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A Beautiful Mind

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Essay title: A Beautiful Mind

A Beautiful Mind illustrates many of the topics relating to psychological disorders. The main character of the film, John Nash, is a brilliant mathematician who suffers from symptoms of Schizophrenia. His symptoms include paranoid delusions, grandiosity, and disturbed perceptions. The disease disrupts his social relationships, his studies, and his work. The more stressful his life becomes the more his mind is not able to distinguish between reality and fantasy.

Nash’s first hallucination is in his college dorm room when his drunken roommate Charles appears. Charles acts as a mentor to Nash by making him realize that work and studies are not the only things life has to offer. Throughout his life, Nash has been a “lone wolf”, and Charles pushes Nash to go out with friends and have “respect for beer.” It is then, when his mind relaxes that he is able to come up with his ultimate goal, an original idea, and set himself apart from the rest of his classmates. When he is recognized for his achievements he is given the facilities at M.I.T. he needs to further his research.

In his new position at M.I.T., Nash is given a class to teach in addition to his personal research. Eventually Nash finds himself as a highly respected code breaker and does confidential work for the Pentagon and Wheeler Defense Laboratories. Around the same time he finds the love of his life in the class he teaches. Although his stressful job interferes with this relationship, Nash and Alicia decide to stay together. As the relationship progresses, so does Nash’s disease and his delusions. His second hallucination is a man who he refers to as “Big Brother”, a.k.a. William Parcher.

He first sees Parcher out of the corner of his eye on one of his trips to the Pentagon. Parcher then approaches Nash about a confidential job in which his lack of personal connection would be an advantage. The job involves cracking codes that are supposed to lead to information about a conspiracy involving the Soviet Union bombing the U.S. Nash’s work with Parcher brings him further into the delusions and causes his reality to completely disintegrate. Nash goes as far as to drop off packages to a fake government mailbox. He starts to feel like he is being followed everywhere he goes.

His old friend Charles, as well as his niece Marcy come back into the picture to help him deal with the stress. Nash’s new wife Alicia realizes her husband’s condition one night when he comes home a mess and completely loses it when she turns on the lights in their apartment, screaming that the “Russians will find them!” Nash loses it on stage in the middle of a presentation at a math convention, and a psychiatrist sedates him and brings him to a mental institution. There he is diagnosed as schizophrenic and undergoes extensive shock therapy five times a week for ten weeks and is prescribed medication that helped rid him of his hallucinations.

Unfortunately his medication disrupts his relationship with his wife almost as much as his delusions did in the first place. For example, he couldn’t respond to his wife in bed, he couldn’t show affection to their child, and he couldn’t do simple tasks around the house. He stops taking his medication and falls back into his paranoid delusions. Nash has a breakthrough and realizes that the people he is seeing are hallucinations when he realizes that none of them age.

Alicia and the psychiatrist insist that he go back on his medication to keep him healthy, but Nash refuses, saying that he will ignore the hallucinations because the affects of the medicine are not worth it. Although the doctor disagrees with his decision, his wife supports him, and eventually Nash’s life returns to semi-normal. He

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