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Beautiful Mind

Essay by review  •  November 21, 2010  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,130 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,374 Views

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The movie "A Beautiful Mind" is a biographical story about the schizophrenic genius, John Forbes Nash Jr., played by Russell Crowe. Based on a true story, the plot entails John Nash attending Princeton University and overcoming many obstacles presented to him because of his psychological disorder and is eventually issued the Nobel prize for his excellence in economics. While it would be absurd to question the intelligence of this man, his mind allows for too much imagination and too many altered thoughts. Although his mental capacity might be brilliant, his intelligence must be defined through the mind of his schizophrenic personality.

While studying at Princeton University, John Nash struggles to establish his legacy in the world of mathematics. Eventually, John Nash revolutionizes a theory that earns him the Nobel Prize. John Nash then falls in love with one of his students, Alicia, while teaching at Princeton after graduation. Once he is married, the government requests John Nash to help break secret Soviet codes, which lands him in the center of a conspiracy plot. Since he believes that he is working for the government, John Nash is very secretive and protective of his work, causing his wife to become more and more suspicious. Eventually, his secret is uncovered and changes his entire life as he knows it. Through the loving devotion of his wife, he eventually learns to recover from his illness and once again be recognized as the mathematical genius that has impacted society so greatly today.

Schizophrenia is a major psychological problem that affects many aspects of daily life. The word schizophrenia is derived from the Greek language; schizo meaning "to split" or "to cut" and phren which means "reason" or "mind". Many movies inaccurately display schizophrenia as a split personality, not a split from reality. However, it is not a split between the aspects of a person's mind, rather a split from experiences. Schizophrenic characteristics include altered affects of behavior, cognition, and the pattern and form of thought (BOOK).

Schizophrenia has two different types of symptoms: positive and negative. Positive symptoms tend to be more responsive to medication and are an excess or distortion of normal functions such as hallucinations. It can also consist of delusions of persecution, delusions of grandeur, delusions of reference, delusions of control, disordered behavior, and disorganized speech. These different delusions constitute different beliefs that the person may have, such as delusions of persecution which is the belief that others are plotting against the affected person. Delusions of grandeur are beliefs that the affected person is more important than they actually are. The belief that normal events have a more significant meaning and are directed toward the mentally ill person are called delusions of reference. Lastly, delusions of control are believes that one's feelings, behaviors, and thoughts are in the someone else's control. Disorganized behavior refers to the person possibly having childlike sickness' or unpredictable agitation, and also present this person with difficulty with normal tasks such as meals, hygiene, or getting dressed. Disorganized speech describes a person's difficulty to formulate sentences that make sense(BOOK). These behaviors are described as positive symptoms because they exhibit the presence of unusual behaviors. Negative symptoms mark the loss of normal functions such as speech, flat affect, alogia, and avolition. The flat affect is a term to describe someone who appears to have little or no emotion. Another negative symptom, alogia, describes the slow reaction that one might have to questions and conversation. Also, avolition, or the inability to engage in goal-directed behavior, is another negative symptom associated with schizophrenia which makes it easy for a schizophrenic to be stationary for long periods of time without any actions or social interaction.

There are four divisions that schizophrenia can be categorized into. First, there is paranoid schizophrenia where the person has delusions of persecution, auditory hallucinations, yet intellect and intelligence are not affected. The second category is disorganized schizophrenia which is characterized mainly by disorganized speech and behavior. Flat or inappropriate

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