Caring for others
19 March 2017
Below is a transcript of Sara Tancredi speaking with Michael Scofield’s psychologist, Dr Brighton, from the tv series Prison Break:
Dr. Brighton: I’m sure you can understand my reluctance to discuss past patients.
Dr. Sara Tancredi: Absolutely. My understanding is that under HIPAA we’re allowed to share information as long as it furthers the care of the patient. I’m not accustomed to make enquiries like this, but I, uh…I feel like I can get through to him. I can help him.
Dr. Brighton: I imagine he needs it in there.
Dr. Sara Tancredi: What did you treat him for?
Dr. Brighton: Michael suffered from a couple of things. One was a condition called low latent inhibition.
Sara Tancredi: Sorry, I’m not familiar with the term.
Dr. Brighton: Well, people who suffer from low latent inhibition see everyday things just like you or I do, like this lamp for instance. But where we just process the image of a lamp, they process everything. The stem, the bulb, the bolts, even the washers inside. Their brains are more open to the incoming stimuli in the surrounding environment.
Other people’s brains – yours and mine – shut out the same information. We have to do it in order to keep our sanity.
If someone with a low IQ has low latent inhibition, it almost always results in mental illness. But, if someone has a high IQ, it almost always results in creative genius.
Sara: Do you think Michael’s a genius?
Dr. Brighton: Well, I think that word’s been derogated in the media these days. But in the classic sense of the word, yes, I do.
Sara: You…you said there was something else you treated him for?
Dr. Brighton: He came to me with absolutely no sense of self-worth. The loss of both parents very often does that to a child. But with the low latent inhibition, something interesting happened to Michael. He became very attuned to all the suffering around him. He couldn’t shut it out. He became a rescuer, one of those people who are more concerned with other people’s welfare than their own.
Sara: I didn’t know all this about him.
Dr. Brighton: Then maybe you don’t know Michael Scofield.
Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller)