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Posts Tagged ‘DSM-IV’

We’ve discussed some of the more popular personality disorders under the DSM-IV before. However, excluded from that list are some diagnoses that for some (Millon) are considered valid, but since they were excluded or deleted from the DSM definition, do not have a concrete diagonistic criteria.

When subjects do not readily fit into the formally clustered disorders, a differential diagnosis of “not specified” may be offered. This may have referred to personalities that fall within the following types. These types of disorders are also referred to as categories requiring further study.

  1. Depressive personality disorder – is a pervasive pattern of depressive cognitions and behaviors beginning by early adulthood.
  2. Passive-aggressive personality disorder (negativististic personality disorder) – is a pattern of negative attitudes and passive resistance in interpersonal situations.
  3. Sadistic personality disorder – is a pervasive pattern of cruel, demeaning and aggressive behavior.
  4. Self-defeating personality disorder (masochistic personality disorder) – is characterised by behaviour consequently undermining the person’s pleasure and goals.

What we can see from the examples provided is how subjective the diagnoses can be, especially when no specified concrete and agreed criteria is prevalent. However it is the goal of future diagnostic query to find more statistically valid bases for classifying personality disorders.

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Following a similar pop-psych analysis of Batman and his foes, here are Alan Moore’s Watchmen, and their personality disorders. Check it out and pitch in your differential diagnoses:

ozymandiasAdrian Veidt/Ozymandias

Adrian draws inspiration from Alexander the Great and the Egyptian Pharoah Ozymandias. Referred to as the “smartest man in the world,” Adrian generally looks down at humanity, and sees them as expendable in light of his plans. Under the DSM IV, his behaviour qualifies him under Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.”

Dan, I’m not a Republic serial villain. Do you seriously think I’d explain my master-stroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? I did it thirty-five minutes ago.

nightowlDaniel Dreiberg/Nite Owl II

Daniel is disillusioned by the life of a superhero, and considers himself helpless and impotent against the changes in history. Dan can be considered as suffering from Avoidant or Anxious Personality Disorder, characterized as “a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation and avoidance of social interaction”.

Y’know, this must be how ordinary people feel. This must be how ordinary people feel around us.

comedianEdward Blake/The Comedian

Edward Blake is described as a ruthless, cynical, and nihilistic person, but capable of deeper insights into the role of a costumed super-hero. In 1940, he even attempted to rape his co-hero Silk Spectre in a fit of lust. The Comedian could be suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder, or a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood or early adolescence and continues into adulthood. Those with this disorder are referred to as sociopaths and psychopaths.

Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense.

manhattanJon Osterman/Doctor Manhattan

When Jon Osterman was caught in a freak accident, he was transformed into a godly being who slowly lost interest in human emotions and affairs. He views the universe from a quantum level, and time as simultaneous possibilities rather than linear events–all of which alienates him from people around him. If Jon was still human, he would be considered as a candidate for Schizoid Personality Disorder or a lack of interest in social relationships, a tendency towards a solitary lifestyle, secretiveness, and emotional coldness.

A live body and a dead body contain the same number of particles. Structurally, there’s no discernible difference. Life and death are unquantifiable abstracts. Why should I be concerned?

silkspectreLaurie Juspeczyk/Silk Spectre II

Laurie is the daughter of the original Silk Spectre, and estranged lover to Dr. Manhattan. After being alienated from Jon Osterman, she starts a romance with Dan Dreiberg to catch the attention she craves for. Although her case is not as extreme as the other Watchmen, she could be suffering from Histrionic Personality tendencies, or an excessive pattern of emotionality and attention-seeking behavior. These individuals are lively, dramatic, enthusiastic, and flirtatious. They may be inappropriately sexually provocative, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and be easily influenced by others.

What else have you got in there? Chocolate rations? Boy Scout knife? Army-issue contraceptives?

rorshachWalter Kovacs/Rorschach

Walter Kovacs sees existence as random and the world as immoral. He takes it upon himself to impose his idea of good on the world around him and pursues this mission with relentless passion. Due to extreme traumas in childhood, Kovacs might have developed Paranoid Personality Disorder. Those with paranoid personality disorder are hypersensitive, are easily slighted, and habitually relate to the world by vigilant scanning of the environment for clues or suggestions to validate their prejudicial ideas or biases. They tend to be guarded and suspicious and have quite constricted emotional lives. Their incapacity for meaningful emotional involvement and the general pattern of isolated withdrawal often lend a quality of schizoid isolation to their life experience.

Why does one death matter against so many? Because there is good and there is evil, and evil must be punished. Even in the face of Armageddon I shall not compromise in this.

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rogues-gallery

For me, the fictional comic-book, cartoon, and movie character Batman and his enemies are not just entertaining fantasy trips for the kid inside all of us, but are practically the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in comic book form.

I’ve featured the list of personality disorders on the blog before and I thought it might be a fun idea to categorize some of the prominent members of the Batman cast in terms of the personality disorders they exhibit. What follows isn’t meant to be an exhaustive list, and readers are free to pitch in their own ideas (you can refer to the previous link on this paragraph or the DSM link above for help).

batman

Let’s start with the lead character: Batman and his day alter-ego: Bruce Wayne. Bruce Wayne has a notoriety in Gotham of the inability to hold a long relationship–primarily due to his very unique occupation and odd lifestyle. This solitary but double life and its implications suggests that Bruce Wayne has Schizoid Personality tendencies, even Schizotypal tendencies.

joker

Batman’s greatest foe: The Joker, if not outright psychotic, definitely has Antisocial Personality Disorder.  Heath Ledger’s recent portrayal of the villain puts emphasizes ‘anarchy’ as his guiding philosophy. In an earlier potrayal, Jack Nicholson brings this out with dramatic flair. The Joker’s instability of behaviour has kept him ahead of Batman’s attempts to predict his patterns.

catwoman

Catwoman, especially in the Tim Burton movie, is a woman of many moods and traumas. She is a dead ringer for Borderline Personality Disorder. Her alter-ego: Selina Kyle is typical of the impulsivity characterized by borderline personalities, and like Bruce Wayne, is unable to hold stable relationships.

two-face

Harvey Dent Two-Face is obviously a candidate for Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Personality Disorder. His preoccupation with coin-flipping is also indicative of Obsessive Compulsive Personality

scarecrow

The Scarecrow, who is a psychiatrist himself, is a student of fear and phobia techniques. Highly intellectual and generally condescending, he has trademarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

freeze

Mr. Freeze, who is in a long-time search for a cure for his wife’s malady, is an emotionless machine. Like Batman he exhibits Schizoid Personality tendencies and also Obsessive Compulsive tendencies especially regarding his wife’s treatment.

riddler

Mr. Edward Nygma: The Riddler, and his constant insistence on clues, makes him a candidate for both Obsessive Compulsive and Dependent Personality Disorder

penguin

The Penguin constantly compensates for his short stance and horrible appearance with an active sense of panache. He is constantly seeking attention to his small self, exhibiting Histrionic Personality tendencies  as well as Narcissistic tendencies. 

poison-ivy

Poison Ivy’s fanatical obsession with plant life and murderous impulses speak of Paranoid Personality tendencies. 

Do you agree with these assessments? Pitch in your differential diagnosis on these and more Batman characters.

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