John Nash, Nobel prize winning mathematician and subject of the Oscar winning biopic A Beautiful Mind, delivered a speech to the American Psychiatric Association’s annual conference. In his talk, he suggested that mental illness may be the result of the otherwise healthy evolution of mental diversity.
Applying his specialized understanding of “game theory” to an analysis of mental illness and his own experience with psychosis, the 79-year-old Nobel Laureate suggested that severe mental illness exists in nature as a consequence of the diversification of species, and that it may serve the needs of adaptation by its not infrequent association with genius.
It is a line of thinking that has been followed by such renowned psychiatric researchers as Nancy Andreasen, M.D., and Kay Redfield Jamison, Ph.D.
At the same conference, model and actress Brooke Shields spoke to the conference about her own experience of post-partum depression – the depressive disorder that occurs after giving birth in about 1 out of every 10 women.
Link to Psychiatric News on Nash’s speech (via FuriousSeasons).
Link to Psychiatric News on Shield’s speech.