Evangelion and Personality Disorders.

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Postby Another Asuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:04 pm

As a graduate psychology student, and a long time eva fan, I found it pretty clear that Asuka, Shinji and Rei exhibit the classical manifestations of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Avoidant Personality Disorder and Schizoid Personality Disorder respectively.

For example Shinji=AvPD

Avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection
Is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked
Shows restraint initiating intimate relationships because of the fear of being ashamed, ridiculed, or rejected due to severe low self-worth.
Is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations
Is inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy
Views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others
Is unusually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avoidant_personality_disorder

Asuka = NPD



Has a grandiose sense of self-importance
Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, Beauty, or ideal love
Believes that he or she is "special" and unique
Requires excessive admiration
Has a sense of entitlement
Is interpersonally exploitative
Lacks empathy
Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder#DSM_Criteria

Rei=SPD


Neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family
Almost always chooses solitary activities
Has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person
Takes pleasure in few, if any, activities
Lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives
Appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others
Shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizoid_personality_disorder#DSM-IV-TR__criteria


So, what do you lot think then? Has anyone noticed this before?

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Postby NemZ » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:33 pm

It's been suggested, but never quite this directly.

I'm hesitant to agree with your diagnosis for Rei, however. The schizoid tends to be internally attached, caught up in a rich fantasy world, but Rei isn't... in fact, she's almost more empty inside than she outwardly seems. I don't think psychology actually has a term for what is wrong with Rei (I suggest 'bisected personality displacement syndrome'), nor can we assume a human baseline for normative comparison of what a healthy Rei would be like.
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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:42 pm

Finally, a thread about my kinda topic! :grin: (I enjoy psychology but I'm not majoring in it or anything.)

I've noticed NPD with Asuka, and I think Asuka also suffers from Thanatophobia.

Rei, I'm not really sure what she has; despite the whole "questioning my identity and I have a deathwish" deal, she seems relatively well-adjusted compared to Shinji and Asuka's problems. I think a "normal" Rei would be happier with accepting who she is as well as realizing she IS her own person despite having Yui's DNA and Lilith's soul.... However I do not think a "regular" Rei would be anything like Transfer Student Rei/Rei in Appearance Only. It's just not in Rei's personality to be so excitable and outgoing, although it doesn't mean Rei couldn't be more sociable and just be a happier person.

Shinji in contrast suffers from Major Depression (although I guess it could be Dysthymia as well or instead) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, along with social anxiety.

I think you're on the right track with how you "diagnosed" them. I'm reminded of an issue of Anime Insider a few years back (my copy's laying around my room somewhere) that clearly states Asuka as having NPD, while it said Shinji has a form of Depression. I forget what it said about Rei.
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Postby Another Asuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:46 pm

NemZ wrote:It's been suggested, but never quite this directly.

I'm hesitant to agree with your diagnosis for Rei, however. The schizoid tends to be internally attached, caught up in a rich fantasy world, but Rei isn't... in fact, she's almost more empty inside than she outwardly seems. I don't think psychology actually has a term for what is wrong with Rei (I suggest 'bisected personality displacement syndrome'), nor can we assume a human baseline for normative comparison of what a healthy Rei would be like.


I have to disagree with you on Rei.I actually know some SPD's online and they certainly can relate to Rei. You see SPD is not simply emotional neutrality it's more akin to emotional death. They are ego-less and have no sense of self. A lot of Reis monologues pertain to her lack of sense of self. Also due to this SPD's can often become co-dependent upon someone in order to find a sense of self via them. Rei becomes co-dependent on Gendo to the point of being a puppet, until the end of eva when she becomes co-dependent of Shinji;"I can't Ikari (Shinji) is calling me. I am not your puppet." as she abandons Gendo.

As for the Schizoid being internally attached, your're mixing this up with Avoidants. Avoidants live similiar lifestyles to SPD's but, like NPD's, are more self obsessed than the average person. To compensate for there lack of social lives they tend to live in elaborate fantasy worlds as a substitute for the social interaction they crave. SPD's on the other hand suffer from anhedonia,an inablity to experience pleasure from anything.
Last edited by Another Asuka on Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Another Asuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:57 pm

Sailor Star Dust wrote:Finally, a thread about my kinda topic! :grin: (I enjoy psychology but I'm not majoring in it or anything.)



Shinji in contrast suffers from Major Depression (although I guess it could be Dysthymia as well or instead) and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, along with social anxiety.

I think you're on the right track with how you "diagnosed" them. I'm reminded of an issue of Anime Insider a few years back (my copy's laying around my room somewhere) that clearly states Asuka as having NPD, while it said Shinji has a form of Depression. I forget what it said about Rei.


Glad you like it! Well I suppose as there adolescents you could say they have developing Personality Disorders or just very strong traits beyond the human average. I agree with you that Shinji suffers from Dysthmia and social phobia but these are typical co-morbid disorders of AvPD.
However by the end of the series Shinji seems to have gone beyond social phobia to AvPD. What differentiates social phobia from AvPD is self loathing. A social phobe may consider themselves socially inept and lack confidence but they ussually lack the self loathing of an Avoidant. Remember in the end of the series and the End of Eva Shinji constantly says "I hate myself, I'm worthless ect"? Also, during the end of eva Shinji goes into a fugue like state at the end as he enter instrumentality. He considers the possible rejections and betrayals which he may endure if he allows humanity to continue.i.e. When Asuka kicks him and throws him to the floor and that really weird piece where he hears womens voices "Who would want to go out you?, Let's break up, You wimp ect"

That dillema for Shinji is the dillema which plagues AvPD's. They desperately want to connect with people but the fear rejection,abandonment and betrayal prevent them from doing so. Also AvPD is caused by chronic peer and/or parental rejection. Well Gendo sure rejected Shinji....

NDP is caused by an unstable parenting and low self esteem. Asuka certainly had an unstable childhood and it is revealed throught the series that her narcissism is a mask for her self loathing.

Also Shinji's almost constant reluctance to pilot eva may be compared to an Avoidants reluctance to engage in social settings due to fear of failure and humilliation ect.

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Postby VoidEater » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:17 pm

Yes on Shinji and Asuka.

Rei is a bit different for me. She presents with some of the constellation, but I see her more as an exercise in development: she has the body of a teenager, but certainly has not lived through those years. What do those missing years of experience, of socialization, provide? What does it mean to mature?

We see her lack of social grace in reporting Gendo's disdain of Akagi to her - it's not too clear if this is lack of socialization, asocial behavior, or something in between - and then she gets killed (lots of complexities in this short scene). Even if she has had a long and sheltered life with Gendo in the intervening years prior to her tests with Zero, it's been a solitary existence with little human contact (not quite Mowgli, but perhaps close).

So I'm not sure that Rei's presentation is much more than utter lack of experience, observing and trying to learn who she is but having a further developed intellect and responsibilities than a child of her emotional age.

It's a way for Anno to have a detached observer on human relationships.

I think she is introverted and detached, but also deomonstrates a character arc of growth - she actually changes, as opposed to Shinji and Asuka just realizing they have something that they've been wanting.
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Postby AuraTwilight » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:47 pm

I have to agree with the camp that nothing in human psychology can really understand Rei's deal, here, much less put a label on it. She's a fragmented alien soul in a cloned body with no sense of self because that part of her soul is somewhere else, not as a result of a psychological development. That, and she certainly does desire close relationships, as she shows in her pursuit of Gendo's affections, and eventually Shinji's. The thing is that she just doesn't realize she's supposed to have them, more or less.

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Postby Another Asuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:47 pm

VoidEater wrote:Yes on Shinji and Asuka.

Rei is a bit different for me. She presents with some of the constellation, but I see her more as an exercise in development: she has the body of a teenager, but certainly has not lived through those years. What do those missing years of experience, of socialization, provide? What does it mean to mature?

We see her lack of social grace in reporting Gendo's disdain of Akagi to her - it's not too clear if this is lack of socialization, asocial behavior, or something in between - and then she gets killed (lots of complexities in this short scene). Even if she has had a long and sheltered life with Gendo in the intervening years prior to her tests with Zero, it's been a solitary existence with little human contact (not quite Mowgli, but perhaps close).

So I'm not sure that Rei's presentation is much more than utter lack of experience, observing and trying to learn who she is but having a further developed intellect and responsibilities than a child of her emotional age.

It's a way for Anno to have a detached observer on human relationships.

I think she is introverted and detached, but also deomonstrates a character arc of growth - she actually changes, as opposed to Shinji and Asuka just realizing they have something that they've been wanting.


Due to Rei's origins, being a clone of Yui, certainly complicates things in regards to diagnosing her. But, as she has'nt lived those years it could be argued that Anno was making an anology to SPD.i.e. When a child is born it has no sense of self as it has not to attained experience. SPD's may have experience but they never develope a real sense of self,an ego.
Perhaps anno needed to have Rei as a clone of Yui for the story but still used Rei as an example of SPD and made the analogy of the egoless child/clone with no experience as a metaphor.

She does try to overcome her issues which is what alot of the series is about in the last two episodes. Asuka's narcissism breaks down, Shinji questions if he really is worthless and Rei breaks from her co-dependence of Gendo. Now whether she has become co-dependent on Shinji instead or has managed to become aware of her emotions,I'm not sure.

Asuka is the only one who almost definietly has'nt overcome her issues.

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:53 pm

Another Asuka wrote:When Asuka kicks him and throws him to the floor and that really weird piece where he hears women's voices "Who would want to go out you?, Let's break up, You wimp etc"


The "weird place" with the breakup lines WAS Instrumentality, just FYI.

Voideater wrote:I think she is introverted and detached, but also demonstrates a character arc of growth - she actually changes, as opposed to Shinji and Asuka just realizing they have something that they've been wanting.


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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:03 pm

One has to bear in mind that Asuka will have been encouraged in all those traits during her childhood -- she was the special and unique person at NERV Germany, no doubt treated like a warrior-aristocrat knight-in-training; and besides that, a bona fide intellectual prodigy.

In the same way that it's not paranoia when they really are out to get you, it's not narcissism when you actually have the documentation to prove that you are the special one.
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Postby Another Asuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:12 pm

Sailor Star Dust wrote:
Another Asuka wrote:When Asuka kicks him and throws him to the floor and that really weird piece where he hears women's voices "Who would want to go out you?, Let's break up, You wimp etc"


The "weird place" with the breakup lines WAS Instrumentality, just FYI.



I actually knew that. When I said "weird piece" it was'nt a typo. I just ment a piece of the scene from the film.

Mr. Tines wrote:One has to bear in mind that Asuka will have been encouraged in all those traits during her childhood...


That certainly is true. However you will often find that NPD's do tend to have a basis of superiority for their narcissism, but not to the degree they actually believe. Also Asuka does have low self esteem. "I hate everything and everyone but I hate myself more than anyone." Also NPD's go into a secondary mode when things are going bad and they realise their not as great as they think;severe depression. When Asuka's Sync ratio was going persistantly low the "mind rape" scene occured and she fell into depression. Also NPD's don't just brag about themselves they devalue others to give them more narcissistic supply. Asuka always refers to Shinji as an idiot ect.

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Postby VoidEater » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:14 pm

Mr. Tines wrote:In the same way that it's not paranoia when they really are out to get you, it's not narcissism when you actually have the documentation to prove that you are the special one.


Yet her Narcissism is not a question of whether she is special or not - it is her insistence that all events around her occur because of her, or on her behalf.

Eveyone is special and everyone is ordinary - but Narcissists, for example, demand the world revolve around them - yet they place respomsibility for consequences their own actions on others.

They are always the causitive agent in their world, and never to blame for negative outcomes.
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Postby Holy Diver » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:21 pm

Mr. Tines wrote:One has to bear in mind that Asuka will have been encouraged in all those traits during her childhood -- she was the special and unique person at NERV Germany, no doubt treated like a warrior-aristocrat knight-in-training; and besides that, a bona fide intellectual prodigy.

In the same way that it's not paranoia when they really are out to get you, it's not narcissism when you actually have the documentation to prove that you are the special one.


Agreed. Prodigies are often exposed to special attention at a young age and thus grow up believing that they are God. When hit by failure (such as a low synch rate) this illusion of perfection is shattered along with the person's soul.
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Postby Another Asuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:22 pm

Just in case anyones interested here's a university lecture with slides on personality disorders. It's fairly good. SPD is part 2&3 AvPD is part 3&4 and I think NPD is part 4 & 5.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb2751C0jfY&feature=related
Last edited by Another Asuka on Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby NemZ » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:23 pm

I was just going by the over/covert chart further down on the linked page you provided. Take it up with Dr. Akhtar if you disagree.

I still don't think psychology is up to the task with Rei. Sorry, but I don't believe there is a term to adequately describe just how mentally screwed up Rei is.

She's not human for starters. Even assuming a relatively normal baseline we have no idea what the affects are of removing a person's soul, dividng it in two, and placing each half in a body cloned from another being with infrequent opportunities for the two halves to achieve a highly stresful, dangerous, and unstable form of mental contact.

What are the affects of actually being murdered then brought back to life in a new body, granted the full awareness that the patient is neither special nor unique, then infomed that even if one wishes to die (and she does) that it will not be permitted?

On top of all that she is raised in near isolation without a sense of modesty or privacy, a situation with the express purpose of enabling dependance, and is aware that she exists just to fufill a fatal role laid out by the person on whom she now utterly depends. As SSD pointed out, she also has a physical age of only 5 or 6 despite appearing 14, and with the possibility of imperfect memory transfer her current personality may actually be younger still... or millenia older but amnesiac, depending on how you look at it.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:23 pm

Asuka was

* the only pilot at the NERV branch where she lived, and more than a one-in-a-billion individual on that account
* a university graduate when barely into her teens, which is another better than one-in-a-million

On the first count, the world -- such as she was exposed to it -- probably did revolve about her, pretty much up to the point we first meet her.

What we see is her being thrown out of paradise, forced to room with a rookie (who has the bad grace to be naturally better than what she has sweated her childhood doing), and generally dropped from the top to the bottom of the totem pole.

People continually underestimate the effect of culture shock and, quite frankly, the sudden change in social class, when looking at how she reacts and interacts with people.

She is really another "poor little rich girl".

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Postby Sailor Star Dust » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:26 pm

AuraTwilight: Re-reading the thread, I agree completely with your post.

Another Asuka: One thing I've noticed Asuka do a few times in the series is self-project. For instance, although she calls Shinji and idiot and a pervert, the fact she's the one to flirt with him seems to imply she's thinking "dirty" thoughts herself. Examples that instantly come to my mind: Wanting something from him in the wall of Jericho scene of episode 09, the Thermal Expansion scene in episode 10, and the train car scene of EoE. I dunno, just a thought.

By the way, please don't double-post. If you have something else you want to add, just use the edit button.
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Postby Another Asuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:32 pm

Sailor Star Dust wrote:
Another Asuka: One thing I've noticed Asuka do a few times in the series is self-project. For instance, although she calls Shinji and idiot and a pervert, the fact she's the one to flirt with him seems to imply she's thinking "dirty" thoughts herself. Examples that instantly come to my mind: Wanting something from him in the wall of Jericho scene of episode 09, the Thermal Expansion scene in episode 10, and the train car scene of EoE. I dunno, just a thought.



She definiately does do that quite alot. In the "kiss scene" she washs her mouth out afterwards. Is it true that in the directors cut there is an extended scene where we see this is pretence and she is actually dissapointed by Shinji's apathetic reaction? Or is that just a rumour?

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Postby VoidEater » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:37 pm

NemZ wrote:She's not human for starters.


Well, not yet at least. But I would have hopes for her seeing the way she integrates experiences and makes new choices over time.

In many ways we see how an infant becomes socialized through her.
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Postby Another Asuka » Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:45 pm

Mr. Tines wrote:Asuka was...


I think there is something more to add about Asuka. When her Mother went insane, ignored her and committed suicide Asuka seemed to feel she had a lot to prove to herself,which is what NPD's really do when they brag to others. I think the experience of having a mother, at such a young age, who showed more attention to a doll than a her own child would give someone a lot of esteem issues regardless of how intelligent they are.
She seemed to yearn for independence so she would not be hurt again and live off her accomplishments as a substitute for her insecurities resulting from her childhood trauma.


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