While watching A Beautiful Mind, I was impressed with Russell Crowe’s acting. Crowe was credible as the brilliant professor, the brilliant mathematician, and just a person fighting mental illness. I thought the movie was well done. It gave audiences a picture of what it is really like to live with mental illness. I did like the movie because it was realistic and had sympathetic characters. I wanted Crowe, as John Nash, to overcome his mental illness. I appreciated how kind and patient Nash’s wife was with him. Jennifer Connelly played Nash’s wife, Alicia.
Yes, the movie is definitely relevant to psychology. Nash was diagnosed with schizophrenia and hospitalized as a result. He suffered from hallucinations. I do believe this was an accurate portrayal. It showed how Nash experienced his hallucinations and how the hallucinations appeared to be real people to him. My favorite part was when he became well enough to recognize his hallucinations and distance himself from them.
I do agree with Nash’s quote that we have to feed delusions or hallucinations for them to stay alive. If we are able to recognize our delusions or hallucinations, we will be able to fight them and regain our sanity. If we believe the hallucinations and feed them our time, energy, and effort, they will keep growing more powerful and take over more of our lives.
If I were Nash’s wife, I would be afraid he would hurt our children or me. I would run out of patience. Those would be negatives. Positives would include how proud I would be of him when he was able to separate his hallucinations from reality and how proud I would be of the work he accomplished.
The film did a great job of showing how schizophrenia manifests itself in patients through Nash’s hallucinations. In addition, the film showed how schizophrenia could strike anyone, even highly intelligent people such as Nash. It seems that Nash suffered from paranoid schizophrenia as he thought he was working for the government. He would deliver his formulas to a mailbox that he thought was a contact point. He even invented a government contact that was portrayed by Ed Harris.
I really liked the movie Rainman. When I first saw it, I did not know what autism was. Now, I have met, worked with, and become friends with children and adults who have autism. It was interesting to watch it again. I felt that Tom Cruise’s character, Charlie Babbitt, worked hard to understand his brother Raymond, played by Dustin Hoffman. I liked that Charlie and Raymond grew close. I thought the movie accurately portrayed the more generalized symptoms of autism such as needing routine and avoiding physical contact with other people. I do feel the movie is relevant to psychology as autism is a neurological disorder.
Raymond does not like to be touched when he is not ready to be touched or when someone is trying to force him to do something. Raymond did not like it when Charlie tried to drag him to the plane at the airport or when Charlie tried to touch him when Charlie was upset after losing money at the roulette wheel. Raymond is able to tolerate being touched when he is ready for it and when someone he likes and trusts touches him. For example, Raymond tolerated contact when dancing with Charlie and when kissing Susanna.
Raymond displays the faulty mirror system by totally ignoring Charlie whenever he is angry. Other people would respond to Charlie’s anger by getting angry with Charlie and fighting back. Alternatively, other people would get scared of Charlie’s anger or ask him why he is so angry. Charlie’s anger simply does not register with Raymond. Raymond goes about his routine despite Charlie’s anger.
The center where Raymond lived used applied behavior analysis by teaching Raymond communication and social skills as well as self-care. Raymond’s routine consists of watching Judge Wahpner, going to bed at a certain time, a menu for each day of the week, and only wearing certain underwear. Raymond gets agitated at changes in his routine. When changes occur, he repeats what it is that he wants to do. Other times he rocks back and forth to soothe himself. Those are classic signs of autism. When Raymond gets off his routine, it is difficult to distract him and get him to interact with his environment or people. Raymond’s routine gives him a sense of purpose and order. It allows him to survive each day.