Essay about Ron Howard's, A Beautiful Mind

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In Ron Howard's work, A Beautiful Mind, depicts the real life account of Professor John Nash and his struggle with paranoid Schizophrenia. The topic of mental illness has become popularized as of late, particularly in popular media (film, television). This focus on mental disorders has greatly improved awareness of mental disorders, but this media has become a double edged sword. The same process that educates people (ie these films and shows) can also disseminate largely false or misleading information. In the film, both sides of this information distribution phenomena are expressed. To evaluate the effectiveness of the movie to accurately describe the occurrence of paranoid Schizophrenia one must look at the accuracy of the onset, …show more content…

Seeing as Nash's experiences in the film follow the Type II diagnosis (DSM-IV-TR) one could reasonably expect that his symptoms would follow in the same diagnostic pattern. But, instead of coming on slowly and consistently, these auditory and visual hallucinations come on acutely (actually almost immediately). This extremely acute onset of serious symptoms is out of line with what should be occurring. What should be shown is slowly deteriorating symptoms that are in line with increasingly complex delusions. The onset of delusions after the hallucinations is also outside the norm of the differential of Schizophrenia, although not impossible. The second depicted area that needs to be inspected is the range of symptoms expressed in the film. There are three areas of symptoms that need to be checked for accuracy. First, the most easily identifiable by the viewing audience, are the visual hallucinations that he experiences. There are several inconsistencies between those symptoms that he experiences and those that Nash suffered. The first inconsistency that occurs is that Nash never actually experienced visual hallucinations. Actually, it is extremely rare for Schizophrenics to suffer from both visual and auditory hallucinations. The second inconsistency in the presentation of his (supposed) visual hallucinations is the vividness of the hallucinations. The vast majority of visual symptoms are described as "out of

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