The Reel Life Of A Genius

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In the movie A Beautiful Mind, Russell Crowe played John Nash, a brilliant mathematician who developed the game theory of economics, for which he later won the Nobel Prize in 1994. At the age of 31 he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and suffered a mental breakdown. Because of his hallucinations and bizarre behavior, he was institutionalized and put on anti-psychotic drugs. He stopped taking them however, after he discovered that they reduced his sex drive, confused his emotions and prevented him from being able to think clearly and effectively. Instead, he attempted to take control of the disease though extreme willpower. As he became older he did take newer medications that helped him live a more "normal" life while still allowing him to work to his full potential.
The film, for the most part, accurately showed the devastating effects that schizophrenia can cause in a persons' life; the terror of living through experiences that seem so real, and the agony that both Nash and his loved ones had to go through.
In the movie many of Nash's classmates treated him with disrespect and made fun of him, knowing that there was something different about him. This accurately showed the various stereotypes and derogatory attitudes that exist in the world today. He was not seen as being "normal" and therefore was labeled as "crazy" and "strange" because of his anti-social behavior.
When Nash's condition worsened he was placed in a mental institution and treated with insulin coma therapy in which patients were given insulin to induce a comatose state.The results of the therapy, as shown in the movie are horrific. Insulin coma therapy has since been discredited and is no longer used, due to its severe side effects. Also, with the introduction of anti-psychotics, which were safer and more effective, there was no longer the need to put patients through the torture of insulin therapy. A…