He seems to suffer from schizophrenia paranoid type, because of the prominence of his delusions, as well as his numerous interpersonal problems. The first symptom that John Nash displays which can be used to classify him clinically as schizophrenic is disturbance of language. When he is working on a difficult mathematics problem, or walking from one place to another, he mutters unintelligible things to himself. Often when coming out of one of his hallucinations he is under a lot of stress and begins talking nonsense, such as when he was giving his infant son a bath.
When his wife returned to find the baby nearly drowning, John Nash insists, even though he is alone in the room, that his old college roommate, who doesn't exist, was watching the baby. Further, he claims that Charles was injected with a sort of serum that made him invisible. The meaning of his claims doesn't make sense within the context of the situation. Also, at the beginning of the movie, in response to a challenge, he tells his classmate that he is "terrified, mortified, petrified, and stupefied," by him, which could be a form of clanging, although it actually makes sense.
His disturbance of language mainly results from his disruption of perception, which includes rather complex hallucinations. The first hallucination he has, which follows him for the rest of his life, is his roommate, Charles Herman, whom he 'meets' in graduate school. Soon after, John Nash is introduced to six year old Marcee, Charles' niece. After graduating, and being appointed to a position at Wheeler Lab, his work with the government prompts another hallucination-this time of a top secret government investigator, a William Parcher, who goes on to give Nash an assortment of 'assignments. The many delusions that he suffers can be classified under disturbance of thought. First of all he exhibits delusions of grandeur.
He estimates himself at such a high importance level that he feels as though he is invincible, and should not be capable of losing-even in a board game. Also after doing minor work with the government, he thinks he's a spy, allowing him to work with top secret government documents, but that is just a part of his delusions of grandeur. Really believing he is a spy has to do with his confused sense of self. Being a spy is a position he has created for himself.
Even after being forcibly admitted to the psychiatric hospital, he continues to believe they are his enemies, that they hospital staff are merely Russians trying to trick him into divulging his secrets. He's so paranoid, that when his wife, Alicia, comes to visit at the hospital, he warns her that 'they' may be listening through microphones. John Nash feels persecuted by his friends and the doctors. He thinks they are simply out to get him, because he cannot realize the condition he is in. There are two clear examples of inappropriate emotion that Nash exhibits in this film.
When he is studying in the library at Princeton, he casually mentions how he watched a woman get mugged, and then continues to display the mathematical equation he drew depicting the event. As his hallucination of Charles Herman points out to him, it's not normal to sit by calmly and watch as a woman's purse gets stolen. Second of all, when his baby nearly drowns because of his carelessness, he does not seem very upset, and cannot understand why his wife is so distraught. John Nash can be considered abnormal by evaluating him under several characteristics.
All of these symptoms that he displays throughout the movie fit the criteria perfectly. First off he shows a deviation from normal and ideal mental health. People in his life began to notice that something is just not right with John. His wife finds herself in denial, but near the end she sees it, too. Because of his condition he suffers from nearly constant personal distress and discomfort. His classmates taunt him, and even losing a simple game with one of them upsets him and sends him off running, mumbling to himself in a disturbed way.
His frustration with himself at not being able to solve math problems or come up with a topic for his doctorate thesis, interfere with his functioning in everyday life. He spends the majority of his time obsessing over his work-real and imagined. Hours and hours every night he pores over magazines for his government "boss" (one of his hallucinations) trying to discern top secret codes and patterns, but in reality he is just idling away his time that should be spent with his family or performing his job.
He can't seem to control his obsession with following the instructions his hallucinations give him to the point where it impairs his functioning as an instructor, a husband, and a father. He's a danger to himself, as well as to others. In graduate school in a fit of frustration he cracks his head against a glass window, cutting his head open, and once committed to the psychiatric hospital he digs a hole in his arm until he starts bleeding, trying to find the secret code he believes is implanted in his skin. Dr.
Rosen, the psychologist, after a careful examination of John Nash, gives him the professional diagnosis of schizophrenia. Of the two types of schizophrenia, reactive and process, John Nash is most likely suffering from process schizophrenia, because of factors involving the way the disease progressed. His symptoms developed gradually, beginning as early as graduate school in Princeton, when he first started 'seeing' his college roommate, Charles Herman-rather than resulting from a specific precipitating stressor.
The symptoms began, as noted, supposedly close to the time when he begins graduate school, and continue to get progressively worse as time passes, lasting throughout his entire life. This type of schizophrenia has a poorer prognosis compared to the sudden-onset Reactive schizophrenia, and even though the doctors administer insulin shock and prescribe pills for John Nash, his symptoms still persist into his old age. This film begins simultaneously with John Nash's entrance into graduate school, and that is also when development of his schizophrenic symptoms began.
Despite the fact that the film does not give evidence of his pre-morbid personality, it can be inferred that Nash has always had social problems. At one point he informs his 'roommate' that he doesn't much like people, and neither do people much like him, which leads the audience to believe that he has struggled with social relationships for most of his life. In the several bar scenes, he attempts conversations with women, but finds himself lacking the social skills necessary to keep any of their favors the moment he opens his mouth to speak.
In his opening line to one girl he proposes "intercourse," in addition to mentioning something regarding "the exchange of fluids. " And his best friend in the world turns out to be a hallucination. John Nash manages to maintain only one close relationship during the entire film, and that is to his wife, Alicia-and even that tie becomes stressed when his symptoms began to increase in severity. To put John Nash's behavior into a theoretical framework, both of his methods of treatment can be taken into account.
His doctors at the psychiatric hospital administer him a vigorous program of insulin shocks to begin treatment. After which he is put on a prescription of drugs to control his symptoms. According to the Biological theory his schizophrenia had to be caused by some abnormality in his genes, resulting in either a dysfunction in his nervous or endocrine systems. To correct for this Dr Rosen, his doctor, prescribed a course of medical treatments, which seemed to work, because Nash's hallucinations, as well as other symptoms, went away.
The medicine had unpleasant side effects for Nash-interfering in his work because he could not focus on equations, and disrupting his personal life, because he could not respond to his wife sexually, nor interact with his son-so he decided quit taking the medication and to try a different method. John Nash's personal opinion was that he could learn to control his symptoms on his own. He felt that life wasn't worth living if he couldn't do it on his own terms, if he couldn't work, relate to his wife, or raise his son. He took on an Existential perspective, holding to beliefs that he had the freewill to be responsible for his own condition.
He decided that he did not have to pay attention to his hallucinations, and while they never left him completely, he was able to live day to day without getting caught up in them to the point where it would interfere with his functioning. He chose to get better, and thought the symptoms did not go away, he was able to develop discipline on his own to ignore them. My question is how the lack of social skills is related to his development of schizophrenia. Did he suffer from poor social skills, and as a result, his condition was catalyzed by the consequential lack of meaningful relationships?
Or were his poor communication proficiency and lack of perception early warning signs of the disease to come? For the paranoid type of schizophrenia, there are automatically interpersonal problems taken into account, because of the bizarre behavior, regarding interaction with their hallucinations. People suffering from negative symptoms-and thus having few social skills-tend to have a smaller social network to support them throughout the difficulty of their disease, which deprives them of the ability to function independently (Macdonald, 1998, p. 275).
Lack of social skills and appropriate social responses has been determined to be caused by the slowing down of visual processing in schizophrenics. By administering a test of visual apprehension, it was shown that schizophrenics take longer to visually register gestures and facial expressions, and often the social clue lasts too briefly to be understood (Sergi, 2002, p. 239). John Nash, to begin with, has a very difficult time operating in social situations. Even his third grade teacher commented that he was give two brains, and only half a heart, so apparently his lack of social skills stems from his childhood.
Since he was not able to build up a social support network prior to the development of his disorder, it was more challenging for him to be able to function normally within society again on his own. Eventually, though, it is his relationship with his wife, and his desire to be there for her, which helps him in dealing with the ongoing symptoms so that he can survive from each day to the next without giving in. Research has found that neurocognitive functioning, or a dysfunction in neurocognitive functioning-due to a biologically based disorder, like Schizophrenia-may have an effect on specific social skills.
In turn, the hindrance of those skills could then indirectly affect the level of social functioning in an individual (Addington, 1998, p. 65). Thus, the disorder is not the cause or the social dysfunction, but neither is the lack in social skills a risk factor for developing Schizophrenia. While these two factors do not have a causational relationship, they do seem to have a correlational relationship-meaning the presence of one would indicate a higher probability of also detecting the other.