MCU has many heroes and villains with mental illnesses. They don’t exactly handle these characters very well. In fact, for some of them, the MCU has not explored their mental health issues at all. So, here’s a list of all MCU characters with mental illnesses, and some may surprise you.
Although this one is quite obvious, many fans don’t know the true backstory of Bruce Banner from Marvel comics. Bruce had a physically abusive father. His father also killed his mother right in front of him. Adding to that, Bruce was a lonely child and often got bullied. This resulted in Bruce having an imaginary friend called Hulk. Thus, Hulk is actually a manifestation of Bruce’s childhood trauma and his anger outbursts are also fueled by his past.
Mahd Wy’ry is a form of dementia that Eternal Thena suffered from. This was explored pretty well in the MCU. However, the true reason was that the memories from her previous life times were coming back. This caused her to panic and attack her allies. Gilgamesh decided to go with her and be her support system.
We all saw Thor’s fall from grace in the MCU during Endgame. But what people don’t realize is that he was most likely suffering from depression. His hopelessness, substance abuse and pessimism are all signs of depression. He also gained a lot of weight which is another very common symptom as people often try to find happiness in food. Moreover, its pretty natural that he’d be depressed after pretty much losing all his family, many friends and feeling worthless for not being able to save the world.
Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis Norman Osborn is another character afflicted with Dissociative Identity Disorder. His evil alter ego of the Green Goblin has held him captive and driven him to the dark side multiple times. In the MCU during No Way Home, Osborn tries to get help and genuinely wants to get better. This gives us a better perspective on his struggles and unfortunate circumstance. He isn’t entirely a villain after all.
Wanda most likely suffers from severe PTSD due to the various traumatic events from her childhood including the bombing of her city and death of her parents. She has suffered unimaginable loss and grief. This has led to her having many psychotic breakdowns. It isn’t just a one off incident during her rampage in Multiverse of Madness. It has been a recurring theme throughout every movie in the MCU. WandaVision definitely explores this trauma and grief.
Right from Afghanistan to New York, Iron Man has been in some of the most dangerous situations. After having seen all that he has, he’s bound to have PTSD. Moreover, he meets all the other criteria of this disorder as well. Memories of these events disturb his dreams and thoughts. They are a major reason for his severe insomnia and recurring anxiety attacks in the MCU.
Initially the comics had written Moon Knight to have schizophrenia. However, later on he was correctly diagnosed as having Dissociative Identity Disorder. Steven Grant has an alter ego of the mercenary Marc Specter. Or it could also be the other way around. Grant has no memories or recollection of the events when Marc Spectre takes over.
Borderline Personality Disorder stems from childhood trauma, something that Rocket has seen a lot of. In fact he has one of the saddest origins. He was experimented on and then left by his creators to take care of ‘the loonies’. He was abused, overwhelmed and most likely snapped eventually. Rocket exhibits some classic traits of BPD such as his fear of abandonment and mood swings.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise at all. Bucky was brainwashed and used as a human weapon for many decades. He was an assassin and took countless lives. This weighs on his psyche still and he lives with the harrowing memories of his past actions.
This is one of the major side-effects of his regenerative healing factor. They make him extremely mentally unstable and cause psychosis. This is because his neurons too are affected by his accelerated healing.