The movie “A Beautiful Mind” tells the story of Nobel Prize winner John Nash’s struggle with schizophrenia. It follows his journey from the point where he is not even aware he has schizophrenia, to the point where Nash and his wife find a way to manage his condition. The movie provides a lot of information and insight into the psychological condition of schizophrenia, including information on the symptoms, the treatment and cures, the life for the individual and for the individual’s family.
The movie is effective at demonstrating various concepts related to schizophrenia, and provides an insight into the disease of schizophrenia. The movie accurately portrays the nature of schizophrenia using John Nash as a perfect example, who exhibits many of the key symptoms of the disease. An inability to communicate is one of the main symptoms of schizophrenia, one which takes its toll on interpersonal relationships and intimacy. The movie does an excellent job showing the problems that Alicia had as she tries to help her husband seek treatment and recover from the disease.
A Beautiful Mind directly shows a medical definition of schizophrenia. Nash exhibits many of the key symptoms of the disease: hallucinations (he has a roommates but he lives in a single dorm room), delusions (thinks he works for the government), ideas of reference, poor social skills (mumbles, doesn’t talk much to strangers), awkward gestures and facial expressions, and jumbled speech. I do, however, feel it is impossible for a film to convey the exact experience of a schizophrenic or to cover all the elements of the illness.
Nash showed much change in the way he was functioning through the movie. After treatment, it seemed like he had his disease under control, but he still had problems disbelieving in his hallucinations by still acting on them. For example, he still thought he was working for the government by helping them decode secrete codes in the newspapers. He tried to hide this from his wife by keeping all his work hidden in a shed. Eventually, Nash’s life is seen as he returns to the college to teach and continues completing his mathematics work, while still seeing the delusions.
This life is clearly far from normal. But for Nash, it also seems the best option. Nash was still experiencing his disease at the end of the movie. Because it showed the people that he was hallucinating about, meaning that he could still see them and interact with them if he chooses to. By the very end of the movie it showed Nash choosing not to interact with his hallucinations and that he had a firm hold on his disease. It is shown that he has gained the respect of his co-workers.
This suggests that with patience and understanding from others, individuals with schizophrenia can live effective lives, while managing their schizophrenia. I thought his behaviors were very deviant because he tried to hide everything from the people who cared about him because Nash was afraid that they would some how mess things up for him. Like the example I gave above he tried hiding all of his work from his wife. Nash acted very dysfunctional through out the movie. Even though he was a genius he still lacked communication skills, he showed involuntary movement of his body, and he mumbled his speech a lot.
Nash’s behavior was not only endangering himself but it was also endangering others, like his son. Because he did not realize that he was hallucinating and he didn’t think anything was wrong with him, the treatment he went through was very harmful to him. For example the medications and shock therapy. Overall the movie had a very big impact on the way I think and feel about people suffering from abnormal psychological problems. Even for a genius of a man such as Nash, people with these problems seem doomed to an abnormal life.
I think it is getting easier to deal with such diseases because society is no longer just labeling people as crazy, but singling out the symptoms and trying to help people with these problems. My personal reaction to this movie was very good. I thought the movie was put together very well and made such a difficult disease to understand pretty simple. I guess the movie didn’t make me want to go change the world or anything but it did help me realize that these problems are real and not just something movies portray as something serial killers have.