Critical Thinking about Schizophrenia
A Beautiful Mind/A Brilliant Madness; Elyn Saks; Nathaniel Ayers
You should have viewed two movies: A Beautiful Mind (2001) you must watch on your own (there’s a link in the Chapter 13 module and the formal paper module). A Brilliant Madness (2002) will be shown in class. Read “The True Story behind THE SOLOIST” before class. View the Elyn Saks TED talk in class.
1. What differences did you see between the life of John Nash shown in the commercial film A Beautiful Mind (2001) and the life shown in the documentary, A Brilliant Madness (2002)? List and describe at least three differences.
2. If you were the psychologist examining John Nash, what symptoms would you say he exhibited that would lead you to conclude he suffered from schizophrenia (refer to textbook)?
3. What treatments were utilized with John Nash (in the commercial film and in the documentary) and how effective do you think each were/why? What treatments might be used today (refer to textbook)?
4. Refer to your text for current explanations for the possible causes of schizophrenia. Include the biopsychosocial model (diathesis-stress explanation – page 639 in Okami). What do researchers think happens in the brains of schizophrenics? What scenes from the commercial film and/or documentary provides evidence to support the causes discussed in the textbook?
5. Analyze the mental health changes in John Nash, both in the development of the disorder and his subsequent recovery shown throughout the commercial film? Are the changes similar or dissimilar to the changes shown in the documentary? Is the portrayal of schizophrenia supported by what you have learned from the materials in your textbook?
6. From “The True Story Behind THE SOLOIST,” or the movie, what happened with Nathaniel Ayers? What outcome can you expect for his future?
7. View the TED talk about Elyn Saks in class: “A Tale of Mental Illness – from the Inside.” Explain the progress and outcome of her illness.
8. Does anyone (e.g. family, the state, doctors) have the right to force people with schizophrenia or any mental illness into mental institutions in order to give them treatment?
Basic APA reference formats for films and textbook look like this:
Grazer, B. (Producer), & Howard, R. (Director). (2001). A Beautiful Mind [Motion picture]. United States: Universal Pictures.
Okami, P. (2014). Psychology: Contemporary perspectives (pp. ??-??). New York: Oxford University Press.
Samels, M. Shea, G., Drain, M., Martin, M., and MacLowry, R. (Producers), & Samels, M. (Director). (2002). A Brilliant Madness [Television documentary]. United States: PBS Home Video.
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