Case Study: 010 Patient: Parker, Peter

This patient has had a tough life. A life riddled with loss, guilt, and grief. At an early age, Mr. Parker suffered the loss of his parents. Then as a teenager, he experienced another great loss, that of his Uncle Ben Parker. This loss was especially impactful, due to the fact that Peter felt like he was responsible for the death of his uncle. Peter had a chance to stop the robber that killed his uncle prior to the incident, but chose not to because he felt as though it was not his responsibility to stop him. One can safely say that this decision has haunted Peter throughout his life, and continues to do so to some degree.

Prior to the loss of his uncle, Peter was bitten by a radioactive spider, and he gained spider like abilities. This was a life altering event, and coupled with the normal teenage angst, placed an immense amount of pressure on teenage Peter. Fueled by his feelings of guilt over the death of his uncle, Peter decides to use his newly acquired abilities to take responsibility and fight the very menace that took his uncle away.

Shortly after making this decision, he experiences the greatest loss of his life. The first love of his life, Gwen Stacy, is thrown off a bridge by the Green Goblin. Peter shoots a line of web to save her, but when it wraps around her ankle, the impact of the abrupt stop snaps her neck and she dies. There have been other tragic incidents in Peter’s life, but these are the most impactful.

Predominately due to the period of time in Peter’s life that they happened, the role the individuals that Peter loss played in his life, and the short time period that each incident happened within. An individual can be crippled by experiencing just one of these tragic events, much less three. Also, these tragedies occurred during some of the most formative years in Peter’s life. This has had a profound effect on Peter. His guilt over these tragedies is what drives Peter. He carries an immensely heavy load on his shoulders every day, and this has taken a huge toll on him.

Peter is a witty, exuberant man, at times even obnoxious. This is a coping mechanism that he uses to continually deal with the burden of guilt he carries. I wouldn’t diagnose Peter with any psychological disorder. I would attempt to help him deal with the guilt of these tragic events in an acceptable way, a way that would give him the best quality of life. If that means hanging up the mask and web shooters, then so be it.

About Steven Brewer

I’m a lifelong comic book fan. Comics pulled me in at an early age, with influences ranging from Chris Claremont’s historic X-Men run, Walt Simonson’s Thor run, Mike Zeck’s run on The Punisher limited series, Jim Lee’s X-Men, the early 90’s X-Men animated series, and the best cartoon ever made, Batman: The Animated Series. As a kid, these comics and cartoons gave me a new world to go to when the real world wasn’t so nice. Because of this, comic books will always have a special place in my heart. I love everything about comics, and still get the same feeling reading them today as I did when I was a kid. My major in college was psychology, so I love to incorporate that into comics.
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