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Abnormal Psychology

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  • July 31, 2013
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The film A Beautiful Mind is a 2001 American film based on the life of John Nash, a famous American mathematician. The movie revolves around Nash’s life as he develops and has to deal with paranoid schizophrenia. It explores the symptoms, social responses and treatment of schizophrenia. The film was created as a biographical drama; as such there are some concepts and ideas which have been altered to better suit production, which do not necessarily reflect the real life scenario.

A Beautiful Mind is set in the time period between 1947-94. The context in which is film is set is of much relevance. In 1959 psychiatrist Kurt Schneider, came out with his First Rank Symptoms, a group of symptoms he proposed would diagnose schizophrenia. This is relevant because it is right during the time in which the film is set. His symptoms included auditory hallucinations and though alienation, two symptoms shown by John Nash in the film. The only slight variance here was that in real life John Nash did not see the voices as people like he does in the film, he only hears them. A slight variation to the real story, it is possible that schizophrenic s see things, but it was not the case for Nash. These symptoms in the film still give the film an accurate portrayal of what was looked for in a schizophrenic at the time (hallucinations and thought alienation). However, there are some problems with Schneider’s symptoms, so the film does not 100% reflect modern day opinions. It still is however, an accurate representation based on the context of the film.

The methods used to try and treat Nash of his mental disorder in the film included electroconvulsive therapy, taking a special medication and social rehabilitation. These particular forms of treatment are both realistic and plausible treatments that are/have been used for the management of schizophrenia. The electroconvulsive therapy shown in the film was accurate with the patient being injected with a substance,...