A Study of John Nash

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John Nash is a brilliant mathematician who struggled with paranoid schizophrenia for several decades of his life. Nash displayed erratic behavior and suffered from auditory hallucinations. He believed he was receiving messages from outerspace and was convinced that there was conspiracy to undermine the American government. On one occasion, Nash burst into the office of the New York Times and accused them of preventing him from receiving important encrypted messages only he could decipher. Nash’s wife admitted him to a psychiatric hospital only two years after their marriage (Nasar, 2001).

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) is a multiaxial classification system for mental disorders. The first axis includes an extensive list of clinical syndromes that typically cause significant impairment. In the case of John Nash, his Axis I diagnosis would be paranoid schizophrenia. According to the text, “people with paranoid type schizophrenia have an organized system of delusions and auditory hallucinations that may guide their lives” (Comer, 2011, p. 364). Nash suffered delusions of persecution, fearing that people were out to get him.

The second axis includes chronic conditions that are often overlooked in the presence of Axis I conditions. Nash’s Axis II diagnosis would most likely be paranoid personality disorder. People suffering from this disorder often feel that they are in danger and seek evidence of that danger, disregarding logic and fact. John Nash displayed this kind of behavior. He admitted that his behavior seemed irrational, even to him, but he was convinced he was in danger and he sought to expose any threat and make those around him aware of the danger he faced.

The third axis includes r...

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...e, mouth, face, or whole body; involuntary chewing, sucking, and lip smacking; and jerky movements of the arms, legs, or entire body” (Comer, 2011, p. 379).

If prescribed a neuroleptic drug, Nash would most likely follow in the footsteps of other patients suffering from schizophrenia and decide that the side effects of the medication are more unbearable the symptoms of the disorder itself. New drugs are being made in order to address the issue of undesirable and intolerable side effects of conventional antipsychotic drugs.

Works Cited

Comer, R. J. (2011).Fundamentals of abnormal psychology. New York, NY. Worth Publishers

Nasar, S. (2001).A beautiful mind: the life of mathematical genius and nobel laureate john nash.

New York, NY. Simon&Schuster

Unspecified author. (2011, March 9). GAF score. Retrieved on September 4, 2011 from

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