John Nash



Many people hail John Nash as an economic and math genius, especially after he won the Nobel Prize for economic sciences in 1994. But what many people didn't know at the time was that Nash lived with paranoid schizophrenia, a mental health disorder in which people have difficulties telling what's real and what's not, affecting their social responses and ability to think logically at times.


During an interview with the Public Broadcasting Service, Nash said his periods of paranoia (during which he heard voices) reflected his wishes to have a more influential role in studies and the world. "People are always selling the idea that people who have mental illness are suffering," he said, proposing that mental health disorders are often misunderstood. Nash said he has made adjustments to live with schizophrenia, which allowed him to continue his life work. His struggle with the mental disorder also inspired the award-winning film "A Beautiful Mind" in 2001.