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Why doesn't John Nash take medication?


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I'm wondering as to why John Nash - a Nobel Prize winner in economics, doesn't take his medication. Is there a particular reason? Did he state it? Please note that I'm not encouraging anyone to get off their medication - I take medication myself. I'm simply wondering.

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He got his Nobel for work he did before his psychotic break.  He's one of the very rare cases that went into remission late in life, but the damage was done.  A professor of mine went to see him  speak after A Beautiful Mind came out.  The paper he read was only a paler of the work he'd done before his break; he barely made it through the reading, and was unable to answer any questions.  If he'd agreed to take medication while symptomatic he'd likely have had a much better outcome.  

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Yeah.  One thing we've learned over the past 30 meds is that meds get better.  The ones we have now don't suck nearly as bad as the ones we had 10-20-30 years ago and the ones we'll have in 20 years likely won't be nearly as bad as the ones we have now.  He couldn't have known that at the time, of course.

 

Haldol has the largest EPS risk of any neuroleptic, but if that's not a problem, it should be nearly side effect free.  Newer APs are much more complicated.

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I sincerely doubt Nash had a lot of negative symptoms. I havn't read any of his books or biographies though. Having negative symptoms (ie cognitive impairment and low stress tolerance) is a major part of my illness, I don't see how he could possibly do what he did if he had a high level of impairment. I am willing to bet a mild, controllable, constant psychosis w little negative symptoms. Anyone else here know more details about his illness? I am thinking the same for Elyn Sacks. I don't believe they represent the "worst" of the spectrum. But they do give people hope I guess..

Edited by Equivilency
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I sincerely doubt Nash had a lot of negative symptoms. I havn't read any of his books or biographies though. Having negative symptoms (ie cognitive impairment and low stress tolerance) is a major part of my illness, I don't see how he could possibly do what he did if he had a high level of impairment. I am willing to bet a mild, controllable, constant psychosis w little negative symptoms. Anyone else here know more details about his illness? I am thinking the same for Elyn Sacks. I don't believe they represent the "worst" of the spectrum. But they do give people hope I guess..

 

If you read the biography by Sylvia Nasar (and don't believe the movie "version"), he had several bad bouts of psychosis and landed in the hospital several times. I think the fact that he never produced any substantial work following the onset of schizophrenia speaks a lot to the severity of his symptoms. Everything just dried up overnight.

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I sincerely doubt Nash had a lot of negative symptoms. I havn't read any of his books or biographies though. Having negative symptoms (ie cognitive impairment and low stress tolerance) is a major part of my illness, I don't see how he could possibly do what he did if he had a high level of impairment. I am willing to bet a mild, controllable, constant psychosis w little negative symptoms. Anyone else here know more details about his illness? I am thinking the same for Elyn Sacks. I don't believe they represent the "worst" of the spectrum. But they do give people hope I guess..

 

If you read the biography by Sylvia Nasar (and don't believe the movie "version"), he had several bad bouts of psychosis and landed in the hospital several times. I think the fact that he never produced any substantial work following the onset of schizophrenia speaks a lot to the severity of his symptoms. Everything just dried up overnight.

 

 

Ahh that makes more sense. The movie version does make it seem like hes brilliant the whole time. Not to say these people aren't suffering too, its just a wide spectrum. 

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Who knows if John Nash wants his work to be understood and known about? Can't a researcher, learn about the world without everyone knowing his ideas?

 

Perhaps he doesn't want to be known, and recognized. Maybe he just wants to work privately, without the fear of the government wanting to understand everything about him.

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Who knows if John Nash wants his work to be understood and known about? Can't a researcher, learn about the world without everyone knowing his ideas?

 

Perhaps he doesn't want to be known, and recognized. Maybe he just wants to work privately, without the fear of the government wanting to understand everything about him.

 

You know he's a Nobel prize winner right?  That means he's made one of the largest contributions to human knowledge of any person ever.  

You're an idiot.

 

I've actually read his pre-psychosis work and while I have only a rudimentary understanding of the subject matter, I know enough to know it really is that brilliant.   Just because you don't know about it and understand it doesn't mean that smart educated people don't.

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There's no need to speculate.  He's given his reasons dozens of times.

 

Select quotes by John Nash from an interview in 'A Brilliant Madness':  

 

'Madness can be an escape.
If things are not so good, you may be want to imagine something better. 
In madness, I thought I was the most important person of the world
and people like the Pope would be just like enemies,
who would try to put me down in some way.
'


'A delusional state of mind is like living a dream
Well I knew where I was, I was there on observation,
but I was able to think that I was like a victim of a conspiracy.
'


'In madness, I saw myself as some sort of messenger, or having a special function. 
Like the Muslim concept with Muhammad, the messenger of Allah.'
   

'To some extent, sanity is a form of conformity.
People are always selling the idea that people who have mental illness are suffering.
But it's really not so simple. I think mental illness or madness can be an escape also.'
   

'I felt that I might get a divine revelation by seeing a certain number.

A great coincidence could be interpreted as something, a message from heaven.'

 

 

 

His daughter, Martha Nash-Legg had this to say, and I feel like she puts it succinctly: 

 

'He was afraid of anything that would alter the quality of his mind.
And as anyone doesn't want to be forced to do something they don't want to do,
that they don't choose to do. And John had always been very independent about what he chose to do.'

 

 

All of this said:  If he'd begun treatment earlier in life, he'd still have been just as brilliant, as well as actually functional.  The lesson to be learned here is that you shouldn't avoid treatment based on self-fulfilling fears.  Take your meds, kiddos, they really do serve a purpose.

 

 

 

Who knows if John Nash wants his work to be understood and known about? Can't a researcher, learn about the world without everyone knowing his ideas?

 

Perhaps he doesn't want to be known, and recognized. Maybe he just wants to work privately, without the fear of the government wanting to understand everything about him.

 

We know he wanted his work to be understood because he LITERALLY SAID THAT DOZENS OF TIMES.

 

Stop projecting yourself onto someone else. That's an entirely different conversation that we aren't having here.

Edited by Bad Haiku
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Who knows if John Nash wants his work to be understood and known about? Can't a researcher, learn about the world without everyone knowing his ideas?

 

Perhaps he doesn't want to be known, and recognized. Maybe he just wants to work privately, without the fear of the government wanting to understand everything about him.

 

You know he's a Nobel prize winner right?  That means he's made one of the largest contributions to human knowledge of any person ever.  

You're an idiot.

 

I've actually read his pre-psychosis work and while I have only a rudimentary understanding of the subject matter, I know enough to know it really is that brilliant.   Just because you don't know about it and understand it doesn't mean that smart educated people don't.

 

 

You are very violent with your words for no reason, and I think you are insecure about yourself. 

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Who knows if John Nash wants his work to be understood and known about? Can't a researcher, learn about the world without everyone knowing his ideas?

 

Perhaps he doesn't want to be known, and recognized. Maybe he just wants to work privately, without the fear of the government wanting to understand everything about him.

 

You know he's a Nobel prize winner right?  That means he's made one of the largest contributions to human knowledge of any person ever.  

You're an idiot.

 

I've actually read his pre-psychosis work and while I have only a rudimentary understanding of the subject matter, I know enough to know it really is that brilliant.   Just because you don't know about it and understand it doesn't mean that smart educated people don't.

 

You are very violent with your words for no reason, and I think you are insecure about yourself.

Obvious troll is obvious.

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Who knows if John Nash wants his work to be understood and known about? Can't a researcher, learn about the world without everyone knowing his ideas?

 

Perhaps he doesn't want to be known, and recognized. Maybe he just wants to work privately, without the fear of the government wanting to understand everything about him.

 

You know he's a Nobel prize winner right?  That means he's made one of the largest contributions to human knowledge of any person ever.  

You're an idiot.

 

I've actually read his pre-psychosis work and while I have only a rudimentary understanding of the subject matter, I know enough to know it really is that brilliant.   Just because you don't know about it and understand it doesn't mean that smart educated people don't.  

You are very violent with your words for no reason, and I think you are insecure about yourself.

Obvious troll is obvious.

 

I'm not trolling. I'm pointing out there is no reason to call me an idiot and imply that I'm not smart/educated for merely stating an opinion.

 

I used no such abusive language and therefore there is no need IMO to use it on me :P

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