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Schizophrenia is a prominent
disorder of the brain that can result in drastic effects on personality,
behavior, and mood. Less than one percent of the world is inhibited by
schizophrenia (Saha et al., 2005) yet fifty percent of mental hospitals
patients throughout the country  are
diagnosed with some form of schizophrenia. Although people are hindered many
have managed to live their normal lives day to day. (Lamb & Bachrach, 2001;
Mueser & McGurk, 2004)

In the film A Beautiful Mind the main character John Forbes Nash Jr., a
brilliant mathematician and economist, suffers from schizophrenia. Throughout
the movie you will see John live with his disorder through a large part of his
life as he goes through college and through his adult life trying to make sense
of what is real and what is in his head.

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             Referring to the DSM-5 disorders, John Nash
suffers from paranoid schizophrenia falling into the positive symptoms as he
exhibits hallucinations and delusions. The National Institute of Mental Health
says “Positive symptoms are
psychotic behaviors not generally seen in healthy people. People with positive
symptoms may “lose touch” with some aspects of reality.”  (“Schizophrenia” 2016) which John certainly
showed during the movie. He had hallucinations receiving information from space
and truly believed they were real, his schizophrenia convincing him it was a
serious matter that he was dealing with. He soon began to lose touch with
reality as his behavior and feelings began to be altered under the pressure of
what he thought he was seeing. His mental disorder began to consume him,
affecting his home life, work, and his marriage, soon driving him to the edge.

            There is
treatment available if John Nash was looking for it in this time period.
Different options include antipsychotics, a medicine that can be taken orally
or through injections. There is psychosocial treatments which are usually used
after finding an antipsychotic. The treatment helps to learn how to cope with
schizophrenia on a day to day basis as the patient lives a normal life. The
last treatment that can be used is coordinated specialty care. “This treatment
model integrates medication, psychosocial therapies, case management, family
involvement, and supported education and employment services, all aimed at
reducing symptoms and improving quality of life.” (“Schizophrenia” 2016)

can be a challenging mental battle day to day there are ways to cope and seek
out a normal, prosperous life. John Nash Jr. in A Beautiful Mind is proof of that. He struggled for years and dealt
with hallucinations head on. Schizophrenia symptoms can be overwhelming and
compelling as they seem so realistic and that is why it can be such a difficult
mental disorder to deal with. With modern medicine and technology schizophrenia
is becoming easier to control so that more have the opportunity for a
flourishing life.

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