This idea was inspired from a panel at the Calgary Comic Expo where two psychiatrists (Dr. Sterling Sparshu and Dr. Sudhakar Sivapalan) discussed What if Batman had a good Psychiatrist? and then proceeded to talk about PTSD and Grief in a none-threatening and entertaining way. As I am not a psychiatrist, I am going to use my therapist/counsellor lens.
Life History – What happened to the Character
Whenever the magic hits, I am going to choose a fictional character (i.e. Anakin Skywalker, Katniss Everdeen, Luna Lovegood) and look at their life history up to the age of 19.
I’ll be using their lifestory to inform the Adverse Childhood Experiences score. A tool that is being used as a predictor of health, but also an intervention.
Discussion about ACE’s
After looking at the adverse experiences, I’ll look at each one individually, and see how it has contributed to the current mental state of the character.
Current Mental Status
Craftily using DSM V, I’ll look at what the character may currently be diagnosed with, and try to tie together their current mental state with their life story/ACE’s. Other instruments may be used as well, depending on what the situation is.
PERMA (Positive Psychology)
Since the goal is to not just look at what it is wrong, let’s also look at what is going well for the character. Do they have positive emotions and relationships, are they engaged, do they have meaning, and how is their sense of accomplishment. These will be indicators that will help determine if they are in a place of post-traumatic stress – and stuck there; or post-traumatic growth.
Post Traumatic Stress vs Post Traumatic Growth
Looking specifically at relationships, self-esteem, appreciation for life, and meaning, and how those have been impacted by ACE’s.
Interventions, Past & Present
Then I will look at possible interventions for the current mental state, and what the implications would be. Then I will get creative and look at interventions that could have been implemented in the past and what the potential outcomes would have been.
Please keep in mind
This is the tentative layout, this could change depending on the character, situation, and as the series grows.
This is to create discussion about mental health and how it is portrayed in many, if not all, characters what we love.