Diagnostic Paper on Joan Crawford
In writing this, I am attempting to demonstrate an awareness of ethical practice. In preparation of writing this paper, I have researched information on the famous person indicated in an effort to make an attempt at providing a possible diagnosis of a psychological condition for which two theoretical orientations will be evaluated and used to support what is only an opinion. I am in no way qualified to give a diagnosis for the people mentioned within this document as it is a document written to demonstrate an understanding of educational material as it relates to the field of psychology. Any ...view middle of the document...
In consideration of some of Crawford’s early childhood occurrences, it may be possible to speculate on the etiology and possible diagnosis for conditions that Mrs. Crawford might have been suffering throughout her life.
Joan Crawford was born at the turn of the century as Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas to a single mother as Joan’s father left the family shortly before her birth (“American Legends,” 2013). Though there are claims that her actual birthdate was before 1908, the date printed at the place of her interment reads as 1908-1977. For Hollywood starlets, lying about age might elongate audience and industry interest especially in regard to women, therefore it is easy to understand why the relentlessly ambitious and accomplished actress might have felt compelled to be untruthful over the years. Crawford had to climb her way to the top never having a moment to assess all the obstacles with which she would face throughout her life though, according to her, she would never have accepted professional assessment during her life as she explains to talk show host David Frost, “I have never had to go to a psychologist or psychiatrist because I feel if you have an ounce of good sense and one good friend, you’ll never have to go to a psychiatrist” (The David Frost Show, 1970).
With attention to the enormous influence of the Roaring Twenties, Joan Crawford certainly embodied the newfound independence, freedom, and rebellion that women of the time experienced. A member of the Lost Generation, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald sums up the 20’s, “The parties were bigger…the pace was faster… the morals were looser and the liquor was cheaper” (Stein, 1994). Crawford joined many others in ‘living it up’ as a young woman during the fast paced 20’s, dancing and performing down an unknown but hopeful road.
For the purpose of understanding the complexity in the behaviors of Joan Crawford, it is important to understand not only the influences of the period from which she came but also that she experienced a number of hardships in many forms to include early childhood sexual abuse, abandonment on more than one occasion, and manipulation from family as well as the movie industry itself. Crawford’s father left his family altogether before his wife gave birth to her. Crawford’s mother eventually remarried therefore, young Lucille was raised in part by a stepfather who would sexually abuse her at a young age. Joan’s mother eventually moved away and was left with very little means during the post war depression era when many were faced with the dark side of poverty stricken American life. Crawford would spend many of her early years performing a great amount of laborious work while attending various schools. Such arduous efforts would later add to Crawford’s impeccable work ethic and a drive that few could match. In one interview, Joan was quoted as saying, “I’m a compulsive housekeeper” which might have been imprinted on her after all the...