Suzanne & ElizabethCharacter Motivation with Suzanne Conboy-Hill & Elizabeth Scott-Gliba

Thursday 9 January 2104 @ Heene Gallery, Worthing


We will take a look at some of the key categories of mental disorder that often feature in fiction, and consider ways of avoiding stereotypes and mash-ups so that the character is, first and foremost, a person.


Personality disorder: psychopathy is a favourite – the mad-eyed murderer with the axe. But arguably the more interesting versions, and we probably all know some of these, include the ‘white collar’ psychopaths who mess up lives and then move on to wreak havoc somewhere else. Narcissism is another – much like psychopathy but with emotional need turned up to maximum.


Depression: most of us have heard of bipolar disorder (manic depression) with its extremes of highs and lows, but what about the people you would never guess were depressed, how would we characterise those people? And what drives people to suicide, sometimes killing their whole families first?


Schizophrenia: no, this is not split personality! Driven by delusions and hallucinations (voices in the head), we’ll take a look at the way paranoia influences behaviour and how some people now are advocating collaboration with the voices rather than elimination.


Learning disability: people with Down’s syndrome are not universally happy and autistic people are not all like Rainman. Some of them – like Sarah Gordy – are professional actors, and others are sex offenders and abusers. We’ll take a quick tour of the reality.


If the technology gods permit, we’ll have some video clips. We might also try a bit of experimental ear-whispering. Either way, there will be links to sites with good advice about this topic, and the presentation will be available both as a hand-out and a downloadable PowerPoint show.

Details of speakers: Dr Suzanne Conboy-Hill and Dr Elizabeth Scott-Gliba