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Mental Illness and The Batman

The Various Mental Illnesses of Batman and his Villains

Prambir M

on 28 October 2016

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Transcript of Mental Illness and The Batman

Case File
Real Name: Selina Kyle
Orphaned at the age of 13
Mother, Maria Kyle, committing suicide, and her father, Brian Kyle, drinking himself to death
These events leave her on the streets before being sent to an orphanage and eventually a juvenile hall

Case File
No longer tied to her past, Selina begins her new life with a thief gang, but winds up leaving for its leader is abusive
She turns to thieving, but is unable to support herself on this profession alone and thus is forced into prostitution
Years later, now an adult, Selina trains with a martial arts master known as "The Armless Master"
Now an accomplished thief, Catwoman has become infamous among the criminals of Gotham City

Potential Mental Illness
Borderline Personality Disorder :
Catwoman's unsettling childhood is the basis for her troubled teenage and adult life.
Throughout all of her life, Selina spends time avoiding relationships with people and using them when it is advantageous.
Equally disturbing is how impulsive Catwoman can be, willing to work Batman's villains to obtain her goals and in the next moment aiding Batman against the very same villains.
Selina's borderline personality characteristics are clearly evident as there inconsistencies between her persona as Catwoman and as Selina Kyle.
Catwoman is manipulative, a temptress, sometimes vindictive, and at other times violent.
Selina seems to act as an intelligent, collected individual who has confidence in herself and her situation.
In respect to her dual identities and the struggles she has with them, she is very similar to Bruce Wayne/ Batman.
The Riddler
Case File
Real Name: Edward Nigma
Not much is known about the past of the Riddler for he manages to avoid conversations about this subject
Edward Nigma was raised by his abusive father who constantly constantly berated him because he did not understand his son's brilliance
The onset of the abuse stemmed from the continued success Edward seemed to find in school events such as solving logic problems or winning logic based events
In reality, his father is envious of his son's accomplishments and beats him out of jealousy
A Thinking Man
Sensorimotor: Edward was easily able to grasp the idea of
object permanence
and by exploring his environment he would develop his senses later required for puzzle solving

Preoperational: Mastering symbolic think and
only prove to be more useful tools for the Riddler

Concrete Operational: The ability to
think logically
would become essential in the Riddler's skills to make puzzles and
would serve its purpose as well.

Formal Operational:
Thinking abstractly
is the most critical aspect to the Riddler for his elaborate puzzles and riddles require an advanced mind in order to solve them.
Possible Mental Illness
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
The Riddler suffers from OCD and it is revealed in his continuous habit of leaving behind a clue after each crime he commits. This clue is often easily deducted by Batman and leads to him being thrown back into Arkham Asylum. Eventually, the Riddler reveals the truth behind his compulsions, they are born out of his strong desire to tell the truth to prove his innocence of deception.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Edward's abuse as a child would unconsciously define his life. His father continuously calling him a cheat and a moron, would amount into his need to brag about his intelligence. This desire would inspire his motive to become the Riddler because he felt only Batman would be a worthy adversary in solving his "enigmas".
Case File
Real Name: Jack?
A.K.A. The Clown Prince of Crime
An engineer at a chemical plant who decides to try his hand at stand up comedy, but fails miserably
Desperate to support his pregnant wife Jeannie, he becomes the
"Red Hood"
as part of an inside to help 2 criminals break into a card company located next to the chemical plant he worked in
While planning the heist, police inform him his wife and child were killed in a household accident
Grief stricken, he is forced into doing the heist, but it goes terribly wrong as the 2 criminals are shot
Left only by himself, he tries to escape Batman, but falls into a vat of chemicals
He emerges as the pale skinned, green haired, villain
Red Hood
to Clown Prince

Before the accident, the Joker knew that by having a job he could receive money and support support his wife.
After the accident, Joker regards any notions except achieving what he wants

Before: The Joker participates in society as a chemical engineer, following the rules society sets and behaving as a proper citizen of society.
After: The Joker enjoys creating chaos by doing whatever he pleases and mocks participants of society

Before: He must provide for his wife so that together they can raise their child
After: The Joker just wants to have a good time at anyone's expense and has no qualms in hurting people
Potential Mental Illness
Anti-Social Personality Disorder

The Joker lacks any sort of emotion and continues to laugh and smile in any situation. He constantly causes mayhem in the city of Gotham and will manipulate people by whatever means possible to achieve what he desires. He lacks empathy and remorse despite the fact his body count is at least 2,000 people. In short, he is a psychopath.
Social Effects
The Joker's activities are guided by the He feels that it is his duty to challenge the Dark Knight and he must rise to the challenge in order to push Batman to his limits. This relationship between Batman and the Joker has been described as yin and yang.

The Clown Prince of Terror is man who spreads mayhem on a whim. Furthermore, he is not a man who is ensnared in a , but rather he creates them. Other villains avoid dealing with him at all costs and on rare occasions, he is the solution to some of their problems.
social trap
self fulfilling
Batman and Mental Illness
Featuring: Batman and his Rouge's Gallery
CTS 20
The main feature of


is a pattern of instability in interpersonal relationships, self image and emotions
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Obsessions are unwanted and repetitive thoughts, urges and images
Compulsions are actions meant to reduce the anxiety causes by obsessions

Narcissistic Personality Disorder
People have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.
But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that's vulnerable to the slightest criticism.
Case File
Real Name
:Harvey Dent

At 26, Harvey Dent is the youngest district attorney to serve Gotham City, and is nicknamed "Apollo" for his good looks and
clean-cut image. He is elected about six months before Batman begins his war on crime
Falcone hires the corrupt Assistant District
Attorney Fields to disfigure Dent with sulfuric acid.

Case File
Two-Face gets his trademark coin from his abusive father, who would employ the coin in a perverse nightly "game"
that always ended with a beating.
This would instill in Dent his lifelong struggle with free will and his eventual inability to make choices on his own,
relying on the coin to make all of his decisions. Eventually, the scarred Dent takes his revenge on Fields and Falcone, leading to his incarceration in Arkham Asylum
Possible Mental Illnesses
Dissociative Identity Disorder
Harvey is practically shouting out to the word for a diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID—what once was known as multiple personality. A complicated man of twos
Harvey Dent’s inability to remember or control Harv’s actions sealed the deal: a clear dividing line existed between one personality and the other. Ergo, DID.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
His obsession with fate and duality of man may alse be signs of a potential obsessive compulsove disorder or even Bipolar Disorder
Dissociative Identity Disorder

Characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities or dissociated personality states that alternately control a person's behavior,.
It is accompanied by memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness.
The Scarecrow
Case File
Real Name: Jonathan Crane
Profession: Psychologist
Jonathan Crane fell from grace when he became absorbed by his own experiments dwelling into fear and the incredible effects it can have on a person's psychological condition

Bullied throughout his youth, Crane seemed to conquer his own fears by becoming a master at such a natural and primal feeling through his research. Having developed an incredible gas agent that amplifies a person's worst fears and brings it to life in a horrifying fashion in his or her mental state, Crane guised himself into the terrifying image of The Scarecrow.
Possible Mental Illnesses
Narcissistic personality disorder

A person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and to others in the process.

Conduct Disorder

A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate norms are violated. These behaviors are often referred to as "antisocial behaviors."[1] It is often seen as the precursor to antisocial personality disorder

Scarecrow has been antisocial since his childhood
Beyond his obvious psychopathy, his behavior doesn’t neatly match any specific mental illness.

Bizarre as he is, he does not suffer prominent psychotic symptoms like hallucinations and delusions.
When he kills you, he kills you because he likes it, not because he mistakes you for a hallucinatory demon.
Because he doesn’t understand hope and optimism, he resents those feelings and tries to crush them by bringing out the worst in others and by stamping his face on the world around him.

Although ...
The Joker appears to have an Antisocial Personality Disorder (along with depression and schizophrenia). The criteria for APD are exhibiting at least 3 of the following traits:

1. Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
2. Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
3. Impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
4. Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
5. Reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
6. Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
7. Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
What About
The Batman?

Case File
Name: Bruce Wayne

As a little boy, Bruce Wayne is horrified and traumatized to see his parents, the physician Dr. Thomas Wayne and his wife Martha, being murdered by a mugger in front of his very eyes. This drives him to fight crime in Gotham City as Batman.

Bruce Wayne swears an oath to rid the city of the evil that had taken his parents' lives. He engages in intense intellectual and physical training.

However, he realizes that these skills alone would not be enough.
Case File
"Criminals are superstitious and cowardly lot," Wayne remarks, "so my disguise must be able to strike terror into their hearts. I must be a creature of the night, black, terrible..."

As if responding to his desires, a bat suddenly flies through the window, inspiring Bruce to take on the persona of Batman.
Whats the deal with Batman?!

What’s the matter with Batman? There must be something wrong with him, right? After all, he does things most of us wouldn’t do in a million years: He dresses up in a bat costume and puts his life on the line night after night, without any official status. He’s a billionaire, yet he dedicates a significant portion of his personal wealth to fund his “hobby” of being a crime fighter. He has no real personal life to speak of—

He broods, he can be obsessive in his preparations to tangle with criminals, and the fact that he witnessed the murder of his parents must have left a scar.

So .. Whats the deal with Batman?!

Possible Mental Illnesses

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Batman displays may symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.
He is obsessed with fixing Gotham at all costs.
He has a compulsion to learn everything about a criminal and find intricate way to handle them
He is obsessed with putting the bad people to justice and will stop at nothing to do so.

Dude is MAD OCD

Possible Mental Disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Batman has a secret identity. By day he is the mild-mannered Bruce Wayne, by night, the caped crusader. However, unlike many other superheroes that harbor an alter-ego, Bruce Wayne and Batman come across as being completely different people.

Yes, Bruce Wayne is cold, but Bruce Wayne turns into an even more insular character, somebody that lacks almost any emotion whatsoever. While Bruce Wayne shares the same ideals and need to cleanse the Gotham streets of criminals, it is only when he becomes Batman that he can fulfill this need.

Batman demonstrates a clear case of dissociative identity disorder, a mental illness where the sufferer forms a second personality to deal with certain aspects of the real personality cannot handle.

Other Possible Mental Disorders

Batman could also have and or all of the following
Dissociative Identity Disorder
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Bruce Wayne lost both parents in a violent mugging when he was a young boy.
From that moment, he dedicated his life to target the criminal underworld and prevent such atrocities happening again.
This sort of shift in behavior following a traumatic event has a name: PTSD
Antisocial Personality Disorder

For real .. that dude's got some issues!

Also ...

Batman could be argued to be just as psychopathic as those that he pursues.

While he has his own moral code and refuses to kill, he certainly enjoys going to town on the bad guys. In the very least, Batman has some anger control issues going on, but it is more likely he enjoys the violence and gets a kick out of it. This is a clear sign he has an antisocial personality disorder.

In addition, there is the question of Robin too. Anybody putting the life of a young teenager in danger to serve his or her own desire to beat up criminals is certainly showing signs of an Antisocial Personality Disorder.

What Batman should actually do ...
What Batman Actualy Does
Why We Still Love Him Anyway
The End!

Hope You Enjoyed It!
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