Running head: ABNORMAL PSYCHOLOGY IN THE MEDIA
Abnormal Psychology in the Media
February 19, 2013
Abnormal Psychology in the Media
The film “A Beautiful Mind” (Grazer, 2001) tells of the true life of John Nash, a Nobel Prize winner who has struggled the majority of his life with paranoid schizophrenia. This essay will evaluate John Nash’s exhibited behaviors, and how therapists from the 5 perspectives of abnormal psychology would have treated his illness. At the beginning of the movie “A beautiful Mind” (Grazer, 2001), John Nash is moving into a dorm room at Princeton University in 1947. John Nash appears slightly strange by exhibiting social withdrawal by avoiding people, along with a drop in school performance as he does not attend his classes. Soon visual hallucinations become apparent as Charles; his roommate makes appearances with his niece Marcie throughout the movie, along with Parcher, the head of the Department of Defense, who appears later in the movie as John Nash’s hallucinations become worse. John Nash begins to believe that he is employed by the Department of Defense, deciphering secret codes from the Soviets. As John’s hallucinations peak, he is admitted to a mental hospital under the care of Dr. Rosen, who diagnoses him with advanced schizophrenia. During the hospital stay, John received Thorazine injections, rendering him unconscious. John is seen during his stay at the hospital restrained to a chair, as well as a bed. During the time that he is restrained to a bed, Doctor Rosen is seen administering insulin injections, resulting in seizure activity as John’s wife is viewing the procedure through a window. Doctor Rosen tells Johns wife, Alicia that John must have insulin therapy several times a week in order to get well. Once John has returned home, he is seen taking two pink tablets several times a day. John appears to be keeping to himself while trying to deal with the effects of his medication; he decides to stop taking it without anyone knowing. Soon Alicia discovers that John is again having hallucinations of working for the department of defense requiring John to return to Doctor Rosen. After John resumes his medications, he begins to realize that Charles, Marcie and Parcher are not real. John goes to his friend Martin, who is in charge of the math department at Princeton University, asking for permission to sit in classes in order for him to get back into society which results in John gaining a teaching position after learning to deal with his illness by ignoring his hallucinations. The five perspectives of abnormal psychology are: biological, psychodynamic, humanistic, cognitive, and sociocultural. The biological model of abnormal psychology “focuses on genetics, neurotransmitters, brain changes, and other physical factors” (Kearney, C., & Trull, T., 2012 Pg. 23). Treatment through this model would begin with a “diagnostic interview along with images of the brain structure from an MRI” (Kearney, C., & Trull, T., 2012, Pg. 25). After these evaluations, a therapist would decide on the treatment necessary to treat the disorder such as therapy, social training skills, vocational rehabilitation, and medications. John Nash would possibly be given dopamine which “generally has antipsychotic effects easing the symptoms of schizophrenia” (Kearney, C., & Trull, T., 2012, Pg. 25) and therapy. According to Saul McLeod (2007) the biological approach believes that most behavior is inherited and has an adaptive function. Biological factors such as hormones, chromosomes, and the brain have significant influence on behavior, in the case of John Hall having schizophrenia; biological psychologists believe that levels of dopamine are the cause (Pg. 6). The psychodynamic model of abnormal psychology “focuses on internal personality characteristics” (Kearney, C., & Trull, T., 2012, Pg. 25). Treatments from this perspective would...
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