Dissociative identity disorder (DID), formally called multiple personality disorder, is a dissociative disorder in which a person exhibits two or more distinct and alternating personalities. A well-known example of this psychological disorder is Dr. Jekyll from the novel The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson. Henry Jekyll is a respected doctor from London who develops a formula to separate the dual natures of himself (good and evil). After taking this serum, Jekyll transforms into the epitome of his darker self: Mr. Edward Hyde. Mr. Hyde serves as the alternate personality of Jekyll; while Jekyll is upstanding, kind, and amiable, Hyde is cruel, unsympathetic, and remorseless. Hyde demonstrates the violent tendency sometimes accompanying DID by viciously beating a man with his cane, resulting in that man’s death. At some point in the novel, Jekyll no longer needs the serum to turn into Hyde, and he often switches personalities without warning. Another aspect of DID, detachment with oneself, is shown in that whenever he is Hyde, Jekyll feels out of control and unable to curb the evil actions of this alternate personality. Toward the end of the novel, no longer able to control his alter ego, Jekyll feels hopeless, even depressed. In his last moments of being consciously himself, Jekyll accepts his own “death” as his other personality wins out over him for good.
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder characterized by exaggerated ideas of self-importance and achievements and arrogant behavior. Many aspects of NPD are manifested in the superhero Iron Man. Tony Stark, otherwise known as Iron Man, is a character originally from a comic book, but he is more commonly known as being from the movie Avengers and having his own movie series. Tony Stark an affluent inventor and CEO of Stark Industries who constructs a suit of armor to become Iron Man. Self-described genius, Stark emanates arrogance and narcissism. He has an aggrandized self-image, holding himself above others in intelligence, wealth, and importance. He revels in the attention and admiration that his status as a superhero gives him, and he feels entitlement due to his celebrity. Stark also embodies the social characteristics of NPD, namely lack of empathy with others. He often takes advantage of others, like Pepper Potts and James Rhodes, and doesn’t expend much thought to consider others’ feelings or the consequences of his exploitative behavior. Tony Stark’s arrogance, inflated sense of self-importance, need to be admired, and limited ability to empathize designate him as someone with NPD.