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 ROLL NO:009


DATE: 7th MARCH 2019


The film “A Beautiful Mind” released in 2001 directed by Ron Howard based on the book which
was written in a biographical style by Sylvia Nasser, characterizes the story of the brilliant
mathematician John Forbes Nash which was portrayed by the actor Russel Crowe, who suffered
from paranoid schizophrenia. At the beginning, Nash started his career as a mathematics graduate
student in Princeton where he was well known for his intelligence. Nash was an arrogant, awkward
socially-inept mathematics student, who spent most of his time making an effort to discover a
revolutionary equation in mathematics. At half way through the film, we discover that half of the
places and situations that occur in the film are only delusions within Nash's “beautiful” mind.
Imaginary characters that Nash develops in his mind was his roommate Charles, Marcee and
Parcher. Psychiatrist Rosen and Alicia his wife, stood by him and tried to prove that he had
delusions and hallucinations that never exists. In the end, he learned to ignore his hallucination
and continued his work. Despite the serious illness, he worked hard and came up with the game
theory, received a Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994 and thanks to the selfless devotion of his wife
and the continuing patronage of mathematics community.

 Schizophrenia has been defined as “split mind”.
 It refers to a split from reality that shows itself in disorganized thinking, disturbed
perceptions, and inappropriate emotions and actions.
 Paranoid Schizophrenia is subtype (of which Nash was suffering with), in which
disturbances in thought process, perception and behavior, blunt and flat emotions, and
motor abnormalities deteriorates personality functioning.


• characterized by •It is the initial phase when a person just

hallucinations, paranoid begins to develop the disorder.
delusions, and extremely •It is time in the film when Nash’s delusions
disorganized speech and started taking control over on him and it
behaviors. might get confused with the genius acts.

•When Nash’s start having

hallucinations of Charles,  Obvious psychosis has subsided
Marcee and Parcher and due to treatment in last phase,
delusions as someone wants but the patient may exhibit
to kill him and spies him negative symptoms such as
which will ultimately become social withdrawal, a lack of
observable and then Dr. emotion etc.
Rosen and  Alicia helped him  In Nash’s case, he just stays
to get out all these imaginary inside his house, exhibits
events. unemotional state when his son
was crying and
unresponsiveness in other
interpersonal relationships.
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 It may be biological as someone could inherit biological predisposition to develop disorder
later after facing the extreme stressors of social isolation, social competition, etc. or related
to the biochemical factor.
 Psychodynamic as according to Freud, schizophrenic develops from the regression to a
pre-ego stage and effort to reestablish ego control
 Cognitive: People develop delusional thinking when they try to understand their unusual
experiences, strange biological sensation.
 John start experiencing hallucinations as a result from psychodynamic sensation, and later
try to understand and make sense of those strange sensations using his cognitions, and
eventually develop into misinterpretations and delusion that he was being persecuted.
 He had shown some severe symptoms of OCD, as he was obsessed with perfectionism and
competitiveness and at the same time odd, arrogant and awkward in social relationships.
 Nash’s preoccupation with conditional beliefs based on “if…. then” regarding worthiness
may have triggered the psychosis will ultimately lead to schizophrenia.



decrease in emotional
delusions, hallucinations expressions. loss of interest in disorganized speech and
(typically auditory) drive, motivation hobbies. behaviors

Nash mostly show positive symptoms before treatment and Nash never show disorganized
after that he mainly started showing negative symptoms in symptoms as he was a highly
which flat effect (emotion less state of a person) was intellectual one.
prominent one.

1. Delusions are fixed beliefs that are not amenable to change in light of conflicting evidence.

 Delusion of grandeur (when an individual believes that he or she has exceptional abilities,
wealth, or fame)
 When John was at a party welcoming the new students. John’s appraising the world
around him, including the light and another guy's tie and announces is ugly as
saying that “there could be a mathematical explanation of how bad your tie is”.
 His belief of being superior to the theorists and professors to be studied in
textbooks, referring them as “lesser mortals”, showed his delusion of grandeur.
 He always thinks as he was only intellectual one to be selected by the government
as spy to help them against Russia nuclear attacks.
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 Persecutory delusions (belief that one is going to be harmed, harassed, and so forth by an
individual, organization, or other group) are most common.
 He believed as he was a spy, code breaker who helped U.S. government against
Russians and they were after him.
 John’s presence in a car with a Parcher, someone was following their car and
shooting at it was all delusional.
 Turning off the lights, suspicion of people outside his house, making her pregnant
wife to leave home all come under this type of delusion.

 Referential delusions (belief that certain gestures, comments, environmental cues, and so
forth are directed at oneself) are also common.
 During posting the “confidential mails”, he thinks that continuously been under
 When he went to deliver lecture and was being paranoid in class, where he see’s
men outside stalking him and assumes that he was behind him and sent by Russians.
 Nash accepts his covert assignment and receives an implant in his forearm which
functions as a listening device was another obvious example of referential delusion.

2. Hallucinations are where someone sees, hears, smells, tastes or feels things that don't exist
outside their mind.
 Nash had visual and audible hallucinations, throughout the entire film where he is
interacting, fighting and arguing with people that are not present.


 Early days in graduate school  Parcher’s creation was  Nash meeting with
under the stress for academic another attempt to give Alicia who was his
distinction. himself the social student, his feeling of
love, family and
 The stressor from the recognition
belongingness aroses his
mentality of “I cannot fail”  he felt he did not have many third hallucination
triggered Charles to offer friends as he called him a Marcee
him emotional support. “loner wolf”.  Marcee figure pinned for
 Charles was seen as his loyal  He affirmed his intellectual his affection which he
friend and confident with gift as his hallucination generously reciprocated.
unwavering support at times made him showered with Subsequently, Nash
proposes to Alicia that he
of difficulties and doubts, as recognition by the authority, met and admired.
his antagonist when he lost military personnel and the
self-confidence. media because of his
military assignments.
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3. Catatonic behavior
 Nash’s showed this symptom many times in the movie as in starting of the movie
when he became angry on his defeat in game he started acting psychotically and
accusing them that they might cheated.
 Motor abnormalities include his unique ways of limping and hunch-over walking,
his low self-esteem like way of looking and forehead touching while talking.

4. Reduced daily activities

 John was held up in the library for days in search for original ideas reinforced high
stress, it triggered his hallucinations, social withdrawal which ultimately lead to his
poor health.

5. Self-harm and unintentional harm to others

 Nash cut's his wrist to look for the implant that Parcher implanted and he discovers
that it's gone and almost drowned his baby while giving bath to him as he thinks
that Charles an imagery character is taking care of him.

6. Lack of insight
 Nash is not able to differentiate between real and unreal as illustrated in the scene
that when Parcher is pointed gun at his wife, he runs at Parcher, he actually runs at
his wife and knocks her over.

7. Lack of emotion (flat effect)

 There are many instances in the film where John showed flat affect. One of the best
examples is when he was holding his own baby who was crying his lung out, John
do not have any response or showing any emotion at all.


 Thorazine (anti-psychotic) drug is given in order to reduce symptoms of

 Restraints on wrist and feet to control violent outbursts.
 Insulin shock treatment (large doses of insulin are given to induce a coma).
 Friends and family support helped Nash a lot in bringing back towards life as his
wife supports her throughout his fight along with his friends and Dr. Rosen.
 His own self-determination to recover was played a key role to get out of this life
threatening disease.
 Present day treatments include: Medication and Psychosocial Treatments,
Rehabilitation, electroconvulsive therapy, Individual and Cognitive Behavioral
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Psychotherapy, Family Education, Self-help Groups, and Community and Social

After watching this movie, analyzing the details of key scenes, and reading multiple online reviews
and even reviews from the real John Forbes Nash, I have come to the conclusion that this movie
is able to accurately portray the intricacies of schizophrenia to the audience. Although the scenes
may not always accurately depict what specifically happened to John Nash, they still portray ideas
and facts about schizophrenia. Russell Crowe’s acting was great and helped enlightened the
audience about what it is like to go through life with schizophrenia. The movie also incorporated
all the correct views and science that was known in the 1950’s and 1960’s that helps give the
audience an authentic view into what was known about a mental disability like schizophrenia.
Overall, I think this movie is a great and accurate example of what is it like to live with
schizophrenia and has the ability to educate individuals about what is known about this disability.

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