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"What Do You Want To Do?"
March 17, 2004
by Tony Zizza

Perhaps the best part of the 1997 movie Good Will Hunting, occured when psychologist Sean McGuire (played by Robin Williams) asked Will Hunting (played by Matt Damon) this oh so simple question:

"What do you want to do?"

Will is completely stumped. Mortified, I might add. Will, who we've come to know as a quick, but negative street philosopher of sorts, is left still hanging on for dear life when the good Sean McGuire asks him this additional zinger:

"What are you passionate about?"

Sean is a masterful psychologist. He illustrates with such grace and skill what the mental health profession ought to attempt to mirror. Sean looked at troubled Will compassionately, but wasn't going to let him off the hook. Sean had to make Will grow the only way that would actually free him of his fatal flaw: Will would have to think about what he wanted to do with his life and what he would become passionate about.

While I'm no psychologist by degree or "legal" training, this I know as fact: no matter how trying it became with Will, Sean would not have even dreamed of "drugging" his patient to help him "focus" on questions we all as members of the human race have to figure out on our own.

So, why am I rambling on about a movie released back in 1997? What's the issue?

A few nights ago, I'm watching Good Will Hunting on the BRAVO channel. Again, a movie that showed in so many different ways with good Sean McGuire and Will Hunting - what a real therapy relationship ought to look like. I really believe the movie is a much needed slap in the mental health profession's - face.

I'm enjoying an adult beverage, and here we go with the Adult ADD commercials. Each break in the movie contained one Eli Lilly advertisment, I mean commercial for Strattera, the new non-stimulant drug to treat the alleged mental disorder of not being able to "focus" at "work" or with your "family." Turned about to be at least eight Strattera commercials during Good Will Hunting.

I think we all need to send BRAVO a few dollars so they're no longer dependent on Eli Lilly's lies about the American family and the ability to focus we all seem to lack to the point of needing medication.

Honestly, these commercials made me feel nausea and worry about being restless, and I am not even an adult or a pre-schooler on Strattera. For commercials to air that sell drugs to help aid children and adults deal with one another in a family setting, especially during a movie like Good Will Hunting, is a telling sign of how pathetic we have become.

Good Will Hunting should be required viewing for everyone in the mental health industry licensed to prescribe Strattera. Not to mention, the top brass at the BRAVO channel itself.

Surely, we will all yell (bravo!) when mental health professionals who have prescription pads burning in their pockets, and pharmaceutical executives come to understand, we need more Sean McGuire's in this country.

Not to mention, more young people who know what they want to do and what they are passionate about.

Zizza is a freelance writer based in Atlanta who writes frequently about mental health issues. Email comments to him at: tz777@yahoo.com

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