John Nash is a brilliant mathematician who struggled with paranoid schizophrenia for several decades of his life. Nash displayed erratic behavior and suffered from auditory hallucinations. He believed he was receiving messages from outerspace and was convinced that there was conspiracy to undermine the American government. On one occasion, Nash burst into the office of the New York Times and accused them of preventing him from receiving important encrypted messages only he could decipher. Nash’s wife admitted him to a psychiatric hospital only two years after their marriage (Nasar, 2001).
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) is a multiaxial classification system for mental disorders. The first axis includes an extensive list of clinical syndromes that typically cause significant impairment. In the case of John Nash, his Axis I diagnosis would be paranoid schizophrenia. According to the text, “people with paranoid type schizophrenia have an organized system of delusions and auditory hallucinations that may guide their lives” (Comer, 2011, p. 364). Nash suffered delusions of persecution, fearing that people were out to get him.
The second axis includes chronic conditions that are often overlooked in the presence of Axis I conditions. Nash’s Axis II diagnosis would most likely be paranoid personality disorder. People suffering from this disorder often feel that they are in danger and seek evidence of that danger, disregarding logic and fact. John Nash displayed this kind of behavior. He admitted that his behavior seemed irrational, even to him, but he was convinced he was in danger and he sought to expose any threat and make those around him aware of the danger he faced.
The third axis includes relevant medical conditions which the person is currently suffering that may directly or indirectly affect their disorder. John Nash did not seem to suffer from any medical conditions worthy of mentioning. In the articles and essays about him that were reviewed for the purposes of this paper, no such conditions were discovered.
The fourth axis includes special psychosocial or environmental situations that the person is facing. Nash’s Axis IV diagnosis could be a problem related to the social environment. Nash’s condition placed an incredible amount of strain on his marriage to Alicia de Larde. They were eventually divorced after six years of marriage. The divorce was seven years prior to his final hospital discharge. However, Nash and de Larde remarried over thirty years later.
The fifth, and final, axis includes a global assessment of functioning (GAF) to rate the person’s overall functioning within a psychological, social and occupational context. Nash’s GAF score would be somewhere in the 21-30 domain. Individuals who fall within this domain exhibit behavior that is marked by delusions and/or hallucinations and may display serious impairment in communication and/or judgment (gafscore.com). Nash suffered from both...