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A Beautiful Mind Essay

Mental disorders have been one of the most severe cases of abnormality in our society today. Filmmakers are fascinated to create movies based on these disorders. Many filmmakers tried to portray the effects of different kinds of mental illness. They are fascinated with how the human mind works whenever it is consumed with abnormalities. Some films are made to stun the audience using the gruesome effects and treatment of the illness; but in reality those stunning effects were added just to impress or capture the interest and sympathy of the general public, and sometimes it goes on to the point of exaggeration.

But some are made accurately, explaining detail-by-detail symptoms, effects and treatment of the disorder. For my movie review, I tried to look for a good example, a model movie, and a work of art that really wants to share all information they could possibly share, and possibly doesn’t stray out of its purpose. To that effect, the movie “A Beautiful Mind” is the film that had captured my interest the most. This particular film portrays a man named John Forbes Nash (played by actor Russel Crowe) who was found to have a psychological disorder called Schizophrenia.

A Beautiful Mind” is very effective in portraying the symptoms, effects and treatment of Shezophrenia. A Beautiful Mind (Schizophrenia) The movie’s portrayal of schizophrenia was mostly accurate. Nash would be described as a paranoid schizophrenic, having delusions and hallucinations with themes of persecution and grandiosity. His personality fits the description of someone with schizophrenia because he lives in his own inner world and he is socially withdrawn and isolated. The disease developed over time from a chronic history of social inadequacy.

As shown in the movie, Nash had a difficult time relating to his peers and talking to women. It also developed at the standard age, late adolescence during his years at college. Another realistic feature of the film was that once the disease developed, the hallucinations were triggered by stress. Nash experienced disturbed perceptions in the form of three of his senses. He heard voices; saw people that didn’t exist and was even able to believe he was touching these people. At times schizophrenics inflict pain on themselves in response to voices or imagined reality.

In Nash’s case, he tore open his arm to find a sensor he had imagined that the government put in his body. The last thing that made the portrayal realistic was that research shows that given a supportive environment, some schizophrenics eventually recover to enjoy a normal life, and in the end that’s what happened with Nash. He was able to live his life with occasional bouts of schizophrenia intermittently. According to Philip Long, Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling mental illness (2008).

Schizophrenia is a disorder that lasts for at least 6 months and includes at least 1 month of active-phase symptoms of the following: delusion, hallucination, disorganized or catatonic behavior, negative symptoms. In the movie A Beautiful Mind, the main character John Forbes Nash exhibited all of the above symptoms. He often engaged in conversations with his imagined friend and roommate, Charles Herman. He was also convinced that there was an agent named William Archer who was giving him secret assignments to be delivered at night.

But it was not long when his wife, Alicia, realizes what was happening to her husband’s state of mind, and passionately helped him realize that Charles Herman, William Archer and Marcy, were all a product of his unstable mind. Furthermore, people with Schizophrenia find it hard to be sociable, and even their jobs may suffer because of this (Long 2008). In the movie, John Nash illustrated that he was no longer capable of functioning at work because he was continuously engaging in the imagined government assignments instead of attending class on a regular basis.

He was also unable to function socially, he socially withdrew himself from his friends and he was no longer capable to care for his baby especially the scene in which he was out of touch with reality that he left the baby unattended in the tub. John Nash was also experiencing problems with his wife as a result of his inability to engage in sexual activities and his wife’s inability to clearly comprehend the gruesome effects of Schizophrenia. People with Schizophrenia vary with their reaction towards their own illness because of the simple fact that what they see and feel is beyond their control.

It is inevitable for them to consistently rumble incoherent sentences or just respond with a very uncontrollable anger, sometimes with no apparent reason at all. John Nash exhibited this symptom especially when he was in the presence of others who were not aware of his mental disorder. People with this disorder may not be able to hold down jobs or even perform tasks as simple as maintaining conversation as John Nash exhibited in the movie A Beautiful Mind. Additionally, John Nash was given Insulin Shock Therapy, which is also known as Insulin Coma Therapy at the psychiatric hospital that he was admitted to.

He received this form of treatment five times a week for ten weeks. Large doses of insulin were administered which would reduce the blood sugar and brought on a seizure-like state and then a comatose state that John Nash experienced whenever this form of treatment was done. The Insulin Shock Therapy is still done however there are critics who state that this form of treatment is cruel and inhumane but there has not been a termination of this treatment in spite of the criticisms. Furthermore, over the years more treatments have been formed in order to treat Schizophrenia.

Antipsychotic drugs are thought to mainly provide relief from the positive symptoms and psychosis. Nash received antipsychotic drugs when he was released from the hospital. Some examples of the psychotic drugs that are being used now to treat Schizophrenia are Thorazine, Clozaril, and Trilafon. Unfortunately his medication disrupted his relationship with his wife almost as much as his delusions did in the first place. For example, he couldn’t respond to his wife in bed, he couldn’t show affection to their child, and he couldn’t do simple tasks around the house.

He stopped taking his medication and falls back into his paranoid delusions. Nash had a breakthrough and realized that the people he was seeing were hallucinations when he realized that none of them aged. In the movie A Beautiful Mind, John Nash had the support of his wife, Alicia Nash who was very instrumental in his recovery. The support of loved ones is very vital for people with Schizophrenia in order for them to not face the challenges that they will encounter alone. This is a very unusual story since the protagonist was able to win over his disease; not all who were under Schizophrenia are able to this kind of accomplishment.

Displays of acts of violence are of major issue in treating Schizophrenia (Long 2008). Nash’s reaction when he thought that Archer was threatening his family is an indication to this act. However, except from his previous flights, John Nash did not commit any serious violent acts. He unintentionally harmed himself by removing the imagined device that he stated that William Archer implanted in his hand. This is a contradiction to the usual. But we all know from the beginning that Nash is an exception to the rule. Observations over the past years suggest that Schizophrenia is most unfavorable with men than women.

Maybe this has something to do with the emotional treatment suffered by men over various circumstances, and that includes the amount of rejection they received from their environment. John Nash received mainly mixed reactions as a result of his mental disorder. His wife, Alicia was devastated at first but was able to overcome all of her negative emotions when she recalled the loving man she married and knew before he was diagnosed with Schizophrenia. However, he was laughed at and mocked by some of the students who attended the university that he worked at.

One unrealistic aspect of the film was that Nash was able to just ignore the hallucinations when he stopped taking his medication. In reality, the delusions would have been too intense to just take no notice of. The movie also oversimplified affects of the disease on his family. They never attended any counseling or help groups, and the disease was never explained to the wife in great detail, yet she stuck by his side. However there weren’t any parts in the film that would misinform an audience about the disorder.

In conclusion, the movie A Beautiful Mind is an excellent movie that clearly depicts the life of a person with Schizophrenia. It demonstrates the challenges that individuals with Schizophrenia encounter and it also demonstrates that the support of the family is very vital for individuals with Schizophrenia in order for them to cope with the effects of this mental disorder. The movie A Beautiful Mind showed realistic dramas that John Forbes Nash encountered and problems that other individuals who have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia and other mental disorders will most likely experience.


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