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A Beautiful Mind is a movie that is based on the life of a schizophrenic math genius known as John Nash. This movie begins when he enters graduate school at Princeton to study mathematics where the early symptoms of schizophrenia begin to show and continue in the later parts of his life when he wins the Nobel Prize while still dealing with his disability. As the movie goes on, so does the schizophrenia which is getting worse by John’s make believe work of the military. By watching the scenes from the movie, we can get a glimpse into the life long struggles that someone with disability such as schizophrenia will go through.
In the beginning of the movie I noticed John to be a genius who seems to be socially awkward but progresses to show how his schizophrenia impacts him. The movie begins with John introducing himself to other graduate students, where he tries to joke around with the fellas but ends up offending them and ends up leaving. After this he heads back to his room where he meets his roommate Charles who is a graduate student studying English. This is the first time that John’s schizophrenic thoughts are known. I really noticed John’s schizophrenic delusions when in the movie he is giving a speech about his current research. During the speech he starts to see men in suits in the lecture room, who he thinks are spies who have been ordered to capture him. He then runs out of the room and is chased by these spies. This scene shows just how much schizophrenia can affect a person and how it is not like other disabilities. I did realize that a schizophrenic person has trouble in the difference between real and imaginary things.They then capture him and it becomes clear that these men are not soviet spies but are actually men sent to get him and bring him to a psychiatric hospital so he can get help with his disability. In the beginning when his first sight came on I did believe that he was working with a secret agent, because the movie wasn’t clear in the difference from the lecture to the spin scene. I believed the man really did come and get him, but when later analyzing the movie I did notice that John’s delusions made him believe that he is working for the FBI. He believes that he has been performing top secret soviet code breaking and he has been delivering this research to a top secret mailbox.
In my personal research of schizophrenia, I believe the movie may not be a totally accurate description of John’s disability. In the movie Johns schizophrenia sets in when he is in his early 20 which is the average age for the symptoms of schizophrenia begin to be seen in people, however, the symptoms did not begin for Nash until he was in his mid 30 I believe the movie showed . Although his symptoms started late, they are still within the range of when the symptoms of schizophrenia can begin. The movie also takes a look of other symptoms such as delusions, reduced speaking or a low tone/ soft voice. These symptoms are put into effect in the beginning of the movie when Charles appears and also when John is talking to the other graduate students, although the symptoms do not appear fully you can still notice that there is something wrong with John. He does not speak a lot and when he does it is not with a lot of emotion, which can be apart of his disability I assume. Later in the movie when he is in the hospital his wife shows him that there is no agent named William and none of his envelopes have ever been opened. John is then told to take medication to help his schizophrenia. Later on the therapy sessions become violent and require restraints to hold him down while watched by a team of doctors. His wife was able to prove to him that no spies exist, which helps John realize that he actually has schizophrenia.
After being released from the hospital John tries to goo back too his normal life and his research. However, he was required to take medication to help treat the symptoms. When taking his medication he says that he was not able to think clear and it caused him to make little progress with his research. John then stops taking his medication so that he can think better. This affects him after he stops taking his medication he becomes delusional again. It shows when John is giving his baby a bath one day and his wife notices that something is off then runs back inside to find their baby drowning while John is having a schizophrenic attack and telling her that Charles was in there watching the baby. After this John is told that he will have to return to the psychiatric hospital and take medicine, which will slow down his research, but he learns to control his delusions, and he is able to return to Princeton and agrees to work at the library. While starting to work at Princeton, he still had to learn to deal with his delusions which showed to be difficult but manageable. During this John was able to resume his research and he then wins the Nobel Prize in economics for work that he did for his research. It shows how John has somewhat controlled his delusions and have returned back to normal life.
In conclusion after watching this movie, and reading reviews on the real John I have come to the conclusion that this movie is accurate on schizophrenia. From the difference of imaginary and real life. John was able to somehow control his schizophrenia without the use of medication. Overall I think this movie is a great and accurate example of what is it like to live with schizophrenia.
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