The Impact Of Ordinary People Essay

1039 words - 5 pages

As people live their daily lives, they have an effect on others whether that is knowingly or unknowingly. These effects can be positive or negative, but either way they contribute in the making of individuals identities. In Ordinary People, by Judith Guest, Conrad was an adolescent who was severely depressed until he met a psychiatrist named Dr. Berger. His psychiatrist helped transform his identity from a confused to a confident young man. Conrad’s psychiatrist prevented him from self harm, helped reduce his guilt and influenced him to make the right decisions, which ultimately boosted his confidence.
To begin with, his psychiatrist, Dr. Berger prevented Conrad from further self- harm. In ...view middle of the document...

If Conrad followed Karen’s footsteps and would of stopped seeing Dr. Berger, he may have harmed himself again since he would have had little social support to cope with his grief. He would have been overwhelmed with pain once again because he would have felt alone. Conrad also went to Dr. Berger for support when he found out that Karen had committed suicide. He says to Dr. Berger when he arrives at his office, “I don’t know what I would have done if I couldn’t have gotten you this morning. I feel so shaky”(Guest 227). This proves that Dr. Berger held Conrad back from not hurting himself, and helped him control his feelings. In short, Berger gave Conrad strength to overcome his struggles, which helps him avoid extreme measures.
Berger also helped reduce Conrad’s feelings of remorse. Conrad felt a lot of guilt for attempting suicide because he felt his mother, Beth would never forgive him. “ I am never going to be forgiven for that, never! All that blood on her rug and her goddamn towels everything had to be pitched”(Guest 119). Conrad got into a serious argument with his mother before he mentioned this occurrence to Dr. Berger. He felt his mother had stopped loving him because he tried to commit suicide. However, Dr. Berger assured Conrad that his mother loved him the best way she knew how, which helped him feel less guilty. “ Listen you know what you did? You hung on, kiddo. That’s it. Thats your guilt. You can live with that can’t you?”(Guest 225) Dr. Berger stated this to Conrad while he was having a breakdown, because of Karen’s death. A lot of memories started coming back to him during his break down, and in particular his brother’s accident. His brother drowned when they were on a boat and he blamed himself for not being able to save him. Once again, Dr. Berger helped convinced Conrad that he is not at fault for his brother’s...

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