“Nothing’s ever for sure, John. That’s the only sure thing I do know,” says the schitzotypical auditory plus visual delusion and hallucination known to John Nash as Charles. This is very true even coming from one of these three imaginary people that John Nash believes to be a part of his daily life. Although non-existent these characters including not only Charles, but his adolescent niece Marcie, and his military contact William Parcher or just Parcher, play a pivotal role in the life of professor and doctor, John Nash.
True, much of what the public knows of the mental disorders, and specifically Schizophrenia is based on what they observe from films and television. This Oscar/Academy four time wining film, A Beautiful Mind, is a very compelling story about a genius mathematician/ cryptologist, who’s life in Cold War era America, aroused his super paranoid and delusional thought process to overwhelm his mind.
John Nash exhibited mild symptoms or schitzotypal behavior probably through his childhood. This is evident because of his avoidant personality shown by his impeded interpersonal communication and relationships, and by his moderate “word salad” that he has. His hallucinations and delusions manifested initially by his graduate school Princeton roommate Charles.
His peers played a crucial role in his life and in his recovery. Once stabilized to a level of acceptance and coping with his symptoms he is given visitations and job opportunities to help him in reintegration. Through the entire relations ship from student to wife, Alicia Nash was interceptive and supportive of his treatment and life after treatment, including a dangerous relapse of behaviors.
Also, his peers did not initially know how to respond to the disorder because of John Nash’s involvement with the US government. It may have opaque at times but eventually they could make light of the situation once Nash was coping and stable.
THE PLOT THICKENS?:
John Nash almost killed his baby son by drowning him in the tub during his major relapse. He had been pocketing the medication and eventually he regained his code breaking and psychotic behaviors. He was in the back shed while drawing the bath and got caught up in what was allegedly provided by Parcher and the US governments’ highest echelons.
+ Symptoms= Racing thoughts, Hallucinations, Delusions
– Symptoms= Cognitive impairment, grossly distorted reality
(Axis I and Axis II)
Nash was able to eventually be stabilized on his psychotropic medications and with time and strong encouragements able to cope. This was abruptly made evident by his realization that the manifestation of Marcie never aged and paired his wife’s’ strong endearment and optimism towards him.
Self Reliance was key to his rehabilitation and integration back into society. Aside from a strong support network he found that working in his field of abstract mathematics was his tool for learning interpersonal relationships and separating reality from his reality.
The Nobel Prize was a major pat on the back for John Nash. Although he did not know the extent of his economic theories had spilled over into, Nash was still acknowledged for his intelligence. It is his life time achievement and it is he can observe that his life was great, not grandiose.
PAST & PRESENT THEORIES:
Although many scientific advancement have been made in psychology and imaging techniques treatment has not evolved juristically. Although doctors can now see the brain functioning and areas of brain used in a schizophrenic person the treatment is somewhat similar to that of the 1950’s. ECT, medication, hospitalization, and reintegration are the keystones of treatment for the stabilizing of this mental disorder. Then a medical round of SSRI’s and atypical anti-psychotics are used to maintain an even keel. Hospitalization is a safe way to intervene on an individual although laws have changed regarding commitment of those deemed unsafe for society. ECT has been modernized and more finite now and can be used to treat a plethora of moderate to severe mental disorders. Also, SSRI’s are more affective and paired with support many will stay stable.
Once John Nash was known to be schizophrenic his friends help with the families clarification of his advanced symptoms. Then they slowly allow him back into his life with some initial hesitance that eventually will turn into a subject of laughter between old friends. Although some were intolerant and mocking of his disorder and effort he was able to maintain a level of functioning on the normal plane of societal existence and even win the highest scientific achievement award.