisa’s troubled behavior in Girl, Interrupted. From her history of trauma and substance abuse to her impulsive and manipulative tendencies, it is clear that Lisa is struggling with a number of complex mental health issues. While the exact nature of her illness is never explicitly stated in the film, it is clear that she is in need of help and support.

Common questions about Lisa in Girl, Interrupted:

1. What is Lisa’s diagnosis in Girl, Interrupted?

– Lisa’s exact diagnosis is never explicitly stated in the film, but she exhibits symptoms of borderline personality disorder.

2. Why is Lisa in the mental institution?

– Lisa is in the mental institution as a voluntary patient, but she struggles with mental health issues that require treatment and support.

3. What is Lisa’s relationship with Susanna?

– Lisa and Susanna form a close friendship in the film, with Lisa serving as a mentor and protector to Susanna.

4. How does Lisa cope with her mental health issues?

– Lisa copes with her mental health issues through substance abuse, manipulative behavior, and self-destructive actions.

5. What role does Lisa play in the group of patients?

– Lisa is a charismatic and influential figure in the group of patients, often leading them in rebellious and risky behavior.

6. Does Lisa show any signs of improvement throughout the film?

– While there are moments of vulnerability and growth for Lisa in the film, she ultimately struggles to make lasting progress in her mental health journey.

7. What triggers Lisa’s behavior in the film?

– Lisa’s behavior is often triggered by feelings of abandonment, rejection, and emotional turmoil.

8. How does Lisa’s past trauma affect her present behavior?

– Lisa’s past trauma contributes to her struggles with mental health, substance abuse, and difficulties forming healthy relationships.

9. What is the significance of Lisa’s character in Girl, Interrupted?

– Lisa’s character serves as a complex and troubled foil to Susanna, highlighting the different ways that people can experience and cope with mental health issues.

10. How does Lisa’s behavior impact the other patients in the institution?

– Lisa’s behavior can be both empowering and destructive for the other patients, as she encourages rebellion and independence but also risks their safety and well-being.

11. What is the message behind Lisa’s character in the film?

– Lisa’s character highlights the complexities and challenges of living with mental health issues, as well as the importance of seeking help and support.

12. How does Lisa’s behavior change throughout the film?

– Lisa’s behavior fluctuates throughout the film, showing moments of vulnerability, strength, and instability.

13. What does Lisa ultimately want in Girl, Interrupted?

– Lisa’s ultimate desires and motivations are left ambiguous in the film, as she struggles to understand and confront her own emotions and needs.

14. How does Lisa’s relationship with the other patients evolve over time?

– Lisa’s relationship with the other patients is marked by both camaraderie and conflict, as she navigates the complexities of friendship and trust.

15. What do the other characters in the film think of Lisa?

– The other characters in the film have mixed feelings about Lisa, viewing her as both a source of inspiration and a source of chaos.

16. How does Lisa’s character challenge societal norms about mental health?

– Lisa’s character challenges stereotypes and stigmas about mental health, showing the complexities and humanity of people living with mental illness.

17. What is the takeaway message from Lisa’s character in Girl, Interrupted?

– The takeaway message from Lisa’s character is one of empathy, understanding, and the importance of seeking help and support for mental health issues.

In summary, Lisa’s character in Girl, Interrupted is a complex and troubled figure who grapples with a range of mental health issues. From her history of trauma and substance abuse to her impulsive and manipulative behavior, Lisa’s character highlights the challenges and complexities of living with mental illness. While her exact diagnosis is never explicitly stated in the film, it is clear that Lisa is in need of help, support, and understanding as she navigates her mental health journey.

Scroll to Top