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Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Captain America

Examining the effects on Steve Rogers of resuming his familiar role

By Tim Stevens

Steven Rogers present as an adult male in excellent physical condition. Although he is chronologically somewhere in his late 80’s or early 90’s, a combination of years in suspended animation and exposure to a mixture of chemicals and energy waves—known as the Super Soldier serum—has greatly retarded the aging process.

The client is perhaps best known as the costumed adventurer and national icon Captain America. Although several have filled the position, he has held it the longest and arguably remains who people think of when they think of Captain America. In the same way that the mantel has been passed to others, Rogers has also assumed other costumed identities, often in reaction to choices the government has made, either because he is fulfilling another duty requested of him or symbolically protesting some recent event.

Currently, the client has assumed the role of Captain America once more in the wake of the death of his friend and successor, Bucky Barnes. What this means for his current role as commander of the Avengers remains unclear.

Rogers admits to ambivalence and a certain emotional numbing in the wake of these twin upheavals. While he has always demonstrated considerable psychological resilience, Barnes’ death, after he was only recently revealed as alive in secret for years, has left the client very deregulated.

It should be noted that he does not present as such, however. Rogers has continued to perform his duties with an efficiency that does not betray this conflict. As he asserted to this writer, he has no choice in the matter. Recent events involving The Serpent demanded he put aside his personal feelings for the sake of his friends, his country, and the world. While this is beyond admirable, it has left him considerably more emotionally vulnerable than usual. With all his efforts marshaled towards not feeling, it is possible, and perhaps likely, that seemingly minor occurrences might have significantly higher impacts than usual.

In other words, he may exhibit unusual emotional outbursts that seem above and beyond their catalysts because, in fact, he can no longer suppress his feelings.

However, this may prove not to be the case. In past times of great stress, Rogers has been able to control his feelings until after the conflict and then release them in a healthy, safe manner. This has been noted following the destruction of many of his last personal effects by the Masters of Evil years ago, the dissolution of the Avengers after the devastating conflict with the Scarlet Witch, and, of course, his struggles to assimilate in a world very different than the one he grew up in.

At this time, this writer supports Rogers’ continued presence in the field as Captain America. While it is important that he allow himself to explore and express his emotions in good time, there are no current indications that he will not be able to do so.

However, it is recommended he come in for at least two more follow-up sessions to check his mood and observe any symptoms of distress he might be experiencing.

The follow up sessions for Steven Rogers are scheduled for July 27 with Doctors Ed Brubaker, Marc Andreyko, and Chris Samnee with details available in file CAPTAIN AMERICA AND BUCKY #620 and on August 10 with Doctors Ed Brubaker and Steve McNiven. Please refer to file CAPTAIN AMERICA #2 for further details on that session.

Additional information on the client will be available via the biopic “Captain America: The First Avenger,” due in theaters on July 22.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens, MA is a Practicum Trainee at a Federal Correctional Institute and a Dialectical Behavior Therapy Consultant.

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Steve rodgers Captain America