A Beautiful Mind

Last year I watched a movie, A Beautiful Mind. It intrigued me because it was based on this man who is exceedingly brilliant yet he also has this inner struggle he must compensate for.


For those of you who aren’t familiar with this movie, I don’t want to spoil it for you, but I must disclose some information in order to get my point across. It ends up that the very intelligent main character of this movie has a severe case of schizophrenia which causes him to have many delusions and hallucinations.


Schizophrenia is a disorder that affects the brain and affects the person’s reality. Schizophrenia can affect people in all different kinds of ways. Most symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and depression. Schizophrenia has the potential to be dangerous to the person affected as well as others around them. In the movie, some of his hallucinations cause him to come close to harming others even though he has no control over it.


However, while researching on the internet about schizophrenia and this movie, I came across this article. In this article it states this movie in fact got a major point wrong. It expresses that usually people with a higher IQ are in fact at a lower risk for schizophrenia. However, in this movie it showed how brilliant he was and how his schizophrenia was enhanced when doing intense work. There is a study conducted that is explained in this article and it explains how a lower IQ can be linked with a heightened risk of any mental illness, but they have yet to find a clear link.

I think there is something important to take away here and that is that we shouldn’t just assume that “freakishly” smart people are “crazy” or “mentally ill”. Because this clearly isn’t the case due to the research conducted on high IQ and low risk for mental disease. Hopefully in the future more research and studies can be done in order to find a link or get rid of the notion that there is a link between the two.



2 thoughts on “A Beautiful Mind

  1. Harper Nardone

    I also had to watch this movie in high school, but I watched it a few more times outside the classroom because I liked it so much. It confused me at first since I had no idea what was going on but once you figured out John Nash had schizophrenia, the loose ends started tying together. I am completely intrigued by your topic choice, but I have a few questions regarding the conclusion of your research. Since “A Beautiful Mind” is based on a true story, I am unsure of how the website could say that the movie got something wrong. John Nash was a true talented mathematician who suffered from schizophrenia. Perhaps the movie is hinting that a general finding is that schizophrenia is more of a risk for lower IQ people, and Nash happens to be an outlier. Or maybe when you say “risk,” you are regarding the effects or strength of the mental illness. For example, when Nash was working hard on a problem, you may be saying the movie should have actually depicted it as him having no symptoms of the disorder during those scenes, due to his high mental activity. Besides from that, though, I agree with you that with cases besides “A Beautiful Mind,” it is not safe to assume that all geniuses have schizophrenia. This is especially so since there is some evidence that low IQs create a larger risk.
    If you want to know a little more about the real John Nash’s life, it’s easily researchable. I added a link sadly regarding his recent death, which also discusses the inspiration of his wife and his history.


  2. Beza Yoseph

    I loved this movie as I watched it in my 12th grade Psychology class, we were studying mental disorders and the class thought it was a great piece to watch so we could understand symptoms and day to day struggles like you mentioned in your blog. While I do agree with your statement that we should not assume that the freakish equates to brilliant, I think it is important to show this side of a disease that many people look at as just seeing things and hearing voices.Here’s an article not only explaining the disease but also how little the public actually knows about it, http://www.antipsychiatry.org/schizoph.htm I think A Beautiful Mind did an amazing job showing a more human side to a disease that is not very well known while also pushing the important idea that these people suffering from diseases like this are sill people.

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