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Psych Ward

Psych Ward: Harry Osborn

When it comes to mental illness, like father, like son...

By Tim Stevens Harry Osborn is an adult male of slim build. He presents as casually arrogant and disinterested, an appearance that breaks down rather quickly once the client begins to talk with the writer. His manner of speaking indicates a high level of education and a strongly upper class lifestyle. However, when such things are mentioned, it is clear the client is not entirely comfortable with the manner in which he grew up, oft-mentioning his best friend Peter Parker's childhood as an example of a "happy one." Osborn currently owns and runs a small but popular café called the Coffee Bean and has become very involved in raising money for his current girlfriend's father's run for mayor. He has been absent from therapy for an extended period of time (he cannot remember specifically for long or why he stopped). The client has a history of drug use dating back to his adolescence, resulting in two

separate incidents of overdose. At this time, Osborn claims to have been sober for some time and that while he does not attend regular NA meetings, he does maintain contact with a sponsor that he can trust and has had no desire to use in the past year or more. Much like his father, Norman Osborn, the client has, at times, displayed signs of reactive schizophrenia and amnesia. This was particularly the case when the client assumed his father's alter ego and became the second Green Goblin. Currently, the client has no recollection of being the Goblin, although he is aware that his father was. Osborn also currently displays none of the positive or negative symptoms of schizophrenia, lending further credence to the idea that it was a reactive episode brought by prior heavy drug use and the ingestion of an experimental substance known as the Goblin formula. Also like his father, the client has, from time to time, displayed characteristics of bipolar disorder, such as periods of dark depression and self loathing swinging into periods of extreme risk-taking behavior and dangerous choices like drug use or recreational super villainy. At this time, these symptoms also seem to be dormant. Perhaps stemming from his erratic behavior, the client has been married several times unsuccessfully. This is worthy of note because it indicates a difficulty in maintaining relationships and his son from one marriage, with Liz Allen, is a source of great guilt and concern for Harry as he does not have steady contact with Normie and is

concerned that the son will follow in his father's (and grandfather's) footsteps and develop a mental illness. The client tends to be cautious, but open during session. He answers questions thoughtfully and rarely attempts to evade or shut down, regardless of topic. Spider-Man, an apparent hot button issue for Osborn previously, elicits minor annoyance and agitation now, but nothing to raise any red flags. However, given his memories lapses, the client's self-reporting abilities are problematic. While he seems genuine it is possible that he is "faking" memory loss to avoid difficult subject matter. Additionally, amnesia is rarely permanent, which means that even if he is being honest about his memory loss, it is highly likely he will, at some point, recall much of what he can no longer access. Given the claims of amnesia, coupled with prior drug use and the physical injuries experienced by the client during his time as Green Goblin, the writer's first recommendation is that he undergoes a full body of tests for possible traumatic brain injury. The client should also be evaluated for bipolar disorder.

Until these tests can be performed, the writer will not be referring the client to a psychiatrist to establish a pharmalogical routine, but has informed Osborn that it might be a possibility at some point. The writer has also suggested to Osborn that he may want to attend interpersonal effectiveness training to address some of his difficulties in long term romantic relationships. Additionally, the client may want to enroll he and his son in an organized father-son program that will give them structured time to spend together to strengthen their bond. The client has been discouraged from attempting any such contact with his father as the elder Osborn seems to be both a source of great stress and a trigger to the client and is very lax about his own mental health routine. The writer's biggest concern at this time is the resurfacing of lost memories, as most of them are quite unpleasant and will force the client to consider some of his own very negative activities. As such, the client has been encourage to contact staff at any time he experiences the return of negative memories so he can be coached on his skills during the moment and be returned to psychological equilibrium.

#581 cover by
Mike McKone

Harry Osborn's next appointment will be on December 17 with Doctors Dan Slott and Mike McKone. Please look for details in file AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #581. Tim Stevens is a Mental Health Supervisor currently pursuing his Psy D who has experience in dealing with individuals with schizophrenia and drug addiction. Check out the official Marvel Shop for everything Spider-Man!
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