Celebrities and mental illness: An inside look on the movie A Beautiful Mind
A Beautiful Mind: John Forbes Nash, Jr.
For those of you who love to watch movies about true life events then I've got an amazing movie to tell my readers about. This movie is called A Beautiful Mind. It's an old movie now but it has recently shown up again on my cable network. After I watched the movie I questioned why it had aired and also why there were other movies there regarding mental illness. So I did a little bit of research into the life of the person they were discussing in this movie, Dr. John Nash and I found out that him and his wife just died this year in a car crash.
I know not everyone is particularly fond of movies that are sad and talk about mental illness or illness in itself but I have to admit that this movie had a very big impact on me. I found that it was nice in the sense that it doesn't stigmatize mental illness and in particular, Schizophrenia, which is often one of the most ridiculed of all mental illnesses. It brings out the best of the persons plagued with such a horrific and torturous of diseases for whoever is suffering from it. It talks about a man who despite years of mental torture was able to overcome it and surpass it without the use of medications just so he could exercise his duty as a mathematician. He was later granted the Nobel Prize in 1994 for all his amazing and genius achievements in mathematics that are far greater than most people could ever experience in life. I'm very pleased with this movie, although some parts of his life story were taken out. Although this movie was based on an autobiography, I totally believe that the main focus was on letting people understand mental illness better in order that it could be better understood and accepted. It's unfortunate that until today we still deal with the stigma of mental illness. I speak from my own personal experience. I don't suffer from Schizophrenia like John Nash did and a personal friend of mine does but I can say that deep inside these are very nice people and at their best they have enormous hearts. I was very sad to hear that both Dr. Nash and his wife died in a car crash this year and even more surprised that it took place on my own birthday, May 23rd. At the same time relieved that for this brilliant man the torture of his illness is over. It takes much courage to handle this form of disease, especially when a person goes without actual medical treatment. This was because he had refused medication at one point in his life, but I want my readers to understand as well that back in 1959, the types of medications available to the public were very limited and the ones that were often prescribed were so strong to the point of numbing a person's senses and I believe that is why Dr. Nash eventually refused them. He felt he could eventually ignore his visions, which he did, and continue to use his genius mind as a mathematician. Otherwise, he would be a walking zombie in my opinion. He also underwent insulin shock therapy which must've been horrible in that time to go through. I believe that in his old age, he did eventually go back to taking medications but I think it's because of the breakthrough in mental health and all the research over the years. Therefore, I want to make it clear that I'm not proposing anyone does the same as Dr. Nash did as those were other more difficult times in history where very little was known about the mind. Today I would never recommend someone with any type of mental illness to live without medications. I think that with the risk of suicide and homicidal tendencies in some of these disorders, the after effects of the newer medications are far less a problem than for someone to die or take the life of another. In the case of Dr. Nash he was a strong, willful man who was able to control it but not everyone is that way and I cannot stress enough that with the development of all these newer medications that work so well it is well worth taking them to control the symptoms. I hope that whoever has seen this movie and is plagued with mental illness does not get the wrong impression from it and believe that the writer is trying to say that if you are sick you shouldn't take your medications. No! No! On the contrary, the whole purpose of this movie is just to illustrate how well talented mentally ill people can be and how some people can even use those gifts and become celebrities. Thus, the name....A Beautiful Mind!