Mental disorders associated with superheroes

One thing that greatly enriches fictional characters is their psychological definition, as it facilitates the construction of their development and evolution. We have movie classics in which mental disorders are the main protagonists, such as Best Impossible, A Wonderful Mind or Rain Man. However, in the world of superheroes, the extreme of their powers is often also accompanied by psychological characteristics far to the limit. that’s why it is possible to associate some of these superheroes with mental disorders.

Superheroes and mental disorders

If there is an archetype of character, the story benefits greatly from mental fragility, it is that of the so-called superheroes, because this resource makes it possible to humanize and facilitate identification by the spectator.

In this sense, we can illustrate elements of psychology with these colorful characters, and some the most popular heroes the interest lies in certain mental disorders they can be as follows.

1. Spiderman

Spider-Man gained the ability to climb walls through the bite of a radioactive spider, but it wasn’t until he fell victim to the tragedy that he got this property. At first he used his powers in show business, for selfish ends, and it wasn’t until he let a thief escape that he would kill his beloved uncle Ben, who would learn his famous mantra: all great power implies great responsibility.

From then on, the character acquires unyielding moral values, sacrificing his personal life whenever he can use his power to help someone. So on several occasions his excessive dedication to duty this led him to give up his personal relationships, his job opportunities or confronting the police or other superheroes, illustrating the symptoms we can find in obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.

2. Hulk

After exposure to radiation, Bruce Banner acquires the curse of transforming into a destructive monster named the Hulk. Clearly inspired by the work of Lewis Stevenson, The Surprising Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (who had some influence in early psychodynamic studies), the personalities of Banner and Hulk were completely opposite, being a brilliant and introverted scientist and is an irrational bully with the intelligence of a child, in an obvious case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, in which neither personality has any memories of what the other did when they were out of control.

Plus, the transformation into the Hulk it occurs in the face of high stress levelsSo Banner learned in various technical versions of breathing, meditation, etc.

3. Iron Man

Iron Man was intended as an antithesis to himself: he was an iron man with severe heart disease. This concept has spread over the years in the psychological field, and although it has sometimes referred to Narcissistic Personality Disorder due to one’s high ego, the truth is that, above all, we find symptoms associated with the substance use., specifically with alcoholism.

And did Tony Stark twist his publisher’s commitment to this social issue, being a millionaire businessman who couldn’t control his drinking, leading him to lose his social connections, his business, his house and his armor, although he was eventually able to overlap and grow stronger, like so many other victims of this condition. Of course, since then the character only drinks water, avoiding the discriminatory stimulus that could trigger the whole process again.

4. Lobezno

Better known in Spain as Lobezno, Wolverine is a mutant who underwent the intervention of a government experiment in which they strengthened their bones of adamantium, the hardest metal in the fictional universe of the Marvel comics. . As a result of the trauma, Man X suffered retrograde amnesia which prevented him from remembering part of his past. However, over time it was discovered that the memories he retained were nothing more than “memory implants” inserted into the same experiment, i.e. induces false memories as in the studies of Elisabeth Loftus.

5. Batman

Bruce Wayne witnessed the murder of his parents by an armed thief as a child, a situation that led him to use his legacy to become the crime fighter named Batman. Bruce relives the experience of his parents’ murder on certain dates (death anniversary, Mother’s Day …) or each time he goes to the scene of the crime, as in post-traumatic stress disorder.

Additionally, she has trouble falling asleep and at times has strong irritability, and although exposure to situations similar to the stressful event would contradict the diagnosis, this symptom is often reflected in comics and movies. Batman’s constant towards guns.

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