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Marilyn Monroe: Research Paper

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Identifying Information
  3. Presenting Problem and Diagnostic Formulation
  4. Treatment Plans and Recommendations
  5. Accuracies and Inaccuracies
  6. Conclusion


Celebrities are an important factor in our life whether we realize it or not there like political figures their image whether on the big screen of a movie theater or television is a representation of the power and wealth they possess which is what makes them famous in the first place to the people. One of the most famous celebrities is Marilyn Monroe she was a famous actress recognized not only for her theatrical work ethic but the beautiful image she projected toward the public her looks were dazzling to the eyes of many men people say she is a sex symbol because of her attractiveness and her style was impeccable the work of a true artist but beauty wasn’t the only thing Marilyn Monroe was good for but her mind she was very smart and loved reading. This wasn't the only thing that made her famous the scandals she was involved in the affair she had with President John F. Kennedy and her form of death which was left unsolved. This great artist was found sadly dead and naked with drugs scattered all over the room some say she died by her own hand or was murdered. The scandals of Marilyn Monroe were not done on purpose she just wasn't aware of the consequences of her scandals like many other famous celebrities she was suffering the pressure from her career from public opinion and fame itself it just got to a point her happiness and dreams just became dull she lost feeling and purpose to her life but there is also the possibility that Marilyn Monroe was suffering from a mental illness.

Identifying Information

Marilyn Monroe is a 36-year-old Mexican American female who lived in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, even though we know her by her actress name Marilyn Monroe her true name from birth is Norma Jeane Mortenson she was born on June 1, 1926. She later changed her name through baptism to Norma Jeane Baker because in the 1920s single parenting was frowned upon by society. Marilyn's mother Gladys Mortenson named Marilyn after Norma Tallmadge a famous actor in the mid-1920s. Marilyn was born and raised with no father figure in which to influence her life. Her family was made up of her mother Gladys Pearl Baker after her father abandoned the family. Marilyn's mother had to take on the role of both mother and father overtime yet due to Marilyn's mother's mental illness she was placed in many mental institutions because of depression and schizophrenic habits she developed in the stages of her adult and elderly life and was decided unfit to take care of her daughter Marilyn then she died in 1984 due to heart failure and there is also Marilyn sister Berniece Baker Miracle who is still alive today 100 years old to be exact. Marilyn also had a brother named Robert Kermitt Baker who died in 1933 due to a health condition an infection in his kidneys which is a bit of an unfortunate series of health and mental illnesses for the baker family. Though Marilyn Monroe dropped out of high school at the age of 15 and didn't really study acting for her career she moved to the south pacific she worked for a manufacturing munitions company in California and was discovered by a photographer from there she branched out toward an acting career. Marilyn Monroe spent a great deal of her childhood in orphanages and eleven different foster homes. Having to live the hardships of foster homes she was mistreated by many of them through various terrible experiences like sexual abuse. Though even in the struggle she was a woman of faith Marilyn's religion was Christianity, Judaism her faith gave her a bit of mental relief from the pressures and stressors of her career and her life in general but it wasn’t enough to help her pull through and survive her mental illness succumbed her faith and her life. Her marital status, in the end, was single she married and divorced three different men James Dougherty, Joe DiMaggio, and Arthur Miller she didn’t really develop true love in her previous marriages just a need for pleasure the one man who she lasted five years with her in marriage was Arthur Miller a play writer but she divorced him too the world was calling her she couldn’t force herself to settle down and start a family due to her continuous need for substance abuse and attention it clouded her judgment as an individual and actress. She never had any children but she did have possibly two or three miscarriages in her life. Despite her childhood experience and emotionally struggling past Marilyn Monroe went on in 1946 to become a model and from there it took her to become a very famous actor.

Presenting Problem and Diagnostic Formulation

Marilyn Monroe developed many symptoms but to narrow it down a bit will discuss 6 of the most significant ones she demonstrated. Fear/anxiety consumed Monroe her fear of getting her mother illness tormented her and her anxiety led to worry which turned into a struggle for her acting and left her feeling very stressful, Depression succumbed Monroe mind her 3 failed marriages and 2 miscarriages the death of her brother the institutionalization of her mother in a mental hospital it was too much to bear her being an actress with power and money and she couldn't do anything to prevent any of that she lives with guilt over things she didn't really have control over, Insomnia was a very serious influence in Monroe due to stress and pressures she faced in her life and career it left her sleepless and tired, Suicidal thoughts influenced greatly Monroe she had finally built a famous life full of riches and attention none of which she received in childhood though it wasn't enough for her she still felt incomplete that she was missing something and she knew she would never truly recover what she was missing because if she were to step back to her past she believed she would feel pain once more. Monroe lost a sense of identity and confidence in being herself her role as an actor really took on the image of her life her life itself was an act and not something she could really live and enjoy and be proud of she failed to find happiness and saw suicide as a way out of the pain, Substance use she would take sleeping pills to help with her insomnia but she would do it so constantly that now its become a necessity for Monroe and alcohol consumption was another one to drown her depression in though she is Marilyn Monroe she wished she could have changed many things in her past life as Norma Jeane, Identity disturbance she created Marilyn Monroe to mask Norma Jeane her true self because she didn't want someone who suffered so much to earn the privilege of becoming an actress she didn’t want her rise to stardom to originate from her traumatic experiences and insecurities. These symptoms are signs of Borderline Personality Disorder. Borderline Personality Disorder is a disease that is heritable via genetics so I believe that Monroe received this disease from one of her family members her Mother Gladys Baker who was Schizophrenic and also influences by her traumatic childhood. So we can say Marilyn Monroe's final diagnosis is Borderline Personality Disorder because it is a mental disorder that shows frequent changes in mood, behavior, and relationships and according to her family history and medical history, and psychological assessment of her traumatic past experiences it demonstrates proof of Borderline Personality Disorder in Marilyn Monroe.

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Treatment Plans and Recommendations

An effective treatment that can help Marilyn Monroe with her mental illness would be individual psychotherapy speaking out one on one with a therapist is one of the best forms to begin the recuperation process from the illness that plagues Monroe's mind. Another common way would be having Monroe attend counseling sessions on relapse prevention so she to continue to improve and not succumb to the mental illness to avoid becoming in an even worse state of health. Outside help from her friends or fellow actors that have been through what Monroe has been through talk it out with her and form a support group so that she is not alone and has all the advice and support she needs on the way to recovery. Dual diagnosis treatment for Borderline Personality Disorder and addiction can help Monroe break well not break but ease her inappropriate behaviors and need for drugs that harm her not only mentally, and physically but her public image as well. Finally psychiatric medication like SSRI an antidepressant that can help Marilyn Monroe with her sleep insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Though there is a problem that can make treatment progressions quite difficult for Marilyn Monroe her career being an actress limits her ability to form a new life for herself her commitment to her career and fans is more of a priority than her health itself. Marilyn Monroe will be unsure about entering inpatient treatment due to her traumatic past experience of being hospitalized. The will to improve is essential in therapy which is a problem for actors such as Marilyn Monroe herself her high public image will force her from finishing treatment in order to protect the said image and keep the attention of the public. In order to deal with such a problem I would send Marilyn to a clinic rather than a hospital because when she was hospitalized she complained about her room that it felt like a prison cell. Helping Monroe trust new counselors, and education on the characteristics and symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder can really help in the long run. This way we will know what to expect from her counselors as well as from her overall experience in treatment. A way to evaluate prevention would be clinician reports and progress notes another could also be self-report measures and a borderline personality disorder scale shows the level of difficulty in regulating emotions. We hope that with therapy Marilyn Monroe will no longer meet diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorders and will decrease substance use and help show symptoms of PTSD traits.

Accuracies and Inaccuracies

Unfortunately, Marilyn Monroe`s childhood was very traumatic than the film The Secret Life of Monroe displays. Though Monroe was put in the care of foster parents Ida Bolender and Grace Goddard, her mother for a while, and orphanages. Monroe moved a lot in real life from place to place and had lots of guardians. She was also sexually abused in two of her foster homes which The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe doesn’t elaborate much on. Baker was schizophrenic and spent her life in and out of hospitals. Though The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe shows Monroe’s relationship with her mother as closer than it really is. Monroe pays many visits to her mother but when she became an actress she had her business manager give her progress reports of her mother’s condition. Marilyn Monroe did marry Dougherty trying to avoid being put back in an orphanage when she married him at the age of 16. Monroe late revealed that she felt insecure around Dougherty from the beginning. Dougherty says he loved Marilyn Monroe but the theater was something difficult for Monroe to stay away from it was her career and her life. After four years of being married, they divorced in September 1946 because Monroe couldn't sign a contract with Fox unless she was single. Though The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe says otherwise that Monroe lied about being single when she signed the contract it doesn’t really touch on her divorce from Dougherty. Though The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe shows DiMaggio came back into Monroe's life toward the end, getting her out of the mental clinic she was admitted to in February 1961. They could have been married again if Monroe didn't die. DiMaggio arranged Monroe’s funeral and continued to send roses to her grave after she died. Although The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe topples over that part of their marriage. The rest of their marriage was conflicting and violent. Monroe and Miller also really did leave his diary out for Monroe to find which describes his disappointment in her which devastated Monroe. Marilyn Monroe's drug problem also had a hand in destroying the couple's marriage. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe says that mental illness ran in Monroe’s family. Just like her mother who suffered from paranoid schizophrenia she also dealt with paranoia, delusions, and depression. Things got bad that Monroe almost killed herself by jumping out of a window several stories up which caused her therapist Dr. Kris to admit her to a psychiatric hospital. It's unclear if Monroe ever showed the behavior seen in The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe or if she was officially diagnosed with mental illness. Though Dr. Hyman Engelberg who had prescribed sleeping pills Monroe took the night she died said we knew that she was a manic depressive which is called bipolar personality. Dr. Kris also admitted Monroe into the psychiatric ward at Payne Whitney in 1961. It was a distressing experience with a doctor forcing a physical exam on her and Monroe threatening to cut herself with glass if she wasn’t released. A Los Angeles Times report published the day after Monroe’s death describes the actress as being depressed and carless before she passed away. If you watch The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe you will learn more about Marilyn Monroe than you know that she is one of the most ambitious figures of all time/ Though sadly you’ll also realize that you will never truly know Monroe either which is what Monroe wanted but also feared the most.


This Famous actress Marilyn Monroe is an exemplary example of life she will never be forgotten by history. Marilyn's life was short she died at the age of 36 surrounded by all the sinful pleasures of the world adultery and drug abuse. Many believed she died by her own hand has suffered from the effect of being famous having to be all alone and eventually developing feelings of depression and hopelessness she did attempt to take her own life 12 years ago in 1950 before her death in 1962 and was treated 11 years later for a nervous breakdown in 1961. Marilyn Monroe died August 5, 1962, in her home from an overdose on a sleep-inducing sedative drug she was taking for her insomnia known as a barbiturate. Marilyn was buried at Westwood Memorial Park in L.A. California. Though the famous Marilyn Monroe was psychologically ill her legend nonetheless is still alive today making her image a strong symbol of feminism. Even though Marilyn Monroe is a thing of the past today her life story, image and name remain cemented in history.

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Marilyn Monroe: Research Paper. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 2, 2023, from
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