A Beautiful Mind
“A Beautiful Mind” is a sad yet unique, inspiring film. The film was directed by Ron Howard and provided people a whole new perspective on psychological disorders. When people generally hear the words “mental illness,” the thoughts of crazy, insane, different, abnormal and weird come into place. “A Beautiful Mind,” based on a true story and a novel by Sylvia Nasar, has proven the standard thoughts to be inaccurate.
John Nash was a man of extraordinary character. He held a position of great intelligence and had proven it to be true when he was awarded with the Nobel Memorial Prize in economics.
Nash was also faced with great difficulty when he was diagnosed with schizophrenia (Lipovetsky, 2009). After watching the movie for the first time, it is clear to see John Nash is not the average person, but it was quite a shock to find out he had a psychological disorder as severe as schizophrenia. After watching the movie again, knowing what he had been diagnosed with, the picture became all too clear.
It was very obvious that he suffered from schizophrenia because of the symptoms he had shown. There are predominantly three phases associated with schizophrenia. The beginning stage, or the prodromal stage, is where the symptoms start to develop and this phase can last for up to months. This is when the patient becomes less interested in his or her surroundings and finds his or herself with trouble concentrating, tending to be more distracted than usual. The second phase is called the active phase.
This is where delusions and hallucinations come about. The final stage is called the residual phase. During this phase the symptoms from the prodromal stage can possibly increase and there is a chance that they will become worse. This stage is almost the same as the prodromal stage, but to a more extreme (What is schizophrenia; schizophrenia 2009). Nash’s major symptoms of schizophrenia were his hallucinations. He had created people in his mind that only he could see and these people played a major role in his life.
John Nash’s first mental character was named Charles Herman (Smith, 2010). From the beginning it was simple to see that Charles was not one to be ignored even if he were real. He was always fighting for Nash’s attention and in one scene, he even jumped on top of the desk Nash was working on to get his undivided attention after stating how uneasily distracted he was. Another of Nash’s mental characters was William Parcher, who was a Department of Defense agent trying to get the help of Nash to help the country involving the Cold War and the Russians. William Parcher was the hallucination that drove Nash to a point of almost no return. John Nash not only experienced hallucinations, but he was also socially challenged. When faced with people, he was very quiet and it was rare for him to get along with or even speak to another person. In the film, Nash claims he doesn’t like people much and they don’t like him, and he really did have something against people. He wanted to become known and live up to his potential.
Nash would not even go to class because he claimed classes will dull your mind and it is just memorizing the weak assumptions of lesser mortals. Along with these symptoms, John Nash also had random freak-outs and would flip out over the way his brain was working. For instance, when he could not find his “original idea”, he became so frustrated that he slammed his head into the glass window. This is not the behavior of a normal human being, which is one of the many reasons why John Nash wasn’t a normal human being.
John Nash was suffering a critical case of paranoid schizophrenia. Schizophrenia happens to be a mental disorder typically associated with hallucinations, abnormal thinking, behavior and social skills. What John Nash was suffering was called paranoid schizophrenia, which is when one or more delusions or visual hallucinations occurs, but without any signs of disorganized speech (Dryden-Edwards, 2010). Paranoid schizophrenia is not as severe as the other types of this mental illness, but that is not to mean it should not be taken just as serious. There are less problems concerning memory and emotions, but still obtains symptoms of anger, violence, anxiety, hallucinations, verbal confrontations, suicidal thoughts and/or behaviors, distant, scornful manners, and delusions (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2008). When it comes to schizophrenia, the main concern people have is if it is
hereditary or not. There has been no sole foundation for the disorder but there are contributing factors such as environmental factors which happen to be hardships faced during childhood, the loss of a parent or someone very close, bullying, violence, poverty, physical and/or emotional neglect, sexual abuse and the list could go on forever (Dryden-Edwards, 2010). These symptoms have been said to possibly help trigger paranoid schizophrenia (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2008). In “A Beautiful Mind”, there seems to be no origin explaining. John Nash explained that his first grade teacher had once told him that he was “born with two servings of brain but only half a serving of heart.” The film does not reveal much about childhood experiences, just the simple fact that Nash does not like people. It has been said that paranoid schizophrenia is caused by brain dysfunction (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2008). “A Beautiful Mind” is a very unpredictable film. After seeing John Nash in the mental hospital undergoing all of the required treatments and misery, it was a very negative vibe. He did not seem to be getting better and the medication he happened to be taking was blocking his brain from working the way he had been using it for so many years. The prognosis of schizophrenia depends on which type of schizophrenia that is being dealt with. Patients with paranoid schizophrenia have more treatments and medications available to them, and some research had predicted that later in life, the seriousness of the illness could decrease (Bustillo, 2008). John Nash most definitely backs this evidence up. As Nash was hospitalized and taken away from his wife and child, he realized this was not the life he wanted so he took the medication prescribed to him and suffered for a bit because it was like a permanent blockage of his brain. While being on the medication his learning and perceived view on the world was flawed. Eventually as the movie progressed, Nash forces himself to look past his hallucinations for the love of his family. Nash learns the value of life: it is more than what he thought it was all of these years (Lipovetsky, 2009).
In the case of John Nash, therapy was most definitely a necessity. Although he did not receive any, it was something that should have been recommended. The most common therapies for people diagnosed with schizophrenia are supplemental therapies that include rehabilitation day programs, nutritional
supplements, and psychosocial or cognitive therapy and peer support groups. Therapy is what helps a person deal with the stress, social connections, depression, work, school and the problems life has to offer (Jaffe, 2001). For other cases of schizophrenia there is a different type of therapy offered. This is called electroconvulsive therapy that is generally an effective form of treatment followed by mania, catatonia and depression. It is given about three times a week and has been proven to be the most effective and safest form of therapy (Papalos, 2001). If John Nash were to receive any sort of therapy in “A Beautiful Mind”, it would not be pretty. Nash is a man who was in denial for so long and blinded by his severe illness. He considered himself above everyone else and if he was placed in a therapy session, it would not affect him in the least bit. “A Beautiful Mind” directed by Ron Howard was a truly inspiring film. It captured the heartbreak, pain and trouble of a very unique schizophrenic man. John Nash showed the world that people with a mental illness is not so much “different” from everyone, but just unique is all. John Nash was a man of brilliance, strength and reason and without his strong determined mind, he would not have been able to overcome his illness as he did. Nash showed the entire world that people with illnesses could be a regular human being, or win the Nobel Prize in his case.
Bustillo, Juan. (2008). Schizophrenia . Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck Sharp and Dohm Corp.
Dryden-Edwards, Roxanne. (2010). Schizophrenia. MedicineNet.com. Jaffe, DJ. (2001). Schizophrenia treatment .
Lipovetsky, Josh. (2009). A beautiful mind- life isn’t an equation. Mayo Clinic Staff, . (2008). Paranoid schizophrenia. MFMER. Papalos, Demitri. (2001). Electroconvulsive therapy overview . Smith, Nicole. (2010). The film “a beautiful mind” and the representation of schizophrenia and mental illness. Article Myriad. What is schizophrenia; schizophrenia: an information guide . (2009). CAMH.
Cite this A Beautiful Mind Film Review
A Beautiful Mind Film Review. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/a-beautiful-mind/