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Educational Opportunity Center Health & Medical Question

Educational Opportunity Center Health & Medical Question


Title: Representation of Schizophrenia in the Movie “A Beautiful Mind”

Name: [Your Name] Disorder: Schizophrenia Movie: A Beautiful Mind

Synopsis: “A Beautiful Mind” is a 2001 biographical drama film directed by Ron Howard. The film is based on the life of John Nash, a brilliant mathematician who struggles with schizophrenia. The story follows Nash’s journey as he attends Princeton University, where he develops revolutionary theories in mathematics. However, as his career progresses, Nash’s mental health deteriorates, leading to his diagnosis and eventual treatment.

Diagnosis: John Nash is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. This disorder is characterized by significant disturbances in thinking, emotion, and behavior. People with paranoid schizophrenia often experience delusions, hallucinations, disorganized thinking, and impaired social functioning.

Cause: The exact cause of schizophrenia is not fully understood, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurochemical factors. In the movie, Nash’s schizophrenia is depicted as emerging in his early adulthood, with stressors and personal struggles triggering the onset of his symptoms.

Treatment: In the movie, Nash’s treatment primarily involves antipsychotic medication and therapy. The film shows Nash’s struggle with accepting his diagnosis and the challenges he faces in managing his symptoms. While the movie does not delve deeply into the specifics of his treatment, it highlights the importance of support from his wife, friends, and healthcare professionals.

Ethical and Social Impact: The film depicts the profound impact of Nash’s schizophrenia on his family, particularly his wife Alicia. The ethical dilemma of disclosing Nash’s condition to colleagues and friends is portrayed sensitively, reflecting the stigma and misunderstanding associated with mental illness during that time. The movie also highlights Nash’s journey towards recovery, emphasizing the importance of social support and the significance of understanding and empathy from loved ones.

Opinion: “A Beautiful Mind” provides a compelling portrayal of schizophrenia, capturing the emotional and psychological challenges faced by individuals with the disorder. The movie effectively conveys the isolating nature of delusions and hallucinations, which are key features of paranoid schizophrenia. The portrayal of Nash’s internal struggle, his moments of clarity, and his interactions with hallucinatory characters adds depth to the representation.

However, it’s important to note that the film takes creative liberties and simplifications for dramatic effect. Nash’s hallucinations are depicted as vivid and realistic, which might not accurately reflect the subjective experiences of all individuals with schizophrenia. Additionally, the film’s timeline condenses events for storytelling purposes, which may not align with the actual progression of Nash’s disorder.

The movie raises valuable questions about the intersection of genius and mental illness, highlighting the challenges of maintaining a successful career while managing a severe mental health condition. It underscores the significance of accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and the importance of advocating for oneself in the face of adversity.

Conclusion: “A Beautiful Mind” successfully captures the essence of schizophrenia and its impact on the individual’s life, relationships, and career. While the film may not be entirely accurate in its portrayal of the disorder’s complexities, it contributes to raising awareness and fostering discussions about mental health. The representation of schizophrenia in the movie encourages viewers to reflect on the societal perceptions of mental illness and the need for compassion, understanding, and effective treatment.


  1. Jones, I. R., Ahmed, N., Catty, J., McLaren, S., Rose, D., Wykes, T., … & Craig, T. (2011). Illness careers and continuity of care in mental health services: a qualitative study of service users and carers. Social Science & Medicine, 72(3), 305-312.
  2. Kay, S. R., Fiszbein, A., & Opler, L. A. (1987). The positive and negative syndrome scale (PANSS) for schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 13(2), 261-276.
  3. Mueser, K. T., & Gingerich, S. (2013). Illness management and recovery therapy (IMR): A novel approach to treating people with schizophrenia. In Psychosocial treatments for schizophrenia (pp. 205-222). American Psychological Association.
  4. National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Schizophrenia. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml
  5. Saks, E. R. (2008). The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness. Hachette Books.

Educational Opportunity Center Health & Medical Question




The task is to find a film that features someone with a behavioral disorder who is the leading character (Rain Man and A Beautiful Mind are

good examples) and discuss how and how accurately the film represents the condition that is presented.

Title page with your name and name of the disorder AND the movie 5-6 pages of content


Last page for references 5 references are necessary

References must be scholarly.

Absolutely NO Webmd, NO wikipedia (books, articles within books, monographs, or journal articles,) at least half of which are published within the last 5 years. Do not rely on magazines for accuracy. In the last paragraph or two of the research section of your paper, summarize the research findings and state how the research relates to the topic of your paper.


1. Brief synopsis of the movie

2. diagnosis

3. cause

4. treatment (possible treatment, does not have to be a part of the film, what do you recommend? and why?)

ethical and social impact (including impact on family and significant other)

4. Your opinion – An important part of the paper is your opinion and ideas based on the research you have read and the movie you have

watched. Indicate which parts of the movie you have agreed with in terms of how the disorder was addressed and which you don’t and why. What conclusion can you draw from your reading? What important questions remain unanswered?

Plagiarism – when you opt something word for word or when you merely rephrase ideas. You must cite your sources, including the last name of the author and the date of the publication in parenthesis. If you use someone else’s words or ideas without citing them you are committing plagiarism and may receive an “F.” If you like a phrase or two just copy and cite, I ALWAYS know when it’s yours and when it’s plagiarized.

Examples of films:

Anxiety Disorder: As Good as it Gets, The Deer Hunter, The Fisher King

Mood Disorders: Patton, Ordinary People, Mommy Dearest Personality Disorders: Fatal Attraction, Remains of the Day, A Streetcar named Desire, Taxi Driver

Psychotic Disorders: Sophie’s Choice, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Sexual and Gender Disorder: Cabaret, Chinatown, The Crying Game, Manhattan, Tootsie, Pulp Fiction

Dissociative Disorders and Somatoform Disorders: Hannah and Her Sisters, The Piano, Three Faces of Eve

AlcoholismandDrugAddiction: Ironweed,TheGraduate,CatonaHot Tin Roof, The Verdict, Easy Rider, Pulp Fiction, Mask, Postcards from the Edge.

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