John Nash and paranoid Schizophrenia Essay

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Thomas Szasz once said, if you talk to God, you are praying; if God talks to you, you have schizophrenia. It is a terrible disorder that affects many people around the world. Arguably the most famous person with schizophrenia is Nobel Prize (1994) and American Mathematicians Society’s Leroy P. Steel Prize for Seminal Contribution to Research (1999) winner, John Nash. Paranoid Schizophrenia can be a crippling illness. Its sufferers may not be able to determine what is real and what is not. According to Dr. Paul Ballas (2006: Internet) of the Department of Psychiatry at Thomas Jefferson University, the individual has feelings of being persecuted or plotted against. Affected individuals may have grandiose (over-the-top) delusions associated with protecting themselves from the perceived plot. The key symptoms are delusions and auditory hallucinations.

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…as a consequence I resigned my position as a faculty member at M.I.T. and, ultimately, after spending 50 days under “observation” at the McLean Hospital, traveled to Europe and attempted to gain status there as a refugee (John Nash, 1994). For some time after that he would be in and out of hospitals. At times his involuntary admission to hospitals would last up to eight months. Eventually he began reject his delusions and return to mathematical research. This period of time, John Nash himself refers to as enforced rationality. He may have been thought to be the entering the Residual stage however this would turn out to be incorrect. In truth it can be said he had not completed the Stabilization period. In the late Sixties, he returned to what he described as a dream-like delusional hypothesis, however managed to avoid being admitted to hospital by behaving as normally as he could.

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American Psychiatric Association, 2004, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision). American Psychiatric Association. ISBN 0890420246. DSM-IV & DSM-IV-TR Schizophrenia criteriaBallas, Paul, 2006, Schizophrenia, (online), available from:, [6 September 2007]Gulli, L.F., 2007, Schizophrenia, (online), available from:, [6 September 2007]. Nash, John, 2004, Autobiography, (online) available from: [6 September 2007]. Schizophrenia Symptoms and Diagnosis, 2004, (online), available from:, [6 September 2007]. Whitaker, R, 2002, Recovery without Drugs, (online), available from:[6 September 2007]. Wikipedia, 2007, Schizophrenia, (online), available from:, [6 September2007].

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