The film “A Beautiful Mind” takes us on a journey of the life of Dr. John Nash, a brilliant mathematician who suffered from schizophrenia. The film goes from him not knowing he has this illness to the point where he learns to deal with it in his own way, with his wife by his side. Throughout the film, we see John with his college roommate, Charles. We see John with Charles’ niece, Marcee. We see John with Parcher, the head of a CIA-like organization that needs John’s help decoding Russian messages. These three people are not real. They are figments of John’s imagination. They are hallucinations. Whenever they are on the screen, no one else sees them. The little girl Marcee goes running through a crowd of birds on the ground, and none of the birds fly away. Whenever Charles is on screen, he is never around for the other people around John to see. Parcher is very secretive and everything is top-secret. When first watching the film as it progresses, you don’t realize that these people are not real. It is not until John is acting increasingly paranoid and his wife is worried enough to call a psychiatrist that we realize more is going on. Dr. Rosen intercepts John during a math conference when John sees him and some men and he fears they are coming for him, and he decides to run. In the hospital, we see that most of what went on in the film were John’s own delusions.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that is characterized as a group of brain disorders where people interpret reality abnormally. It may result in some combination of hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking and behavior. People with schizophrenia do not have the ability to function normally and care for themselves, this ability deteriorating over time. It is a chronic condition requiring lifelong treatment. According to the DSM-IV-TR, schizophrenia symptoms are two (or more) of the following, each present for a significant portion of time during a 1-month period:...
References: A Beautiful Mind. Dir. Ron Howard. 2001.
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