Part One: Share your assessment of two of the family structures portrayed in the film:
I selected a Beautiful Mind to watch from the movie list.
- Alicia Nash has the power in the family during the peak of John Nash’s psychotic break. Ms. Nash had to work and provide income for the family. She had to make sure Mr. Nash took his medication at the correct time each day. She also had to take care of their baby and do all household chores. Mr. Nash had very little ability to take care of himself or contribute to anything in the household during the peak of his mental illness. The primary resource that improved the couple’s ability to navigate Mr. Nash’s mental illness is their professional education and access to mental health treatment. Mrs. Nash was a physicist and Mr. Nash was a mathematician that eventually won the Noble Peace Prize. Mr. Nash had the resources to be treated by one of the top psychiatrist available in the area. Mrs. Nash had enough education to recognize mental illness and support her husband through his recovery.
- The family had limited socialization due to Mr. Nash experiencing hallucinations and believing he had friends that were not real. He often talked to them believing they were real people. Diminished ability to socialize due to symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations and social disconnection are common characteristic associated with the disorder (Green, et al, 2018). This social disinhibition occurs not only between the patient and family members, but also with others in the community.
The community I selected for the windshield survey would not have adequate resources to treat Mr. Nash. He needed specific medication, treatment, hospitalization, and social support from individuals that understood his disorder. Small rural communities such as the one in my survey do not possess the facilities or professionals that could have helped Mr. Nash.
Part Two: Summarize family functioning:
- Summarize general stressors of family
- General stressors for this family were job duties for their profession and raising a family at the same time they were building careers.
- Summarize specific stressors of family
- Specific stressors for this family were Mr. Nash’s diagnosis of schizophrenia, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- Prioritize areas of stress that need intervention
- Main areas of stress that need intervention is Mr. Nash’s mental illness, his compliance with medication treatment, and his inability to contribute to the family’s daily activities.
- Is there a difference in how the family viewed their stressors and how you view their stressors?
- I would say no since Mrs. Nash actually approached her husband’s mental illness in a very positive way after analyzing the situation. She realized he needed family supports, social supports, interactions with colleagues, and goals in life to achieve. All of this helped with his recovery. When individuals have a chronic illness, it is important that the family members be supportive and adjust to the person’s needs (Nies & McEwen, 2019). Mr. Nash’s colleagues were also very understanding of the situation and continued to be patient even when Mr. Nash had relapses which is common with schizophrenia. I would have suggested the same approach for treatment.
- Summarize overall family functioning.
- The family struggled with overall all functioning until Mr. Nash was able to be successfully treated for his mental illness. His mental illness impacted all areas of the family functioning. Mrs. Nash could not leave their baby with him because his delusion distracted him from caring for the child. Mr. Nash left the water running in the bathtub and the baby almost drowned.
- Summarize overall physical and mental health functioning of family (as much as is known)
- Mr. Nash’s mental health functioning was inhibited due to his diagnosis of schizophrenia. Some aspects of Mr. Nash’s physical functioning were diminished due to his mental illness. He had trouble with intimacy with his wife while taking medication to decrease symptoms of the mental illness.
- Summarize overall family strengths
- The overall family strength includes both Mr. Nash and Mrs. Nash’s education. Mr. Nash was well respected for theories and intellect as a mathematician. He maintained enough respect and friendships with fellow colleagues that Mr. Nash was able to still be involved with research and teaching at Princeton. This helped him maintain social connections and continue his important work that eventually led to him winning the Noble Peace Prize. Ms. Nash was a physicist and this allowed her to work and support the family while Mr. Nash was at the peak of his illness and he was not able to provide for the family.
Green, M.F., Horan, W.P., Lee, J., McCleery, A., Reddy, L.F., Wynn, J.K. (2018). Social Disconnection in Schizophrenia and the general community. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 44(2), 242-249. Retrieved from
Nies, A.M., McEwen, M. (2019). Community public health nursing: Promoting the health of populations (7th ed.). Elsevier.