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Psychology Analysis

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Lorena Thoma Psych 1 Rm. # D135 Professor Nancy Melucci Term Paper:
A Beautiful Mind.

The film, A Beautiful Mind, is about the life of Mathematician John Nash and his struggle with paranoid schizophrenia. It follows his journey from the point in his life that he is completely unaware of his schizophrenia, to the point where, thanks to Princeton University, his employer at the time, along with his dedicated and faithful wife Alicia and their accommodations for him, find a way to properly manage his condition. The film succeeds in realistically describing the disturbed thinking, emotion, and behavior that characterizes this disorder, as well as the difficult management and recovery from schizophrenia. The movie communicates the vital importance of the factors that contributed to Nash’s recovery and achievement as an intellectual, such as the Nobel Prize in 1994 and world acclaim. His story shows first-hand the problems that come with the territory. This is the story about the mystery and complex functions of the mind, in its three main acts, genius, madness, and reawakening.in this paper I will discuss how accurate the depiction of schizophrenia is in the film.
Nash shows many of the symptoms characterized by schizophrenia, such as being socially withdrawn. For example, at the beginning of the film Nash is very dissociated and awkward in social situations. He doesn’t seem to be well associated with people and becomes very anxious and disoriented around others most of the time he is under the assumption that people do not like him, and is rarely in the company of others. As Nash’s schizophrenia increasingly gets worse he begins to notice words and phrases in the newspaper and put them together in a way that confirms his suspicions that supernatural things were happening specifically for him to see. His brain begins to play games with his mind and it is virtually impossible not to trust your own mind; that is why the basic problem of this serious mental disorder is that the patient has no insight, Nash could not disbelieve his own mind. In the film it is also shown that as Nash’s illness progresses his speech becomes more impaired and he shows a somewhat autistic behavior indicated by his attempts to comfort himself, his feelings of lack of self-worth, and his incapability of functioning properly. Nash begins to push the people he cares most about away and is not completely in control what he feels and how he expresses what he is feeling, this is caused by the medication he is given.
The movie not only does a good job in showing what schizophrenia can do to a person and his or her family , but it also does a great Job in showing the treatments and care given to a person with the mental illness. The film accurately shows the treatment for a person with schizophrenia in the 1930s and 40s which was Insulin Shock Therapy or Insulin Coma Therapy (ICT). This treatment was given to Nash repeatedly at 5 days a week for 2 weeks. This also affected his behavior towards others, and his responsiveness or alertness towards the things going on around him. With the help of his colleagues and wife helped Nash recovers progressively, eventually controlling his delusions and learning to ignore them.
The movie creates an opportunity to see the effect of the mental illness and how it can be overcome. The movie shows first-hand the problems that schizophrenia may cause, such as John seeing fictional characters. Its most effective element is the showing and realistic images of the delusions of John Nash’s mind. This is the closest any healthy and normal person can come to understanding the panic and confusion that come together with a mind that is out of control. The saddest thing about Nash’s story is that the people we love and care for soon become strangers. He could no longer trust those close to him because they could not relate or believe any of his problems. For the first time we get an understanding of the amazing courage people with schizophrenia need to face these terrors every day and their struggle to survive.
The movie does not leave us without hope. John Nash was able to live through the years with his sickness and learned how to distinguish reality from imaginary. Not all people are as fortunate as he was to recover and gain his life and loved ones back. Slowly and over time in many subjects with schizophrenia the delusions lessen with the appropriate medicine and therapy, however it is possible to recover without medicine. This movie was a good perception of schizophrenia. The movie depicts many scenes that give insight to this disorder. The hallucinations begin to drive persons to become paranoid and delusional. It includes behaviors, treatments and side effects from the medications that are associated with the disorder. The films accuracy is shown throughout many areas of the film depicting his life. For instance, Nash constantly suffered from paranoia due to his schizophrenia, he believed he was being watched by soviets, which in turn leads him to act as if he was always on edge and constantly concerned with the situation.
The disorder does not allow its victims to function normally and concentrate on important matters. The disorder causes them to fix their attention on their paranoia and the images created by schizophrenia. The power of their paranoia, just like Nash, almost ruins their life, as clearly displayed in the movie. Paranoia or paranoid schizophrenia can affect all kinds of people Nash was no exception. It usually occurs more with people who have a reason to be suspicious of others.
In my opinion, A Beautiful Mind gave a very descriptive and intellectual view on the effects, treatment, and recovery of the mental illness. Through examples and situations it helped show circumstances that people must suffer with if they have schizophrenia or paranoia. A sense of hope was shown because Nash overcame his illness, and with help many others can attain this outcome. A Beautiful Mind gave a clearer and better understanding of the struggle between reality and a world created by illness of the mind, even a brilliant mind like Nash’s. The distinction between imagination and reality is one that the film hits on target. Most people with schizophrenia experience hearing voices and the hallucinations which are mostly auditory, but for others it can be visual as well. So far from increasing people’s understanding and knowledge of mental illness the film does a profound job of showing the nature of schizophrenia. The imagined characters start off as serving as benign and at times even helpful to the sufferer for some, but they can also make life more difficult. At times the subject may miss the voices or figments of their imagination if they go away, because they have in a way developed a relationship the subject assumed was real.

Reference s: http://www.ncbi.nlm.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001925 http://www.webmd.com/schizophrenia/guide/schizophrenia-symptoms-types http://www.mayoclinic/health/paranoid-schizophrenia/DS00862/DSECTION=symptoms
Encyclopedia of Psychology Volume 8.…...

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