A picture of a smiling doctor talking to a smiling patient in a hospital bed. The title of the article, The Good Doctor: (TV Show) A Triggered Response, is in the top right corner of the image

The Good Doctor (TV Show): A Triggered Response

I just watched the new episode of The Good Doctor (S2 Ep. 11 – Quarantine Part 2) and something just happened that triggered a thought response in me due to my borderline personality disorder, and I thought I’d share that with you.



The Good Doctor Synopsis


The show follows the life of a surgeon by the name of Shaun Murphy, but he’s no ordinary surgeon. Dr Shaun Murphy is on the autism spectrum and has Savant syndrome (IMDb). The show itself is based on an award-winning South Korean series of the same name, according to Wikipedia.


The promo image of ABC's show The Good Doctor


S2 Ep. 11 – Quarantine Part 2


Let me set the scene a little bit: they’re trapped in quarantine in the hospital (as the name of the episode would suggest) and Dr Shaun Murphy is struggling to cope with the noise and general chaos of having to be in the emergency room as the quarantine storyline plays itself out.


Trapped in the quarantine is Dr Alex Park‘s son (who has issues with his dad) who has just recovered from an asthmatic episode and is now standing by the bed of a pregnant woman. During a conversation between the two, the pregnant woman said something that perplexed me a little.


She said:

Most kids want their dad there even when it’s not life and death


I’ve never experienced that, for either of my parents (I’m from a single-parent family). There has never been an event in my life, good, bad, terrible, or fantastic that I’ve ever thought “I wish my mum and/or dad were here”. I’ve gone so far as to spend Christmas on my own, multiple times, rather than going home to spend it with my mum, simply because nothing drives me to want to.


I can go years without seeing or speaking to my mum and I’d be fine with it, I don’t care about people being there for me for whatever events that have happened to me, and I barely care about me doing anything for celebratory events anymore: I didn’t even bother going to my own university graduation, as I didn’t see the point of attending such an event.




I’ve also never felt homesick, and if I really wanted to I could reach out to my dad through my half-sister (she’s still in contact with him, but I have no desire to do so, and I’ve never felt a need to be with someone specific.


I have, however, been desperate to socialise, in my past as it kept me stable, but I didn’t care who it was with, as long as it was someone, anyone, who would allow me to meet the required need to socialise – although I no longer suffer that need anymore.


If you’ve read my previous article “The Difficulties of Meeting My Partner” you’d see that I even struggle with wanting to be around my partner, and my partner is the only person I can be bothered to even talk to, as I lack the drive to do so: as well as having to contend with my anxiety disorders making the whole prospect more difficult.


I have a borderline personality disorder and it’s rooted in attachment problems. I’ve always known I’ve had attachment problems, but it wasn’t just caused by my experiences with my mum and dad (or lack thereof of a dad). My primary school, school “friends”, and peers all played their part. So this single line on The Good Doctor is impossible for me to relate to.


I know I’m missing something important that allows me to have this kind of need for someone close to be there for them. This special connection that Dr Alex Park‘s son obviously wanted in this episode of The Good Doctor. Other people are able to feel this, due to not having the problems I have, but why can’t I as well?


The picture is split in two with the top image being of child holding a stethoscope to a teddy bear and the bottom image is of two surgeons performing surgery. The two images are separated by the article title - The Good Doctor (TV Show): A Triggered Response


But at the same time, if I’d had that, I’d probably be in a far worse situation now than I actually am, because having such a drive for wanting parents and other people to be there for me, when none have ever been there for me before, would’ve been far more devastating than not having that need and it never being fulfilled, if the need was there.


Although it should be stated that my partner will always be there if I want them to be, and they make it clear to me a lot that they want to be there for me, I just don’t know how to do that. All I really rely on them for is to help me dampen my anxieties so I can sort out my various hospital appointments for my autonomic disorder. This is because they have sent me to various different hospitals to see different specialists over the last few years.


Having them there also has the added benefit of being a witness for me, should I need one. When I had to make a complaint about my mental health Trust, which was dragged out over several meetings and three-odd years, having my partner there was really helpful for me. However, this is a more pragmatic reason for me rather than the emotional need displayed in this episode.


Because I’ve always lacked this connection to people and my family, I find it hard to understand why people get upset by such things as their parents getting a divorce or splitting up: They’ve not stopped being your parents, and they shouldn’t have to be in an unhappy marriage building resentment for each other just for their children, especially when they’re no longer actually children anymore, but adults who are seeing their parents break up. Why does this bother people so much?


There’s a lot I don’t get about attachments between people, and it’s unlikely I’ll ever feel what it’s like. Although I hope I’m wrong because I would like to have children one day.


Has anyone else with attachment problems found that this disappeared in regard to the children they’ve had? Were able to form a healthy attachment to their kids?




The Good Doctor Review


I love The Good Doctor. I don’t know how true to life the show’s portrayal of autism and Savant syndrome is in the show when compared to real life, but hopefully, it helps with raising some awareness about the conditions. Because, much like this particular scene reminded me of my attachment issues, which form my borderline personality disorder, people with autism also have problems forming attachments as well.


The Good Doctor is one of my favourite shows and the show often causes an emotional response in me as I watch Dr Shaun Murphy deal with the problems he encounters. You also get to see how everyone else learns to deal with Dr Shaun Murphy, see the stigma and how some do and don’t overcome the stigma of Dr Shaun Murphy‘s autism label.


I look forward to completing this series and then waiting for the next one, and I give The Good Doctor a 5/5.


A image of five suns and zero black holes to indicate a five out of five review mark


Anyway, check out this episode of The Good Doctor (S2 Ep. 11 – Quarantine Part 2) and let me know what you think.


As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences with attachments and if you like The Good Doctor in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new articles by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom right corner.


Lastly, if you’d like to support my blog, then you can make a donation of any size below as well. Until next time, Unwanted Life readers.





21 thoughts on “The Good Doctor (TV Show): A Triggered Response

  1. I wanted to start The Good Doctor because of Freddie Highmore, we finished The Bates Motel just after Halloween last year and loved him. Interesting that it shares some insight into syndromes!


  2. I really wanted to start The Good Doctor but never had a chance yet, it sounds really intriguing. I think as with everything, attachment comes in different ways for everyone as well as showing it in different ways. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Interesting read!! I know the episode that you’re talking about, I’ve seen all of the show lol. Some of the things you’ve mentioned reminds me a lot of my son. He has no need to socialise or be around anyone. In family events he likes to stay in his room away from everyone. We have been told he has attatchment issues and, currently waiting for his confirmation meeting for autism. x

      • Interesting read!
        Your depiction of the scene was beautiful, and I was really enthralled by the insight you offered into your experience of attachment. I can imagine this insight could be immensely valuable for ppl who are trying to understand loved ones with an attachment style similar to yours.
        Thank you so much for sharing something so personal.
        Love your work!

  4. Very interesting post! I’m also from a single-parent family so I enjoyed reading. I haven’t seen The Good Doctor before, but I’ve seen it advertise, so definitely sounds like a show I should check out. I like medial dramas, so I’m sure I’ll like it.

    Anika | chaptersofmay.com

  5. The Good Doctor, I’ve watched the Korean version. Not much for medical dramas but I watched it all, the story line was so good. If the English version follows the same vein then it will be equally brilliant. Having recalled the lead in this Kdrama, I can understand the similarities in your post!
    Thanks for sharing a bit of you with us!

  6. I’ve really wanted to start this show, it’s been on the list forever. Thank you for sharing – it’s made me even more intrigued to watch it soon!

  7. I have never seen the good doctor but a couple of my good friends had told me to see. I totally need to take some time and see if. I have too watched different shows and it does trigger different memories and emotions. I glad to shared this information.

  8. I’ve never seen the full show of The Good Doctor but I have seen snippets and heard commentaries about it. There are mixed reviews about the show and from what I’ve read from your article now, I guess half of the people who raised their brows on this show was right. Very educational as always. Thanks for sharing.


  9. Very insightful article, thank you for sharing your experiences. I wish I could give you a good answer about your question relating to the absence of feeling a deep emotional connection to friends, spouse or family. The only way I can imagine your disconnect is perhaps that your brain is wired differently than that of people who make and experience these connections, and thus you can’t relate because you’re just not able to ever feel that with anyone. And it is incredibly difficult to explain to someone who doesn’t have the capability how that feels or why an absence of someone in your life or in a particular situation can be bothersome. I almost want to compare it to trying to describe colours to a fully blind person.

    I think a lot of it has to do with reassurance. Most people tend to feel scared when they are confronted with situations that are out of their control, where there are levels of uncertainty that are hard to deal with. If you’re young and you’re having an asthma attack that brings you to the brink of not being able to breathe, you experience a sense of panic, of fear that you may die. When you have a parent or a loved one there, you feel reassured that someone is there to support you, that you’re not alone, that they will do everything in their power so you can get the help or the relief you need.

    That is what this situation in The Good Doctor was: Kellan (Park’s son) was experiencing a scary situation, and having his father there would have reassured him that his father could support him and be there for him. It would have made the situation less scary for Kellan, i.e. his emotional and physical fear response would have been less severe and overpowering. For most parents, their love for their child is unconditional, and there is no question whatsoever that the parent will help their child and be there for them. It sounds like you didn’t experience that yourself, and that’s a shame. Of course not every parent feels or acts that way, but I daresay most will. I don’t know if that helps.

    • Yeah, I often wonder if I’m lacking what’s necessary to feel that way, but if I remember rightly, according to psychology it’s all there, but I guess it was just never activated and so the pathways developed in the areas that were activated instead. I just wish I knew how to rewire everything so it works as it should. Thanks for sharing your thoughts

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