Schizophrenia is a mental disorder generally diagnosed during a person's early adulthood According to the book Psychology Rose Spielman explains that this mental disorder affects the person's thoughts perceptions and behaviors impairing them to the point where they aren't able to function normally in life 572 Some of the main symptoms include hallucinations delusions and disorganized speech Approximately 200 000 new cases of schizophrenia are diagnosed in the United States annually In the movie A Beautiful Mind Ron Howard informs us about mathematician John Nash s life and his struggles with schizophrenia He explains the positive and negative symptoms of this mental disease and how he was being treated John Nash was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia when he was around 30 years of age This type of schizophrenia makes the person develop a sense of fear towards people since they start to believe they can harm them Therefore Nash begins to hallucinate when he was at Princeton University completing his doctorate degree this is an example of positive symptoms of schizophrenia
His first delusion was Charles Herman his roommate who was a literature student at Princeton or at least that was what he believed helped him make decisions but he also made him do crazy things For example when he was trying to publish his own thesis Herman encourages Nash to throw his desk out the window and some students notice this and are startled by his actions In another scene Herman and Nash are at the library and he suggest him to get a break and to go out to drink and Nash yells in the library I have respect for beer and everyone noticed he was having an outburst After he finished developing his thesis he gets hired at Wheeler Labs where he can teach students a mathematics course Furthermore he obtains another delusion which was a person from the Department of Defense named William Parcher Nash began to believe that Parcher implants a chip on his arms because he wants him to help him break Nazi codes This shows he was suffering from a delusion since back then the U S military didn t have the adequate technology to implant a chip on a person Meanwhile he starts developing a relationship with his now wife Alicia Larde Throughout the movie we see how his delusion begins taking over his life since all he works and focuses on is trying to break the Nazi codes Parcher gives him instead of emembering that he had a date with his girlfriend to celebrate her birthday This ultimately shows how his delusions make him forget about the tasks he must do which is another positive symptom of schizophrenia Throughout the movie John Nash does have negative symptoms of schizophrenia
For example in the beginning of the movie Nash has difficulties socializing with his classmates In a scene Nash is talking to Herman his delusion and he tells him I don t like people much and they don t much like me Spielman explains how asociality or social withdrawal and lack of interest in engaging in social interactions with others is another negative symptom 573 John Nash was able to go back to his wife after he was at a psychiatric hospital for about a year When he comes back he stops taking his medication and this is when one of the negative symptoms comes back which was anhedonia an inability to experience pleasure one who exhibits anhedonia expresses little interest in what most people consider to be pleasurable activities such as hobbies recreation or sexual activity Spielman 573 Ultimately since he stops taking his medication he has a relapse and begins seeing the hallucinations In the end of the movie Nash and his wife decide not to intern him in the psychiatric hospital nor give him anymore treatment Nash begins to ignore his delusions and can continue his life normally eventually earning the Nobel Prize at age 66 In conclusion I don t believe that the film was implying that a person with schizophrenia can fully recover since at the end of the film it shows how John Nash still had the delusions he just decided to ignore them because he knew it was unreal In addition I don t believe that the film is implying that you can cure schizophrenia without medication since before John Nash and his wife decided to end his treatment the doctor explained to him that schizophrenia is degenerative how over time he was getting worst and how he couldn't come up with a formula to change the way he experience the world because without treatment the fantasies could take over entirely A Beautiful Mind 1 40 Another example is that after he received the Nobel Prize for his work in mathematics he saw his delusions from afar Therefore the film did explain that without treatment the fantasies were going to be there and he's had them throughout his life Finally schizophrenia is a terrible mental disorder but with the right treatment the person has could be able to help them live their life much better
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