Theme Of Stigma In A Beautiful Mind

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"Imagine if you suddenly learned that the people, the places, the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse, had never been. What kind of hell would that be?" -Dr.Rosen, A Beautiful Mind

Schizophrenia is a disorder that is often represented in the media. Many novels, films, and television series have used schizophrenic characters as creepy, insane, and most often than not murders. By comparing these representations with scientific research, this stigma is put to the test in efforts to elimate these highly negative misconceptions of the disorder. Putting the characteristics of these common characters next to descriptions of the real disorder in real patients help to see how Hollywood 's description
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In this film the main character, John, suffers from schizophrenia. He is a mathematician and his visual hallucinations help him to visualize solutions to equations. His hallucinations convince him that he is working with the military to crack Russian codes in newspapers. As a film carries out it turns out that John is a paranoid schizophrenic whose hallucinations convince him that he is being chased by the Russian military. As helpful as his hallucinations are with math they cause distress to his family. His hallucinations are realistic to the point where his new-born daughter almost drowns because he leaves the hallucinations to bathe her. It is at this point that he finally accepts help. He admits that his visual hallucinations are problematic but his auditory hallucinations are just trying to help him. Studies show that this is true for most patients suffering from the disorder. "Auditory hallucinations themselves are not debilitating... the fear of not being able to control or manage the auditory hallucinations can be debilitating to the individual (Suri, 2010). . In John 's case, the hallucinations whisper solutions to math problems which he finds helpful. He refuses to accept that they are problematic until he injures his wife and newborn by following the hallucinations instructions. Studies have recently explored the idea of having meaningful hallucinations, much like John 's hallucinations. In one case a patient explains how the voices saved his life by telling him to flee from a dangerous situation (Suri, 2010). . However, since it is hard for patients to differentiate whether it is someone else who actually told him or if his hallucinations, the evidence is meaningless. In situations like these, if the patients believe the hallucinations are helpful, they may quit treatment. In A Beautiful Mind, the math becomes too hard for John when he stops his

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