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Have you ever watched a movie and wonder what is wrong with a certain character? After reading about various mental disorders listed and play close attention to their symptom it made me realize what could be wrong with a person. Many movies and tv shows often show or educate the public on mental disorders but often I find myself wondering what is wrong with them.

Which brings me to a disorder called schizophrenia, which is defined as a severe psychological disorder characterized by highly disordered that process. Individuals suffering from schizophrenia may be referred to as psychotic because they are so far removed from reality. Schizophrenia involves a range of problems with thinking (cognition), behavior or emotions. Signs and symptoms may vary, but usually involve delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech, and reflect an impaired ability to function.

When we look at the symptoms associated with schizophrenia, there’s a few that stood out, delusions, which are false point of views that are not based in reality. Which these delusions often occur in most people with schizophrenia. Next, we have hallucinations, these usually entail seeing or hearing things that don’t exist. But for a person suffering from schizophrenia, they will experience the full effect and conclusions as if were a normal experience. Hallucinations can be in any of the senses, but hearing voices are the most common hallucination for someone suffering from this disease. Another symptom is speech impairment of difficulties thinking often communication is impaired and words cannot be understood, which is called word salad. Lastly, abnormal motor behavior and negative symptoms which include poor hygiene or lack of emotion (Nami.org, 2019).

As I researched more it can also be broken down more by gender. In men schizophrenia symptoms typically start in the early to mid-20s. In women, symptoms typically begin in the late 20s. It’s uncommon for children to be diagnosed with schizophrenia and rare for those older than age 45. Even when attempting to obtain accurate estimates of the prevalence of schizophrenia, it is difficult to obtain due to the fact that clinical and methodological factors are extremely difficult to diagnose such disorder, not only because it mimics other disorders but because of the complex studies. As schizophrenia is not a common disease and often very difficult to diagnose it is a chronic and serious disorder. According to my research and American Addiction Centers, worldwide about 1 percent of the population is diagnosed with schizophrenia, and approximately 1.2% of Americans (3.2 million) have the disorder. About 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with schizophrenia this year around the world. In the United States, this means about 100,000 people will be diagnosed, which translates to 7.2 people per 1,000 or about 21,000 people within a city of 3 million who are likely to be suffering from schizophrenia (Mental Help, 2019).

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Schizophrenia can affect people throughout the lifespan although new instances of the illness are most likely to occur in early adulthood. It is relatively rare for children and older adults to develop schizophrenia, but it does happen. More commonly the incidence (rate of diagnosis) of new cases of schizophrenia increases in the teen years, reaching a peak of vulnerability between the ages of 16 and 25 years. Men and women show different patterns of susceptibility for developing schizophrenic symptoms. Males reach a single peak of vulnerability for developing

No choosing a movie or tv was different because I am a huge movie enthusiast but never really broke down the characters mental disorder like this. Having watched tons of movies and shows and having seen hundreds of characters battle an illness of some sort makes me realize that there is true underlying diagnosis in these characters. I am no expect but after reading and researching about these mental disorders I can definitely see some traits in certain characters.

For this essay I chose ‘A Beautiful Mind’ and the character of John Nash is played by Russell Crowe. The movie was created in 2001 by Ron Howard which covered the life of Noble Prize winner John Nash. The movie won several awards and the Oscar for Best Director, Best Picture, Best Cast, and Best Screenplay. The story is on the mathematics expert of John Nash whose game theory was overshadowed from decades of the mental illness. John Nash’s theories are still to this day widely used in economics. He attended Princeton and MIT and also served as a senior research mathematician at Princeton. He first started developing symptoms in the late 50’s when he was about 30, after he had already made huge contributions in the field of math. Over the next several decades, he was hospitalized several times, and was on and off anti-psychotic medications.

As I rewatched the movie I did notice his actions as paranoid and often delusional which those symptoms are part of what I read about schizophrenia. Even though he was hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia and battled the disease in and out of psychiatric units his behavior matched the information in our book. I learned a lot about this condition, having not known much about it. It was definitely very interesting to see this disease displayed in such a predominate individual. Even though he struggled with this what surprised me was that he gradually learned to manage his condition, and could eventually begin to do some work in mathematics again and audit courses at Princeton. At Princeton, he became known as the ‘Phantom of the Hall’ – a reclusive figure who could sometimes be seen in the middle of the night at the mathematics center, scribbling equations on the blackboards. Eventually, Nash got well enough to teach again. He and Alicia, who had remained his close friend and keen supporter throughout his struggle, rekindled their romantic relationship in the 1990s and remarried in 2001.

References

  1. Nami.org. (2019). What is Schizophrenia? NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness. https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Schizophrenia/Discuss [Accessed 7 Dec. 2019].
  2. Anon. n.d. ‘Schizophrenia Symptoms, Patterns and Statistics and Patterns’. Mental Help Schizophrenia Symptoms Patterns and Statistics and Patterns Comments. Retrieved December 7, 2019. https://www.mentalhelp.net/schizophrenia/statistics

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