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Showing posts 0-2 of 2 matching: mental illness

Friday, February 22, 2019

Reconsidering a Crisis in Progress

We're less than a week away from Heroes in Crisis #6 of 9, which means we're pretty close to learning the truth behind who killed everyone at Sanctuary. It seems like a good time to talk about Booster Gold's mental health.

Clearly, Booster has been mentally struggling with fallout from his incredibly stupid actions in Batman #45. I had complained at the time that Booster's reaction to Green Lantern's graphic on-panel suicide was inappropriate — and it was — but I'm willing to concede that Tom King was trying to make a point in his own way about how the human brain reacts unpredictably to such trauma.

© DC Comics

And how is Booster Gold reacting to that trauma? His symptoms as exhibited in Heroes in Crisis look like an aggravated case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is exactly what press reports advertised King wanted to address in this series. PTSD is triggered by extreme trauma with common symptom including avoidance of repeat stimuli, willful memory loss, and hallucinations. Booster has spent most of the series hiding from just about everyone, so check one. And he claimed he couldn't remember exactly what happened, so check two. But hallucinations? Maybe those too.

As Frankie Hagan pointed out in blog comments last month, so far in Heroes in Crisis, no one seems to have noticed Blue Beetle other than Booster Gold, which certainly suggests that the Blue and Gold reunion may be all in Booster's head. I don't know what that says about Booster Gold, but if it turns out to be true, it may be even more disappointing for Booster Gold fans than if our hero turns out to be a mass murderer.

© DC Comics

Speaking of murder, that's the real question, isn't it? Is Booster's mental illness severe enough to drive him to kill? Statistical evidence indicates that there are indeed links between PTSD and increased rates of outbursts of anger and violence. However, the odds that PTSD would unbalance a hero enough to engage in a spree killing remain remote.

Experts say that the biggest indicator of how an individual may respond to PTSD is that person's pre-trauma personality. It's true that Booster Gold has always had his own set of foibles, yet he has never killed anyone, even when given the opportunity. At heart, he's no murderer, no matter what Tom King wants to imply.

We'll find out more about Booster Gold's health when Heroes in Crisis #6 is released February 27.

Comments (4) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle heroes in crisis mental illness tom king

Friday, September 7, 2018

When Loving Yourself Is Wrong

The fourth issue of DC's self-promotional magazine, DC Nation, was released this week. A six-page article by Andrew Marino titled "The Sanctuary Files" is devoted to revealing "real-life" psychoanalyst John Foster Elliott's profiles of key characters of the upcoming Heroes in Crisis mini-series. Naturally, Booster Gold was included.

PSYCHOTHERAPY ASSESSMENT: Michael suffers from generalized anxiety, the "poser" syndrome, mainly because he is…just that. He has little respect for the law or the rights of others and believes that he is entitled to act because the end justifies the means. Yet he still has compassion for others and seeks to redeem himself, primarily through shortcuts that often fail. Michael needs to work on his morality, respecting the rights of others and accepting his limitations. Like most narcissists, he operates on double standards and is truly afraid of genuine intimacy.

NOTES: Axis I ICD F411 Sociopathic and narcissistic traits

I'm no expert on psychology like Mr. Elliott, so I had to look up the last bit of his assessment notes. As defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, "Axis I" is the classification for almost all psychological diagnostic categories of mental disorders. "ICD" is shorthand for the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases system, in which "F411" identifies "Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)."

According to the National Institute of Mental Health website:

"People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) display excessive anxiety or worry, most days for at least 6 months, about a number of things such as personal health, work, social interactions, and everyday routine life circumstances. The fear and anxiety can cause significant problems in areas of their life, such as social interactions, school, and work."

Symptoms for at least six months? Wow. Tom King has really f'd up our hero.

Booster Gold has certainly always exhibited sociopathic and narcissistic traits — that's what we love best about him! — but in recent years he had matured beyond his early days as a "poser." I guess DC's "Rebirth" is about taking everyone back to their roots, but I sure hope that doesn't mean we're going to have to rehash Millennium again. Or Extreme Justice.

You can read Elliott's diagnosis of other heroes, including how damaged Superman really is, in DC Nation #4 for free on Comixology.com. And, of course, you can find Heroes in Crisis #1 for sale in your Local Comic Shop on September 26.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: andrew marino comixology.com dc nation heroes in crisis john foster elliott mental illness tom king


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