Your paper will be based on the autobiography by Elyn Saks, ‘The Center Cannot Hold’ (2007). In your paper (APA format, 12 point Times
New Roman font, double spaced, 1-inch margins, 8 pages maximum), you will write about a character that appeared in the book, and
discuss his/her disorder. Specifically, you will address the following questions/issues using specific examples from the book and key
references from class, the course text, or other resources to illustrate your arguments.
*Title page and references are not included in the page limit. Pages beyond the limit will not be evaluated.
1) Describe the character you will be writing about. (15 points)
Provide a brief summary of this person in terms of:
• Basic demographics (race, age, sex, etc.)
• Relevant developmental history (e.g., family of origin, education, employment, key relationships, stressors)
2) What is the diagnosis of the character? (25 points)
• Be sure to address how each criterion for the disorder (or disorders) based on DSM-5 is (or is not) met.
• If the text does not provide enough information to evaluate a particular criterion, please note the absence of specific
examples for that criterion in your write-up.
• If the person has multiple disorders, you can diagnose all that apply to her/him, but you should focus on the most
pronounced disorder for the rest of the paper.
• Reference any biological or social factors that may be relevant to the person’s diagnosis.
3) Discuss the etiology of the disorder(s). (30 points)
• Describe possible causes (i.e., etiology) of the person’s disorder drawing from at least 2 of the overarching perspectives
you have learned about in class.
§ Psychological (includes psychoanalytic, psychodynamic, humanistic, etc.)
§ Family systems
4) What is your reaction to the book? (20 points)
• How has reading this autobiography affected you?
• How might this autobiography affect someone who has just been diagnosed with the same disorder?
5) Write clearly, organize your paper effectively, proofread carefully, and cite references in APA format. (10 points)