A Study of John Nash Essay

1179 Words 5 Pages
John Nash is a brilliant mathematician who struggled with paranoid schizophrenia for several decades of his life. Nash displayed erratic behavior and suffered from auditory hallucinations. He believed he was receiving messages from outerspace and was convinced that there was conspiracy to undermine the American government. On one occasion, Nash burst into the office of the New York Times and accused them of preventing him from receiving important encrypted messages only he could decipher. Nash’s wife admitted him to a psychiatric hospital only two years after their marriage (Nasar, 2001).
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) is a multiaxial classification system for mental disorders. The first axis
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John Nash did not seem to suffer from any medical conditions worthy of mentioning. In the articles and essays about him that were reviewed for the purposes of this paper, no such conditions were discovered.
The fourth axis includes special psychosocial or environmental situations that the person is facing. Nash’s Axis IV diagnosis could be a problem related to the social environment. Nash’s condition placed an incredible amount of strain on his marriage to Alicia de Larde. They were eventually divorced after six years of marriage. The divorce was seven years prior to his final hospital discharge. However, Nash and de Larde remarried over thirty years later.
The fifth, and final, axis includes a global assessment of functioning (GAF) to rate the person’s overall functioning within a psychological, social and occupational context. Nash’s GAF score would be somewhere in the 21-30 domain. Individuals who fall within this domain exhibit behavior that is marked by delusions and/or hallucinations and may display serious impairment in communication and/or judgment (gafscore.com). Nash suffered from both hallucinations and delusions. He also had lapses in judgment, acting erratically.
John Nash’s mental disorder was most likely the result of some biological condition. He could have had a genetic predisposition to schizophrenia. His brain chemistry could have been somehow compromised, causing him to display symptoms. Perhaps the very structure of his brain…