Comics

¿Batman está loco? (Colapso psicológico completo)

Muchos fanáticos seguramente recordarán el episodio aclamado por la crítica de Batman: The Animated Series llamado «Dreams in Darkness», que se emitió el 3 de noviembre de 1992. En este episodio, Scarecrow expuso a Batman a su Fear Gas, lo que lleva a que Batman sea declarado loco y encerrado en Arkham, sin que nadie crea que Scarecrow tiene una agenda oculta. Batman realmente no perdió los estribos en este episodio, pero la cuestión de su salud mental es algo que se ha discutido desde hace un tiempo y hemos decidido darte la respuesta definitiva, así que sigue leyendo para descubrir si Batman está loco.

Según todos los estándares psicológicos y psiquiátricos modernos, Batman no está loco. Tiene problemas emocionales y problemas relacionados con traumas y estrés, pero no padece ningún trastorno mental o de personalidad grave.

En el artículo de hoy, vamos a hablar de la salud mental de Batman. Le diremos si tiene un trastorno mental específico y le daremos un veredicto final sobre si está loco o no. Ahora que hemos repasado nuestra introducción, analicemos los trastornos.

¿Batman es psicótico?

Comenzaremos nuestra discusión con un trastorno mental muy conocido conocido como psicosis. La psicosis se define como un estado mental anormal, donde la persona psicótica parece caótica e incoherente, manifestando síntomas como alucinaciones, delirios, desorganización y otros síntomas similares. El Manual diagnóstico y estadístico de trastornos mentales de la APA , quinta edición  (DSM-5) clasifica la psicosis dentro del espectro de la esquizofrenia de los trastornos mentales, ya que la psicosis es un síntoma común de la esquizofrenia, aunque puede ser causada por otros trastornos y afecciones. La Clasificación Estadística Internacional de Enfermedades y Problemas de Salud Relacionados , 10.ª Versión (CIE-10) tiene la misma clasificación.

Entonces, hemos visto cuáles son las características principales de la psicosis, ahora veamos si son aplicables a Batman.

Lo primero que podemos afirmar es que Batman no tiene esquizofrenia, lo que elimina automáticamente muchas causas potenciales de psicosis. No es errático, no sufre alucinaciones no inducidas y es un pensador extremadamente racional. No hay absolutamente ningún síntoma de esquizofrenia que podamos atribuir a Batman, lo que significa que podemos excluirlo como una causa potencial de su posible psicosis.

En lo que respecta a los síntomas de la psicosis, Batman realmente no manifiesta ninguno de ellos y te resultará difícil encontrar esos síntomas. Ciertamente, cuando se expone a las toxinas del Espantapájaros o del Joker, Batman podría terminar en un estado psicótico, pero ese es un ejemplo de psicosis inducida químicamente que es un trastorno en sí mismo, pero es agudo y pasa con el tiempo, por lo que realmente no podemos usarlo como un criterio diagnóstico.

Batman es un pensador racional. Es un gran detective y tiene que estar alerta todo el tiempo cuando lucha contra miembros de su Galería de Pícaros, por lo que sería muy difícil etiquetarlo como psicótico. Una persona psicótica no piensa con claridad, como ocurre con Batman. Todo el tiempo. Porque él es Batman. Claro, tiene sus traumas y los recuerda de vez en cuando, pero la mente del Caballero Oscuro es tan cuerda y sana como cualquier otra mente sana cuando se trata de psicosis y otros trastornos esquizofrénicos.

Esto cubre el primer problema potencial.

¿Batman tiene un trastorno de personalidad?

Defining and diagnosing a personality disorder is extremely difficult because it requires determining the existence of a profound and long-term defect in one’s personality. People are often strange and our individual psyches make us different from one another, which is why someone’s behavior might seem odd or erratic to someone else. But that does not mean that these people have a personality disorder. Such disorders are relatively rare and there are precise diagnostic criteria that have to be met in order for the diagnosis to be established. Let us see what the DSM and ICD guides have to say:

ICD-101. Markedly disharmonious attitudes and behavior, generally involving several areas of functioning, e.g. affectivity, arousal, impulse control, ways of perceiving and thinking, and style of relating to others;
2. The abnormal behavior pattern is enduring, long-standing, and not limited to episodes of mental illness;
3. The abnormal behavior pattern is pervasive and clearly maladaptive to a broad range of personal and social situations;
4. The above manifestations always appear during childhood or adolescence and continue into adulthood;
5. The disorder leads to considerable personal distress but this may only become apparent late in its course;
6. The disorder is usually, but not invariably, associated with significant problems in occupational and social performance.
Additional note: For different cultures, it may be necessary to develop specific sets of criteria with regard to social norms, rules, and obligations
DSM-51. An enduring pattern of inner experience and behavior that deviates markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture. This pattern is manifested in two (or more) of the following areas: cognition (i.e., ways of perceiving and interpreting self, other people, and events), affectivity (i.e., the range, intensity, lability, and appropriateness of emotional response), interpersonal functioning, and impulse control;
2. The enduring pattern is inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations;
3. The enduring pattern leads to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning;
4. The pattern is stable and of long duration, and its onset can be traced back at least to adolescence or early adulthood;
5. The enduring pattern is not better explained as a manifestation or consequence of another mental disorder;
6. The enduring pattern is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or another medical condition (e.g., head trauma).

So, these are the general diagnostic criteria for a personality disorder. If a specialist establishes the existence of these criteria (several of them have to be present at any given moment), he then continues the diagnosis in order to establish which personality disorder the patient has. Since these disorders are specific and different from one another, each of them has its own, separate diagnostic criteria that have to be met for a diagnosis to be established. The disorders are usually grouped in four clusters, as follows:

ClusterDisorders
Cluster A (odd)Paranoid, Schizoid, Schizotypal
Cluster B (dramatic)Antisocial, Borderline, Histrionic, Narcissistic
Cluster C (anxious)Avoidant, Dependent, Obsessive-compulsive
Not specifiedDepressive, Haltlose, Passive-aggressive, Sadistic, Self-defeating (masochistic)

Some of these are not present in the current manuals, while some were kept. Some of these also changed their names throughout history. The important thing, though, is the fact that not all of these disorders can be applied to Batman, so we’ll just discuss those that could be potentially applied to his personality.

Is Batman a psychopath/sociopath?

One of the most often-asked questions is whether Batman is a psychopath or a sociopath. First of all, we have to say that even the experts don’t agree about the difference between these two terms, even whether a difference even exists. Those who support a difference usually state that a psychopath is calm, calculated and a great planner (i.e., he is not chaotic), while a sociopath does have the same antisocial tendencies, but is more erratic in his behavior. The other group states that they’re both just fancy terms for antisocial personality disorder. The diagnostic criteria that have to be met are as follows (DSM-5):

  1. A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others, occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three (or more) of the following: failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors, as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest; deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure; impulsivity or failure to plan ahead; irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults; reckless disregard for the safety of self or others; consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations; lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
  2. The individual is at least age 18 years
  3. There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years.
  4. The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder

Now that we all know the diagnostic criteria, let us see whether Batman fits into them or not.

Batman does show a “pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others”, but with the “others” being criminals and supervillains it can hardly be said that this pattern is a sign of antisocial behavior. It is actually a sign of fighting for justice in a corrupt system where there is a need for a masked vigilante such as Batman. Batman’s behavior is illegal (vigilantism never conforms to norms), he often uses aliases and manipulates people during his investigations, he has a tendency of being violent, and doesn’t care much about his “victims”.

But all of this relates to criminals, and criminals only. Batman cares deeply for Gotham, for his allies and he would do anything he can to protect them. Everything he does that could be a symptom of antisocial personality disorder is actually done for the greater good – the protection of Gotham and its citizens. Likewise, it cannot be said that Batman doesn’t care about his opponents – he has shown sympathy and understanding for a lot of the members of his Rogues Gallery, including, but not limited to Mr. Freeze, Professor Pyg, and the Scarecrow.

Another important criterium is that this kind of behavior has to be present since early adolescence. As far as we know, young Bruce Wayne was a very emotional and delicate child, raised by Alfred to face the trauma of losing his parents the best he can. There is absolutely no evidence of such behavior during Batman’s youth.

Whether you’d prefer to label him as a psychopath or a sociopath, Batman cannot be described as either. He simply does not meet the diagnostic criteria for any of the disorders analyzed in this section. Batman is very emotional and he cares deeply – although in his own, dark way – about the citizens of Gotham, the inhabitants of Earth, and his family. You cannot say that a man who took in several children (the Robins) and cares so deeply about Alfred, or who would sacrifice himself in order to save his loved ones (like he did in Endgame, for example, but also in other narratives) is a psychopath or a sociopath. A lack of emotions and empathy is one of the main traits of these disorders and Batman has consistently shown that he does not have this trait, which automatically excludes him from being diagnosed as a psychopath or sociopath. Now, let us see another personality disorder that is often attributed to Batman.

Is Batman a narcissist?

A narcissist is, in this context, a person who suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder. This disorder is part of the same group of personality disorders as an antisocial personality disorder, which explains why there are a lot of similarities between the two disorders. The main trait of this disorder is a “pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts”. It is manifested through the presence of at least five of the following criteria:

  1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements);
  2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love;
  3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions);
  4. Requires excessive admiration;
  5. Has a sense of entitlement (i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations);
  6. Is interpersonally exploitative (i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends);
  7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others;
  8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her;
  9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

Now that we know what the criteria are, let us see if Batman fits into them.

As we could’ve seen, narcissistic personalities require constant admiration. They think of themselves as being superior to other people and require constant affirmation of that superiority. They consider themselves to be above the laws and values of a normal society, which is why they think that their violent behavior and their outbursts are acceptable and should not be scorned. These people are very dominant and manipulative and if things don’t go their way, or they don’t get enough attention, they become paranoid and aggressive. Despite what you think of Batman and his famous “I’m Batman” line, it could hardly be said that Batman manifests any of these narcissistic traits as described by DSM-5.

Batman doesn’t believe himself to be anything grand. He thinks he is important for Gotham, but he himself would be overjoyed if he did not have to be the Dark Knight. He is a dark character, very secluded, and someone who likes to stay away from the spotlight. Certainly, the playboy personality of Bruce Wayne might be described as a narcissist, but that is just a facade for the people so that they could never connect Bruce Wayne to Batman. That is not the real Bruce Wayne, which is why this criterium doesn’t stand.

Batman has no delusions of grandeur. He is an idealist in the sense that he wishes for a peaceful Gotham, but he is realistic enough to know how things really function and that any ideal is far from possible in a town like Gotham City. He also does not believe himself to be anything special, nor is he a snob. Remember how he took Jason Todd, a common street thief, in and trained him to become the second Robin? Dick Grayson was a circus acrobat and his aide, Harold Allnut, is a mute, homeless hunchback. All of these persons are far from the ideal of “being special” that narcissists hold and Batman not only socializes with them, but he also takes them in and cares about them deeply.

Batman also doesn’t require constant admiration, nor does he want any credit for his exploits. He is there to save the city from the criminals and the supervillains but he doesn’t want any special credits. In that aspect, he is an even more secluded version of Sherlock Holmes, who rarely took the credit for solving his cases, rather letting Lestrade and Scotland Yard look like heroes in the eyes of the public. Because of this, he is not envious of others.

He tends to get arrogant from time to time, but that is a consequence of his dark personality, not any kind of narcissism. As far as exploitative relationships go, Batman tends to care deeply for his friends and allies, while Bruce Wayne just lives the life of a playboy and nothing else.

To conclude, labeling Batman as a narcissist would be just… wrong. However you might perceive him, Batman doesn’t really manifest any narcissistic trait and there is absolutely no in-universe evidence to consider him a narcissist.

The Verdict: Is Batman insane?

Now that we’ve seen everything and answered every relevant question, we can finally give our final verdict. But, before that – a quick summary.

Due to his exposure to crime in Gotham and the insanity of his foes, Batman’s sanity is often a matter of debate, with people claiming that a man exposed to so much trauma cannot be sane, but also that a man who managed to keep his rational mind relatively intact in such conditions must be sane. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle in such cases, but in Batman’s case – the truth is rather obvious. Batman is – sane!

We’ve analyzed several relevant and often-mentioned disorders connected with Batman and we’ve seen that there is absolutely no basis for us to state that he is insane. Despite his behavior, the Prime-Earth Batman is neither psychotic nor does he have a personality disorder.

La psicosis como diagnóstico no se puede atribuir a Batman simplemente porque está demasiado sereno para siquiera ser considerado para tal diagnóstico. Batman es racional, es un gran detective y su concentración es enorme. La naturaleza misma de su trabajo exige una mente sana y sin ella, Batman sería una causa completamente perdida. Sin embargo, no lo es. Por supuesto, ocasionalmente experimenta psicosis inducida por toxinas cuando lucha contra villanos como Scarecrow o Joker, pero eso es solo un revés temporal y no una condición crónica. En lo que respecta a los trastornos de personalidad, Batman no es realmente un candidato adecuado para muchos de ellos, con la excepción de los trastornos antisociales y narcisistas. Aún así, tras analizar todos los criterios diagnósticos relevantes, hemos establecido con total certeza que Batman no padece ninguno de esos trastornos.

Entonces, ¿tiene algún trastorno mental? Bueno, Batman ciertamente tiene muchos traumas y problemas emocionales. El hecho de que haya presenciado el asesinato de sus padres y todas las cosas que vio mientras luchaba contra su Galería de Pícaros tuvo que pasar factura a su psique, pero el hecho de que todavía pueda operar normalmente en tales circunstancias habla por sí solo y nos dice hasta qué punto fuerte que es. En el peor de los casos, Batman podría tener una forma leve de trastorno de estrés postraumático, pero incluso eso es exagerado. La mente de Batman ciertamente es interesante y tiene sus problemas, pero no está loco ni tiene un trastorno mental.

Si te encuentras con una versión loca de Batman (o una versión vampírica), recuerda que tales historias no son parte de Prime-Earth, donde tiene lugar la continuidad narrativa principal. Esas historias son realidades alternativas que tienen lugar en otro lugar dentro del Multiverso o historias de Elseworlds, ninguna de las cuales forma parte de la continuidad principal.

Y con eso, podemos concluir nuestra historia sobre la mente de Batman.

Arturo S. Poe

Arturo S. Poe

 

Arturo S. Poe

Arthur S. Poe ha estado fascinado por la ficción desde que vio Digimon y leyó Harry Potter cuando era niño. Desde entonces, ha visto varios miles de películas y anime, leído varios cientos de libros y cómics y jugado varios cientos de juegos de todos los géneros.

 

Michingo

Redactor y editor principal en Tiempo de recreo. Pasa todo el día en frente del televisor y jugando videojuegos, solo por eso fue contratado en el medio.

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