The Psychological Disorder Of John Nash

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1. The psychological disorder portrayed in character of John Nash in the film A Beautiful Mind is schizophrenia. The most prominent symptoms were hallucinations, grandiose delusions, paranoia, a persecutory complex. Beginning with DSM-V, two or more symptoms from the list of schizophrenic criteria must be present for at least six months and active for at least one month. John Nash certainly qualifies for another DSM-V criterion of diagnosis, social/occupational dysfunction, due to his apparent abandonment of relevant mathematical work in favor of conspiracy analysis/obsession. Nash is given the official diagnosis of schizophrenia during his admission to the mental hospital.

2.The most highly visible aspects of Nash’s condition are of course his elaborate delusions and hallucinations (creating friends and relationships that don’t in fact exist) and his paranoia (for example, his belief that the hospital is run by the Soviets). DSM-V lists negative symptoms--alogia, anhedonia and avolition--that we don’t see in the film. When Nash is medicated and flailing in his life--unable to focus on his work and unable to respond to his crying child--he asks his wife, “What do people do?” It’s then that we see the most mood disorder-related aspects: avolition, defined as a lack of will and self-direction, and anhedonia, an inability to experience pleasure. Alogia may be indicated when Alicia says to Nash on their picnic date by the lake, “You don’t talk much, do you?” and Nash responds,
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