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Psychological Analysis of The Incredible Hulk

Analysis of Hulk
by

Rizwan Mahmood

on 10 December 2012

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Transcript of Psychological Analysis of The Incredible Hulk

Psychoanalysis of The Incredible Hulk Robert Bruce Banner Son of an alcoholic who deeply hated him His father ended up murdering his mother Panic Disorder For obvious reasons, The Hulk had panic disorder. Bruce's shaky childhood caused him to become a withdrawn child, with him developing a split personality. He was bullied at school as a child as well. Continued... Dissociative Identity Disorder Bruce Banner was a nuclear physicist, and after a experimental gamma bomb blast, his life changed forever, transforming him. Would change into the state of "Hulk" at sunset initially.
When he is the Hulk he has little memory of his identity.
His second personality are his repressed feelings from his childhood. In addition, Bruce also resembled his father when he was the Hulk. For example, Bruce turns into The Hulk only when under extreme stress, such as when the military went out to catch him and Bruce transforms into the Hulk involuntarily because of all the stress and anxiety that was put on him. Another example to when he had a panic attack and turns into the Hulk would be when he has to take on The Abomination. Anytime the Hulk panics in any form of emotional stress, he will have a panic attack and thus change into his second self. Psychoanalytic Perspective Cognitive Dissonance Sigmund Freud had founded psychoanalytic theory and he believed what we experience in our childhood remains in our unconsciousness.We don't realize the impact that these hidden memories can have on consciousness. Freud would've taken interest in the Hulk and Bruce Banner's anger from his childhood and memories of his father abusing him. Freud would've looked upon Banner as a victim of abuse and see that these memories are what causes Hulk do to what he does. These two personalities can be seen as Bruce Banner as the ego, and the Hulk as the Id. Cognitive dissonance is when one is conflicted with two different ideologies, beliefs, or emotional reactions. The Hulk displays cognitive dissonance when he initially becomes the Hulk, because as the Hulk, Banner cannot control his mind and has no rational thought. Treatment suggestions: From a psychoanalytic Perspective, what the Hulk needs is simply talk therapy- psychotherapy.
Psychological projection would help reduce Banner's anxiety issues, and allowing the portrayal of inner thoughts and desires but without letting the rational mind recognize what exactly it is. Another treatment option would be a biomedical treatment: medication.
Medication such as Paxil or Zoloft could help The Hulk cope with his anxiety, and not have panic attacks. The Hulk feels all alone with this issue of his, and he feels that there is no escape from his problems. However, SSRI medications such as Paxil will get him back on his feet. These treatments will also help for Banner's DID. Having trouble being able to cope with The Hulk and his true self, Banner met Doc Samson who would help Banner be at one with himself. In the movie, Doc Samson believed that by controlling Banner's behavior he could see what exactly it is fueled his rage initially. Through the psychoanalytic treatment of hypnosis, Samson was able to look into Banner's subconscious and see his inner-most thoughts. By doing so, Banner was forced to face all his traumatic memories that were in his subconscious which were the roots of his problems- his issues with his abused childhood and the murder of his dear mother. In the end, Banner's multiple personalities came together and Banner was able to control himself and The Hulk at will. Hypnosis Another perspective to treat panic disorder would be cognitive therapy, where Banner could talk his anger out and in turn not be overly anxious and be less aggressive. With the client-centered therapy, Banner’s thoughts would change, and he hopefully wouldn’t associate any stressful situation with him having a panic attack and changing The Hulk—he wouldn’t even get stressed from something originally seen as stress. A cognitive therapist would confront Banner about his childhood issue, and he in turn will take stress easier.
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