John Forbes Nash Jr (1928 - 2015)

     Notes from Jack R Foucher

Premorbid history

John Forbes Nash Jr. was born the 13th of June 1928 in Bluefield, Virginia (USA). His father was an engineer and her mother a teacher before she married. He had a younger sister, Martha, born on November 16, 1930. The work that will bring him notoriety was part of his thesis at Princeton University (supported in 1950). In 1951, Nash was a lecturer at the Faculty of Mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He married Alicia Lopez-Harrison de Lardé (1933 -) in February 1957.

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Short account of Nash's pathology

The first symptoms appeared in early 1959 at the age of 31, when his wife was pregnant with their only child, John Charles Martin Nash (1959 -).

His wife reported signs of paranoia: some people were putting him in danger, all men wearing a red tie would be part of a communist plot against him. He was seeing himself as a messenger having an important role in that he was decrypting signs from his environment that were divine revelations. The world was perceived as a struggle between its supporters and hidden opponents who were persecuting him. Nash sent letters relating this to embassies, governments, etc. Alicia Nash had her husband admitted to the McLean Hospital in April-May 1959. Paranoid schizophrenia was diagnosed with auditory hallucinations in top of his persecutory delusions. Then a phase a slight depression essentially consisting in a lack of motivation followed.

On leaving the hospital, Nash resigned from MIT and left for Europe to seek political asylum in France and East Germany, tried to give up his American citizenship... in vain. After difficult times in Paris and Geneva, on the request of the American government, he was arrested and deported to the United States.

In 1961, Nash was again admitted under forced hospitalization in Trenton, New Jersey’s State Hospital. Multiple hospitalizations followed over the next nine years. He was administered insulin shocks and antipsychotic drugs. Nash and Lardé divorced in 1963. But after his last release form the hospital in 1970, Nash came to live in his wife's house. He wasn’t hospitalized since then and got no more treatments.

It appears that Nash had little or no antipsychotic medication outside periods of hospitalization. He stated that their beneficial effects were overestimated in relation to their adverse effects. He seemed to recover gradually thanks to a good integration in the community where his eccentricities were accepted. He tried to reject intellectually his delirious thought because he considered them as a waste of energy. It is important to remind that the following videos were maid while he was medication free form more than 25 years.

In 1994, he was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his thesis work at Princeton on game theory. He remarried with Alicia in 2001. Nash and his wife died on May 23, 2015 in a car accident.

The following video is a montage of several sources. We draw attention towards Nash and his son’s psychomotor behavior.

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Nash's childrens

Before his marriage, Nash had a son, John David Stier (1950 -) in a relationship with Eleanor Stier. This first son remained healthy. His legitimate son, John Charles Martin Nash (1959 -) did not graduate from college or high school, as he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in the mid-1970s while he was still a teenager. He nevertheless obtained a doctorate in mathematics at Rutgers University in 1985 (26 years). He is a good chess player who ranks in the Top 200 of New Jersey. He is also an artist. Up to their death he was living with his parents, he now live on his own in his parents' home with the help of the “Roman Catholic Diocese of Trenton's Program of Assertive Community Treatment”.

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Document posted on YouTube - video montage will come.

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WKL Comments

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