Thursday, April 10, 2008

I've been near a "Beautiful Mind" lately

I think it is so weird that ever since we started watching Pi and a Beautiful Mind a friend of mine has been showing some major signs of mental illness. I feel like I am actually “in” one of these movies, up close and in person with Max and John Nash. My friend is not a mathematician and he has no desire to solve a mathematical truth, but my friend is definitely obsessing about finding the truth about life. He has been surrounding himself with transformational seminars and literature. Like Max in Pi, my friend thinks that he has the “answer” in his head. Like John Nash, my friend talks down to us “mere mortals” doing his best to communicate his “divine” knowledge in a way that our little minds can understand.

It all came to a head when my friend ran onto the stage of a transformational seminar a couple of nights ago. He stood there in front of hundreds of people demanding to see “the leader.” Security was called and he was taken away in an ambulance. He was diagnosed with having a severe manic episode and that he is probably schizophrenic. As of today he is still in the Emergency Room while his parents are trying to figure out what to do with him.

In class today we spoke about the impossibility of healing schizophrenia without the use of drugs and a doctor’s care. We also spoke about how John Nash decided to heal himself on his own. I really respect that choice. How many people have actually been healed of schizophrenia under a doctor’s care? I don’t think the doctors have all the answers.

As for my friend, I’m not sure what path he will take to heal himself, but I do know that it will take quite some time for him to get back to “normal” again. Like John Nash, he may never escape from his delusions completely, but I do hope that he will be able to function in society again and lead a happy life.


Kyle Caffey said...

I'm sorry to here about your friend. I have also experienced a friend with mental illness like this. It is so hard for someone like me to deal with the situation because there is no clear answer. Most problems that you encounter, can be thought about and worked out with time. But mental illness is in another realm of problems as far as that goes. Being mathematically minded, I have trouble dealing with problems that are not solvable. I think what helped me in the end was realizing that it was not my responsibility nor was it even reasonably expected of me to fix the problem. Some things are out of our hands. The sooner we realize that, the better off we are. The longer we try to hold the world on our shoulders, the quicker we get crushed.

Miguel said...

I agree with your statement about doctors and drugs not being the answer to everything. I think it takes a lot for a person to realize there is something they want to change but rather than relying on drugs to make that change happen do it by their own will. You have to be very strong to do that, and it will make you even stronger in the end, even though you will likely have some very rough patches along the way. But in the end, it is admirable to at least attempt it.

emma said...

i think the mind is a very powerful tool and it can overcome any obstacle that it might face. i totally believe in mind over matter. i truly think that if you put that type of energy out there (believing that you can truly do anything you set your mind to), it'll come back to you as the control over yourself and your life that you're trying to achieve. maybe that makes me sound a little crazy.

Lucia said...

Best wishes for your friend! That must be terrible to go through. Kudos to you and Miguel for thinking that medication isn't always the answer. Unfortunately, I think that chooosing this route requires a lot of people to help you out on a daily basis. I guess a lot of people don't have dedicated loved ones to do this.