Schizophrenia is a devastating mental illness which affects approximately one in a hundred people. It usually strikes first in the early teenage years and involves hallucinations and delusions. It is one of those disorders that people find bizarre yet fascinating to learn about. Over the years, Hollywood has used the opportunity to bring top quality movies that depict this illness and at the same time shed some light on the severity to which it can affect persons.
Why Movies About Schizophrenia Are Intriguing To Many
Usually, movies about schizophrenia reconstruct the mental experiences of the individual so that viewers can get to see deep within of all the horrors of the illness. A good film on schizophrenia is usually judged on how accurately the disease is portrayed. Below are three fantastic movies which portray the disorder along with a sneak preview of what each movie depicts. There are lots more movies but these can profoundly exhibit schizophrenia in its purest and most powerful forms.
In the Soloist, Steve Lopez is a journalist who ends up in hospital after an accident. One day, he hears beautiful violin music playing and later learns that it is Nathaniel Ayers, a homeless schizophrenic. Steve becomes curious as to how such an impressive student could have ended up this way so he tracks down Nathaniel’s sister. She says that her brother was a child prodigy where music was concerned and then he had to drop out of school because he developed mental illness and ended up on the street .The film shows that when it comes to the portrayal of schizophrenia, it is not always a happy ending for everyone who suffers. Most people with the illness like Ayers suffer chronically for the rest of their lives even after a successful diagnosis.
Another movie worth watching is the Revolution #9 where Michael Risley appears to be a normal guy who has a girlfriend he loves, a good job and an average apartment. Everything is well until he suspects that his co-workers are sneaking around his desk. This intensifies into extreme paranoia and delusions worsen whereby his work performance deteriorates and he is fired.
He becomes obsessed with a television advert which he believes is secretly plotting his downfall. Michael ends up in hospital that does nothing for him and only drives him insane. Unable to stand the emotional annoyance anymore, Michael climbs to a roof top and some teenagers cheer him on to jump. It is eventually a very sad story and it shows that schizophrenia is like an evil tumor of the mind. This film is one of the more realistic depictions of schizophrenia as it shows how the disease affects seemingly normal people in a realistic way.
A Beautiful Mind
Likewise, in the film A Beautiful Mind, John Nash experiences a variety of positive symptoms of schizophrenia. The first of these are seen through the hallucinations John has of having a roommate while at Princeton. This roommate continues to stay “in contact” with John throughout his adult life. We later learnt that this roommate never existed. One scene that will remain in my mind forever and the best example of the negative symptoms of Schizophrenia is a scene where John Nash is shown holding his infant son while the baby is crying and Nash shows absolutely no signs of remorse at all. This is just one example, although, a loss of feelings is one of the most dominant negative symptoms of schizophrenia.