According to some information I found doing research about the movie Good Will Hunting, Will is suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. If I was going to be the nurse taking care of a client with post traumatic stress disorder I would want to know the following information to be able to assist me in giving competent and quality nursing care:
- What physical stimuli trigger your flashbacks?
- What are you experiencing in your flashbacks?
- What is your physical and emotional response to the flashbacks?
- What type of work if any does the client do?
- What is the client’s typical pattern of socialization?
- Is there any history of substance abuse?
- Is there a history of violent behavior?
There are several nursing diagnosis that would be pertinent to Will given his history during the movie of violent behavior and those include:
- Risk of harm to self or others
- Risk of other self directed violence
- Disturbed energy field
- Disturbed sensory perception
- Disturbed thought process
- Ineffective coping
The care plan that I will develop will be ineffective coping. Three short term goal would be that (1) the client will verbalize ability to cope and ask for help when needed, (2) client will remain free from destructive behavior toward self or others, and (3) the client will communicate needs and negotiate with others to meet needs. The interventions for the first goal are to help the client set realistic goals and identify personal skills and knowledge, encourage the client to make choices and participate in planning of care and scheduled activities. The intervention for the second goal would be to assess the risk of the client’s harming self or others and intervene appropriately and encourage moderate aerobic exercise. The interventions for the third goal include referring for counseling as needed and using distraction techniques during procedures that cause the client to be fearful.
According to the movie Will is a “southie” which I am assuming means he comes from the south side of his town. According to the movie when they showed the area where will lives it is a very run down area of town and it also looked like he lived in a “shot gun” house. You could tell it was either the welfare area or the area where the working poor lived because there wasn’t anything nice about the area at all. You didn’t see any brand new cars or any nice houses it was generally what the heart of the west end of Louisville looks like. Will also appeared to hang out with people from his same social class for the most part. There was a time when he was with the medical student that he lied about where he lived and his family, bur for the most part he stayed with what he knew and was familiar with.
I would say that what I can do to be more aware of these factors is just be open minded and not to draw any conclusion about people until I get to know them. You never really know where a person has been until you walk a mile in their shoes. Society as a whole needs to adopt this attitude as well because far too many times we judge people before we get to know them. This happened to me a lot growing up because I lived in the east end of Louisville. Traditionally you think of people who are wealthy, have brand name and brand new everything, and have a humongous house. That was not the case for me growing up. We lived in a very small two bedroom house, never had brand name anything, and my parents always drove used cars. We were not the typical east end family although people assumed that since we lived in the east end we were wealthy. They formed opinions of us without walking in our shoes.
I would have to say that I do identify with Will a great deal because I was also abused as a child. However I did not suffer the same type of abuse. Will’s abuse was physical from what I can gather from the movie, while my abuse was mental and emotional. I think that with the type of abuse I suffered I could feel what Will was feeling when he saw Carmine, the guy who used to beat him up in kindergarten.
When Will got out of the car and approached Carmine, Carmine acted like he didn’t remember ever laying a hand on Will as a child, which set Will off and he started beating Carmine up. I am sure it was a sense of release because Will was getting out y ears of pinned up anger. It was probably a sense of frustration as well because Will knows what he went through as a child and now Carmine in my opinion is trying to undermine Will and make him question his whole reality. I can so totally relate to this because there were some events that happened to me when I was younger that left deep emotional scars. When I got around to a place where I was strong enough to deal with the hurt I confronted the person who abused me and the same thing that happened to Will happened to me. My emotional abuser denied the event and even suggested that I fabricated the entire memory, which pissed me off even more. I could almost feel all those memories that Will was experiencing as he beat the living tar out of Carmine and what a sense of release Will must have felt afterwards.
There were a few ethical issues that I saw that didn’t sit well with me while I was watching the movie. The first unethical situation I witnessed was during the first therapy session; Will was trying to “break down” the therapist by asking him some really personal questions. Will asked a bout the therapist’s wife and started talking about her and the therapist grabbed him by the throat and pretty much threatened him. That was an important scene because up till that point in no other therapist had challenged Will when he tried to “break them down.” I think that that event told Will that this guy cared and was actually going to try to help him.
The next unethical think I saw that really stuck out in my mind was the blatant disregard of Will’s private information. The psychiatrist and the math professor who was trying to help Will would discuss how Will’s treatments were going out in the open where anyone could hear it. That was a complete break in psychiatrist client privacy as well as a huge HIPAA violation. I do believe that this movie predated the HIPAA laws and if it were remade in today’s day and age you would not have seen that happen.
In this movie the psychiatric content consisted of a person suffering from post traumatic stress disorder and a professor at a community college that also had a doctorate degree in psychology who performs counseling with Will. Will is a genius who has been in trouble with the law on and off his entire life. He is a moderately violent person in my opinion because he is always ready to fight. He had a bad childhood from what I could gather from the movie and was an abused orphan.
The movie did an excellent job showing the doctor client interaction during a counseling session. I can not think of any stigma that this movie enforced toward mental health. When I picture a person suffering with post traumatic stress disorder, I picture a person who is scared all the time and maybe has a touch of agoraphobia and doesn’t leave their house. With that being said I don’t think that this movie would affect anyone’s beliefs and attitudes toward not going to seek help if needed. I believe that this movie showed that therapy does work and if you do talk to somebody that it can and probably will help you heal from any emotional scaring that you might have.
Author: Jason Hawkins RN, BSN, MSN
How would you care for Will? Comment below