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Symptoms of Schizophrenia Seen in "a Beautiful Mind"

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In the film " A Beautiful Mind" John Nash experiences a few different positive symptoms. The first of these positive symptoms are seen through the hallucinations John has of having a room -mate while at Princeton. This room- mate continues to stay "in contact" with John through out his adult life and later this room- mate's niece enters Johns mind as another coinciding hallucination. Nash's other hallucination is Ed Harris, who plays a government agent that seeks out Nash's intelligence in the field of code- breaking.

This hallucination of Ed Harris is the key factor in Nash's delusional thinking. He has delusions of being a secret government aide that is helping the U.S. find bombs throughout the country that were placed here by the Russians. Nash hallucinates that Ed Harris places a device inside his arm that allows him to see a code under an ultra-violet light. This device allows Nash to gain entrance to a secret location where he is to leave the cracked codes. In reality this secret location is an abandoned, dilapidated mansion, and the key- pad that Nash types his code into no longer functions. Nash's code breaking abilities are partly made possible by his hallucinations. The codes pop out of the paper to him and everything makes sense. Even though the codes are imaginary since there was no secret- code- breaking- project underway, Nash figures out mathematical formulas and actually modifies a theory that had been accepted in its field. He says that he can't do his work without the hallucinations.

One scene that will remain in my mind forever and the best example of the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia is a scene where John Nash is shown holding his infant son while the baby is crying and Nash shows absolutely no sign of emotion at all. This is just one example, although a loss of feeling is one of the most predominate negative symptoms. Nash's flat affect is seen through out the film in many instances but that scene that shows him holding the baby shows it in a way that almost anyone can relate to, assuming they are not afflicted by the same condition.

The evidence of the cognitive symptoms, as with any disease, is more difficult to see externally in a person suffering from Schizophrenia. John Nash was not a very social person and I believe that this is attributed to the inability of expressing thoughts and feelings caused by the disease. His office in the movie looks somewhat like what I imagined the inside of his mind to look like; cluttered. Pictures on top of articles, on top of more pictures. There were papers hanging from the ceiling and string connecting pictures while forming patterns. One pattern I saw repeated a few times throughout the film was a spider- web image. This to me just shows how everything in his mind seemed as though it was connected in some way.

Since neither me nor anyone else in my family is afflicted with this horrible, pain-staking disease, I have no first hand knowledge regarding the issue. It seems to me that a person can not understand this disease without being surrounded by it and feeling



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