The film A Beautiful Mind portrays the life story of Nobel Prize winning mathematician John Nash. NashÆs genius in mathematics was counterbalanced by his affliction with paranoid schizophrenia. According to the DSM-IV (1994), paranoid schizophrenia is classified as one of six psychotic disorders that are characterized by psychosis, delusions and hallucinations. When the individual afflicted with paranoid schizophrenia hears voices, which Nash does, only one or more of the following symptoms need be present for a diagnosis of schizophrenia:
Disorganized Speech (e.g., frequent derailment of incoherence)
Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
Negative Symptoms (i.e., affective flattening, alogia, or avolition)
Schizoaffective disorder and mood disorder must be ruled out before schizophrenia diagnosis is determined, while duration (symptoms must persist at least six months) and social/occupational dysfunction are also diagnostic criteria.
The film A Beautiful Mind portrays the life of John F. Nash, Jr., a man who suffers from a classic case of paranoid schizophrenia. The films shows NashÆs early college life, filled with intense study and avoidance of anything as commonplace and anti-educational as classes. ôClasses will dull your mindö, says Nash in the film (Howard, 2001). Through complete immersion in his mathematical preoccupations at the expense of his social relationships - ôI donÆt much like people, and they donÆt much like meö û Nash develops the original idea he so yearns for, the Nash Equation. Sought by every major university, Nash chooses MIT where he teaches on occasion and makes periodic trips to Washington to break codes for the Pentagon.
NashÆs symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia begin to manifest when he is 30. According to the biographer, Sylvia Nasar (2002), who wrote the biography of Nash the film is based on, explains: ôIn 1959, just as he was about to be promoted to full profe...