Living with Schizophrenia “The mind is indeed a beautiful thing. It is the reason for our ingenuity, artistic originality and maybe even our humanity. What happens however when the mind works against us? When it tricks us into believing that what is not real to be the actual, destroying our sense of being? ” (Angelo) We see this played out firsthand in the life of John Forbes Nash Jr. in “A Beautiful Mind. ” The film was directed by Ron Howard and starred Russell Crowe, who plays John Nash, Paul Bettany, who plays Nash’s imaginary friend Charles, and Jennifer Connelly, who plays Nash’s wife Alicia.
The movie “won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actress. It was also nominated for Best Leading Actor, Best Editing, Best Makeup, and Best Score“ (A Beautiful Mind). “A Beautiful Mind” “presents itself as a biography of the flesh-and-blood John Nash. And in fact, it is really only a flashy, sentimental Hollywood movie, inspired by a few particular details of the John Nash story. (Overstreet) This review is accurate in this description, director Ron Howard delivers a brilliant master peace but it is not all fact. For instance, John Nash never had visual hallucinations and he divorced his wife and later remarried. Though it is not an accurate representation, John Forbes Nash, Jr. did suffer from schizophrenia. John Forbes Nash, Jr. , or John Nash as he is referred to in the movie, was born June 13, 1928 in Bluefield, West Virginia where he was raised. Nash took classes from Bluefield College while still attending Bluefield High School. After graduating from high school in 1945, he enrolled at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on a Westinghouse scholarship, where he studied chemical engineering and chemistry before switching to mathematics. He received both his bachelor's degree and his master's degree in 1948 while at Carnegie Tech. ” (John Forbes Nash, Jr. ). The film begins as Nash is attending Princeton University for his postgraduate work in mathematics and writes his thesis on non-cooperative games which he later receives the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
In the movie Nash gets a job at Massachusetts Institution of Technology after graduating from Princeton. It is at MIT where Nash meets his future wife, Alicia, and falls in love with her and she remains his faithful mate even through his maddening episodes of schizophrenia. The film differs from reality in many instances, his love life being one of them. In reality Nash had a trivial relationship with a nurse by the name of Eleanor Stier, they had a son together and named him John David Stier.
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After the child was born Nash abandoned both of them and went through a homosexual stage, in the mid-1950s he was “arrested in a Santa Monica restroom on a morals charge related to a homosexual encounter” (John Forbes Nash, Jr. ). This was said to have caused him to lose his job at MIT and caused him to want to get married. Only now is Alicia brought into the picture, a student of his at MIT from El Salvador. John Forbes Nash, Jr. and Alicia Lopez-Harrison de Larde get married in 1957 and two years later Alicia admits John Nash to the mental hospital.
In the movie he is tackled by two men and a third, Dr. Rosen, administers a sedative and they haul Nash away in their car, all while students and teachers are watching. Schizophrenia is described as being a “mental disorder characterized by abnormalities in the perception or expression of reality. ” (Schizophrenia) Normally it occurs in young adulthood and manifests itself in auditory hallucinations paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, while visual hallucinations are possible they are extremely rare and John Nash Jr. said that he only had auditory hallucinations.
The visual manifestations in the movie were only to intrigue the audience and to clarify the sincerity and the reality of the disease. Schizophrenia is a very rare disease, affecting half of one percent of the population of the world and scientists and doctors know little more about it presently than when John Nash was diagnosed. While knowledge of schizophrenia is scarce people have found some useful treatments such as Insulin Shock Therapy and certain medications such as Typical Antipsychotic and the newer Atypical Antipsychotic, we see John Nash undergo the Insulin Shock Therapy in the late 1950s and the early 1960s.
Insulin Shock Therapy however has been replaced by newer and more effective medications. The Typical Antipsychotics are the pink pills that Nash takes after his hospitalization. He says these medications make it hard for him to focus and he cannot respond to his wife so he stops taking them. This only causes further pain when Nash’s hallucinations all come back. Nash eventually learns how to cope with these hallucinations and just ignores them. In conclusion, the movie “A Beautiful Mind” is a very inspirational film that fills the audience with we and intrigue as they watch Nash learn to live with schizophrenia and attempt to remain a viable part of society. John Forbes Nash Jr. has influenced economics, mathematics, and physics, he taught at two major universities, he got married, he won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, and he showed millions that it is possible to do all these things while living with schizophrenia. Works Cited Angelo. “Beautiful Mind, A (2001)” MovieFreak. com – The Film Palace. 13 January 2010. Web. 04 March 2010. Overstreet, Jeffrey. A Beautiful Mind (2001)” Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter, Inc. 12 May 2004. Web. 04 March 2010. http://www. rottentomatoes. com/m/beautiful_mind/ “A Beautiful Mind (Film)” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 04 March 2010. Web. 04 March 2010. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/A_Beautiful_Mind_(film) “John Forbes Nash, Jr. ” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 04 March 2010. Web. 04 March 2010. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/John_Forbes_Nash,_Jr “Schizophrenia” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. 01 March 2010. Web. 04 March 2010. http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Schizophrenia
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