PAT SOLATANO, JR.


(Silver Linings Playbook)

What’s the Matter with Him?
We meet Pat upon his release from a hospital, where he was treated for Bipolar Disorder. He discovered that something was seriously wrong with him after he caught his wife in the shower with another man (He also discovered that something was wrong with his marriage). Instead of managing to keep himself under control, Pat became violent with the man and nearly killed him.

Bipolar Disorder
Pat on a Pillow

Bipolar Disorder is characterized by two types of symptoms, depressive and manic. One type – Bipolar 1 – leans more toward mania and one type – Bipolar 2 – leans more toward depression (It’s the Kinsey scale for crazy people). Pat’s symptoms are more manic than depressive, so he would be diagnosed as someone suffering from Bipolar 1 Disorder.

*Manic episodes
Manic episodes, or mania is identified by mood elevation, but this doesn’t necessarily mean someone extra-happy. Irritability or edginess is also classified as mania when it persists for at least one week. Based on Pat’s hospitalization, he has experienced at least one manic episode in his life (And it had nothing to do with holiday shopping).

*Decreased need for sleep

Not only does Pat show no concern for his lack of sleep, but he immediately wakes his parents to express his frustration with the book’s ending (Now I guess I don’t have to read it…Suck it, English class).

*Pressure to keep talking

…It doesn’t really help that Tiffany keeps egging him on, but Ronnie and Veronica clearly seem uncomfortable.

*Increase in goal-directed activity
Pat begins his life post-hospital by announcing that he wants to stay in shape and reads Nikki’s entire English class syllabus (Which is more than any of the kids are going to do). Most of Pat’s goals are directed at reconnecting with Nikki, who currently has a restraining order against Pat.

Pat, Sr.

Pat, Sr. has a condition called Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. He doesn’t run around cleaning everything in his home, but his superstitious behavior involving his favorite football team points conclusively to Obsessive-Compulsive tendencies. It’s most obvious when he is straightening remote controls and insisting Pat wear certain apparel during Eagles games.
Though it’s possible that Pat, Jr.’s illness developed as a way to cope with his father’s, Bipolar Disorder and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder are not very similar, and mental illness is not contagious (It’s not like the flu, where if you sneeze on me I’m going to maybe get sick and maybe not. Also, you’re disgusting if you sneeze on people.)

What About Tiffany?

It’s hard to gauge Tiffany’s troubles, although hers stem from grief for her husband. Since grief in its own way makes people do crazy things, it is not characterized as a mental illness in the DSM-V. In fact, most mental illnesses – including Depression – are dismissed in the DSM-V when symptoms have a direct cause, such as the loss of a family member or loved one.
However, Tiffany’s increased sexual behavior after the passing of her husband is considered one symptom of Bipolar Disorder, since sexual promiscuity is high-risk behavior. One symptom is not enough to make a full diagnosis though, so Tiffany’s behavior is probably a marker of her own, natural grieving process.

Is There Hope for Pat?
Pat and Tiffany
Yep! He takes his medication and attempts to connect with people that actually want him in his life, instead of people that have given him reason to believe they do not have room for Pat. With a little help from his friend (With a capital F), Tiffany, Pat should probably be okay in his own time.

What Do You Think?
Pat in a Crowded Room
Share your thoughts! Even if they take place at three in the morning after finishing a Hemingway novel, toss them our way!

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