The movie “A Beautiful Mind” is a fascinating movie. Although, I am not a movie watcher, it drew my full attention as soon as I started playing it. It displays the character of a great mathematician John Nash who is struggling with schizophrenia during his college period, and it continues until later in his life. It shows how this disease affects a person’s social and academic life. It is a kind of old movie, showing life of a Princeton University student in late 1940s and 1950s. It traces the main character’s life for more than twenty years.
In this movie, one sees that people with mental disorders can attain the greatest achievements. It is full of emotional scenes with lots of ups and downs. The movie shows the role a dedicated woman in a great mathematician’s life who is struggling with schizophrenia. Johns Nash, the main character in the movie suffers from schizophrenia. He has an imaginary friend, Charles, who has a beautiful young niece that also talks to John. In his imaginations, John, also, works for government through an agent in order to display Soviet codes. He thinks the psychiatrist who is assigned to treat him, is a Russian agent.
John sees his imaginary people and friends so real that it is hard for him not to believe they don’t exist. Until he realizes that his friend never gets older, and the niece never grows up. Then he decides to ignore them, which is hard, but it works for him through the end of the movie. John has a strange personality. He cannot accept losses. He wants to be the winner all the time, which results him succeed along through the end of his life. He has a kind of missed up social life. His behavior towards women is unusual. He dose not know how to start dating a woman.
Everything he does makes sense to him. But his behavior is strange to ordinary people residing around him. And it is because he sees his imaginary friends, argues with them and talks with them as real people. But, for other people he talks to himself, which is a kind of destructing situation. People make fun of him because he is weird. He ends up marrying Alicia a graduate student of him. He meets Alicia in MIT University. According to diagnoses of schizophrenia in DSM-4, people with the mentioned disorder have disintegration of thought processes and emotional responsiveness.
It most commonly appears as auditory hallucinations, which obviously could be observed in John’s character. Delusion was a quite emphasized symptom of John. He strongly believed that he was in a mission of working for the government. The mentioned behavior of John, also, explains his “grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior” of him. “Negative symptoms i, e. affective flattening, alogia, or avolition, meaning paranoid and disorganized speech is another symptom of schizophrenia, which John was struggling with.
He did show some facial expression and vocal modulation whenever he got emotional. Occupation and social dysfunction was John’s major problem. As an occupation dysfunction, I can mention an example of him missing classes that he was teaching at a MIT University, making noise while he was having arguments with the imaginary police agent who hired him as a government agent. His behavior all through the movie was examples of social dysfunction. Split mind one of the schizophrenia apparent behavior is being seen in John’s character.
By John not taking the medication, the problem reappears. He starts seeing his imaginary world again. The side effects of medication usage created a major problem for him by having a negative impact on his cognitive and physiological functions. He neither could do his work nor had a normal relationship with his wife. This is why he stopped taking the medication. After he was emphasized enough that he had the problem, he decided to help himself being taken out of the situation. But, he decided to do this without taking the medication.
He kept seeing his imaginary friends. But, he deliberately ignored them, although, it was not easy for him. The minimum duration of these symptoms is mentioned as six months in DSM-4. John experienced it for decades. Cause of the behavior is most likely genetic. Some environmental factors like stress can make it worse. In the movie it was not obviously displayed what the main trigger of his disorder was. John’s genetic factors and family history is not quite reflected in the movie. My best guess would be stress could be one big factor contributing to his disorder.
Schizophrenia does not come alone. It can come with other problems as severe depression anxiety disorder, all of which together can sometimes end up committing suicide or killing somebody else by the patient. In the movie John cuts his veins once, and he is told by the imaginary police officer to kill his wife once. Also, assuming that his imaginary friend would watch his baby, he almost let his baby sink in their bath tab. Treatment is available for patients with schizophrenia. Plenty of antipsychotic medications have been discovered for this mental disorder.
The mechanism of how the medication works is that the psychotic medications suppress the neurotransmitters’ like dopamine’s and serotonin’s activities. Examples of medications are: Molidone which blocks the effects of dopamine in the brain, leading to diminish psychoses. This medication shows quick results if taken by mouth. The major side effect of Mlidone is severe weight loss in addition to other common antipsychotic drugs side effect. Lloperidone, is a monoamine directed towards acting upon and antagonizing specific neurotransmitters particularly multiple dopamine and serotonin receptor subtypes.
It blocks the sites of noradrenalin, dopamine and serotonin receptors. Haloperidol is being injected to schizophrenic patients every four week. The method John Nash used was going with no medication and deciding to ignore his imaginary world. The positive side of this method is that he does not experience the negative side effects that medications cause, for example, decline in cognitive functions, and social functions like taking care of his baby and wife. And the negative side of it is more struggles toward overcoming the problems the disorder causes.
One big factor that would help schizophrenic individuals survive and cope better with the disorder is a best friend, a family member or a close relative’s support. In case of John Nash, his wife Alicia is a fascinating person that walks with him all through his troubles, and she never gives up. She proves herself as a faithful and caring wife. Although, she reaches the maximum level of stress that she can deal with, she tries to get some extra energy and she does lots of efforts in order to be helpful to her husband.
My personal opinion is her loyalty to her husband is related to her cohort, when and what period of time this story has happened is the reason of her efforts. We most likely don’t see these types of dedication in today’s world. Marriages are more fragile than 1950s. Schizophrenia is not diagnosed accurately in many places. I have heard about many people in some middle- eastern countries whom, now I know, had symptoms of Schizophrenia. They were hearing sounds, were directing to do unusual behaviors. They even saw features like john Nash sees in the movie.
Due to inaccurate religion beliefs and, some of them due to, lack of knowledge they think that there is a kind of angel/ devil that has entered into their body and directs them do perform some specific types of behavior. They think of their condition as some kind of extraordinary power that other people don’t have. There some even more uneducated people exist in this world that go to these mentally disordered people in order to get blessings from them, hopping to have their won health problems and social issues being solved.
Courtney from Study Moose
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