Taxi Driver is a 1976 movie starring Robert de Niro about a troubled Vietnam veteran with schizotypal traits who works as a cab driver in New York City.
Taxi Driver (1976), Schizotypal
– Loneliness has followed me my whole life, everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There’s no escape. I’m God’s lonely man.
– You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talking… you talking to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to? Oh yeah? OK.
Schizotypal Personality Disorder (SPD)
It is a bizarre personality disorder and is considered serious and difficult to treat. People with this disorder are often mistaken for being “schizophrenic” but unlike schizophrenics, they can often be talked out of their delusions whereas schizophrenics cannot.
In addition those with SPD are not disconnected from reality and usually do not hallucinate.It affects approximately 3% of the general population.
Signs of a schizotypal personality disorder begin in adolescence as a decreased interest in social activities or a high level of social anxiety. They tend to be under-performers in school and are often “out-of-step” with their peers. As a result, they are often the object of bullying or teasing.
The cause of SPD is unknown but there appears to be a genetic component, similar to that in schizophrenia. It is also believed that during childhood something goes wrong with the learning process in these individuals, leading to illogical beliefs, magical thinking, and paranoia.
What exactly goes wrong is not known, but it is likely that factors such as childhood abuse, neglect, or stress cause problems with early brain functioning in those who later develop this personality disorder.
Incorrect interpretation of events, including feeling that external events have personal meaning
Peculiar thinking, beliefs, or behavior
Belief in special powers, such as telepathy, ESP, and clairvoyance.
Perceptual alterations, in some cases bodily illusions, including phantom pains or other distortions in the sense of touch
Odd speech, such as loose or vague patterns of speaking or tendency to go off on tangents
Suspicious or paranoid ideas
Flat emotions or inappropriate emotional responses
Persistent and excessive social anxiety that does not lessen with time
The character Travis Bickle played by actor Robert de Niro in the 1976 film, Taxi Driver, is an example of someone suffering with schizotypal personality disorder.
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American vigilante film with neo-noir and psychological thriller elements, directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. Set in New York City following the Vietnam War, the film stars Robert De Niro, and features Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel, Cybill Shepherd, Peter Boyle, and Albert Brooks.
The film is regularly cited by critics, film directors, and audiences alike as one of the greatest films of all time. Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, it won the Palme d’Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival. The American Film Institute ranked Taxi Driver as the 52nd-greatest American film on its AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list. In 2012, Sight & Sound named it the 31st-best film ever in its decennial critics’ poll, ranked with The Godfather Part II, and the fifth-greatest film of all time on its directors’ poll. The film was considered “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant by the US Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry in 1994.