Psychology paper related to Movie “A Beautiful Mind”
Schizophrenia is characterized by a wide spectrum of emotional and cognitive dysfunctions coupled with delusions, disorganized speech and behavior as well as inappropriate emotions. Symptoms associated with schizophrenia can be grouped into positive, negative and disorganized. Positive symptoms in schizophrenia involve active manifestations of abnormal behavior or distortion of the normal behavior manifested through delusions and hallucinations. The negative symptoms indicate deficits in normal behavior in various dimensions like emotion, motivation and speech.
The disorganized symptoms associated with schizophrenia involve rambling speech, unpredictable behavior and improper emotion. People suffering from schizophrenia exhibit characteristics of mood disorders like depression and bipolar emotional disorder. Delusional disorder in schizophrenia includes an individual showing a persistent belief that is contrary to reality (Durand and David 500). Schizophrenia usually consists of disorders within thinking process, perception, emotion and sensory. As a mental disorder, schizophrenia is characterized by inexplicable anxiety, fatigue and rapid mood swings; moreover, schizophrenics suffer from visual illusions and hallucinations (Keefe and Philip 10 & 11).
DSM model considers five forms of schizophrenia (Durand and David 500). This model acknowledges people with paranoid form of schizophrenia to exhibit prominent hallucinations although cognitive skills and emotions remain intact. Individuals suffering from disorganized form of schizophrenia are inclined to demonstrate a marked disruption in speech and behavior coupled with inappropriate emotion. People with catatonic form of schizophrenia exhibit unusual motor reactions like remaining in rigid positions, engaging in extreme actions and being oppositional since they tend to remain rigid. Moreover, individuals suffering from this form of schizophrenia display strange mannerism through their bodies and faces. Individuals who never properly fit within these forms of schizophrenia are classified into a group known as undifferentiated form of schizophrenia. Another form of schizophrenia is referred to as residual schizophrenia in which an individual only suffers one episode but no longer exhibit major signs of schizophrenia (Durand and David 500).
Various causative factors are implicated in the disorder like genetic factors, disproportions in neurotransmitter, psychological pressures and brain structural injuries resulting from prenatal viral infection. Nevertheless, some psychological health professionals argue that schizophrenia is an indication of a sick society. This perception of schizophrenia shows the disorder to be a means of coping with perverse social forces faced by an individual. This social theory never speculates low social class to be the cause of schizophrenia but rather considers all social classes to be at risk of the illness (Tsuang, Stephen and Stephen 56).
The real John Nash was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 1959 at McLean Hospital in Boston where the psychiatrists had a hard time convincing him of his delusions. Nash diagnosis fits the paranoid form of schizophrenia quite well because for a period of more than 10 years he underwent more than one delusion accompanied by hallucinations. Nash experienced bizarre delusions such as aliens tarnishing his career, government schemes, his desire to design a one-world government, being the royal leader of Antarctica, and being an essential messianic figure among others. DSM shows paranoid schizophrenia as exemplified by grandiose delusions, which happens to be the case for John Nash. For instance, at the onset of the disorder Nash exhibits grandiose themes like propelling the world into forming a single government and designing a worldwide institute (Riplee para20).
John Hash was abnormal since his life was deviant in some ways as indicated by his friends and colleagues who point out Nash to be beyond the ordinary. In his childhood, Nash had few friends since he chose to spend a lot of time alone and although is normal for a child to be shy, Nash’s shyness seemed to trounce the normal shyness evident in children. Nash preferred being alone and never overcame the odd behavior that made him aloof because even when he was graduating after attaining his PhD he was considered aloof and odd. Although Nash functioned normally within the academic sphere and in his career pursuits prior to suffering from disorder, his strange and peculiar behaviors were enough to dent his relations. Although, Nash’s peculiarity never obstructed his ability with regard to performing well academically or his career, he had interpersonal difficulties since his weird behaviors got in the way. Nash never had many steady relationships; for instance, his relationships with his son, John and his parents were rather shaky. After the onset of schizophrenia, Nash became impaired in all aspects of his life as evidenced in his increased detachment, broken marriage, and loss of job as well as his failure to sustain a job. Nash’s life was in a mess since he was often in hospital and was aloof as well as secretive mainly after the onset of the disorder (Riplee para38 & 40).
Considering the elaborate life of the real John, it is clear that some things in the movie are just wrong; for instance, the characters and scenes are compressed and events seem to be somehow out of touch with the real life of John Nash. The movie portrays Nash as a sympathetic and likeable individual while the real Nash before suffering from schizophrenia was cruel, insensitive, and hard to like (Brander 256). The most interesting aspect of both the movie and the real John Nash involve the schizophrenia disorder; however, the real life seems to handle the disorder exemplary compared to the movie (Brander 257). Although the movie “A beautiful Mind” deviates from the real life associated with John Nash, it retains the essence of John Nash’s story.
Various aspects of the movie are specifically troubling like the filmmaker’s lies of omission through eliminating significant events in Nash’s life. For instance, the movie eliminates homosexual experiences associated with the real John Nash since in real life Nash had one-sided infatuations toward other men. The movie never bothered to describe the homosexual affair that Nash apparently had while he was young. Moreover, Nash’s illegitimate son from a relationship with a nurse is never depicted in the movie even though he exists. The movie only depicts his legitimate son John, which he bore with his wife Alicia. The movie seems to maintain the real emotion associated with the real life of John Nash when he suffered from schizophrenia until he recovered from the disorder.
- Brander, James A. “A Beautiful Mind (Book/Movie).” Canadian Journal Of Economics 36.1 (2003): 254. Business Source Complete. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.
Durand, Vincent M, and David H. Barlow. Essentials of Abnormal Psychology. Australia: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2010. Print.
Keefe, Richard S. E, and Philip D. Harvey. Understanding Schizophrenia: A Guide to the New Research on Causes and Treatment. New York: Free Press, 1994. Print.
Riplee Overcoming Paranoid Schizophrenia: the Inspiring Case of John Forbes Nash, Jr. Forensic Psych. n.d. Web.
Tsuang, Ming T, Stephen V. Faraone, and Stephen J. Glatt. Schizophrenia. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011. Print.