For those of you doing Comic Con this weekend in person or remotely, from the Huffington Post, a psychoanalysis of the Joker:
"In fact, particular patterns of behavior or personality traits -- what we call psychopathy -- are much more commonly seen in serial murderers," Pozios said.What about Batman? Isn't that why their feud is so much more entertaining to us than any of the other villains, is that Batman and Joker are really just two sides of the same coin?
Bender uses the example of the Joker, the most famous Batman villain, as a character who has incorrectly been called "psychotic" many times throughout Batman's 72-year history.
"Someone who is 'psychotic' is experiencing symptoms of psychosis, a mental disorder, which can include auditory hallucinations, such as hearing voices; visual hallucinations, where they see objects that are not truly there; or have delusional thoughts, despite evidence to show that such beliefs are incorrect -- such as believing that one's movements are being tracked by deep space satellites -- or disorganized behavior," Bender said. "In the vast majority of depictions, the Joker is not experiencing such symptoms; rather, the Joker has shown symptoms of psychopathy."
Bender says psychopathy is a personality construct and not a diagnosis of a mental disorder.
"Psychopathy reflects interpersonal characteristics and behavior that are often rooted in a lack of empathy," Bender said. "In the comics, television shows, and films, the Joker is much more akin to a psychopath and is not psychotic."
Although some snarky fans might suggest that the Joker just be put on Prozac, Bender says that's the sort of incorrect assumption he's trying to fight just as passionately as the Caped Crusader combats crime.
"Psychopaths are not prescribed medications to treat their psychopathic personality traits," Bender said. "They would be prescribed medication if they had a mental disorder, such as major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, that causes clinically significant distress or impairment in functioning. In the vast majority off depictions, the Joker does not exhibit signs or symptoms of these or other mental disorders for which medication would be appropriate; therefore, we would not prescribe him any medication."