Published May 3, 2017

Psych Ward: Norman Osborn

Delve into the disturbed mind of the former Green Goblin!

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Despite years of therapy, including with this writer, Norman Osborn maintains he has no formal diagnoses. He rejects the diagnosis given to him by me during the last time he saw me regularly and insists any and all mental health issues were owed to his exposure to the so-called Goblin Serum and not to any kind of organic mental disorder. Additionally, since his brain’s ability to interact with the Serum has been inhibited, he no longer demonstrates any of his previous symptoms.

Some of this is accurate—the hallucinations no longer seem present, he no longer exhibits an almost compulsive laugh reflect that is set off by mentions of Spider-Man, his family, or the Daily Bugle. He no longer uses the wide range of medications to manage his mental health either, suggesting that, indeed, the Serum had a deleterious effect on his mental health.

However, all his symptoms are not eliminated. He is still prone to anger and violence when his will is questioned or his plans derailed. He still harbors an intense hatred for those he views as having opposed him. The obsessive zeal to succeed or “win” also seems intact at this time. Given the opportunity, it is not hard to see Osborn developing and exposing himself to some experimental chemical cocktail in the quest to defeat Spider-Man or to best a business rival. This supports the notion that the client almost certainly has an Axis II diagnosis—Antisocial Personality Disorder—and likely an Axis I one as well—bipolar disorder seeming most likely.

As prior, the client presents as though he has a strong educational background and privileged life. He continues to be combative and resistant in session, rejecting nearly every observation, no matter how slight, offered to him. He enjoys talking about himself but resents any attempt to steer the stories or question his viewpoint on the matter.

What is most distressing, however, is not the client’s seeming lack of progress. It is the manner of his arrival and subsequent attitude towards therapy. Despite coming on his own without anyone or anything compelling him to do so, he seems to actively resent his time in session. He also rejects goal setting, be they specific—give up criminal activities—or general—reduce overall level of stress. And yet, week in and week out, the client arrives promptly in the office.

Given his history, it seems foolish not to treat the client. On the other hand, he is, in many ways, not really in therapy at all right now. If I did not think the client’s threat to others was so inherent to his character, I do confess I would have discharged him already. However, if there exists a potential that his desire for therapy is authentic and he is just engaging in some rather intense self-sabotage, I cannot, in good conscience, not at least attempt give Osborn the help he obviously needs.

Still, ethically, I cannot let therapy continue to progress in this manner. Therefore, Osborn is being referred to Doctors Dan Slott and Stuart Immonen for a further evaluation and the hope that perhaps different therapists may yield different results. Session will take place on May 10 and the progress note will be available for review in file AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #27.

Psy D. Candidate Tim Stevens is a Staff Therapist who wishes he had done the patented Osborn hair before he shaved his head.