How's this for a Jedi mind trick?
Anakin Skywalker's transformation into Darth Vader in Star Wars was the result of a borderline personality disorder, according to a new study by French psychiatrists.
In a letter titled "Is Anakin Skywalker suffering from borderline personality disorder?" — which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Psychiatry Research — Eric Bui, a psychiatrist at Toulouse University Hospital, and his team state that Skywalker exhibited six out of the nine borderline-personality-disorder criteria as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, ABC News reports. The minimum for a diagnosis is five.
Skywalker was predisposed to the condition, the researchers conclude, due to his separation from his parents at an early age. He later showed impulsiveness, violent outbursts, anger management issues, illusions of invincibility and crises of identity, all of which are borderline red flags, the study says.
Dissociative events, such as when Skywalker killed a tribe of Tuskans, triggered his descent to the dark side.
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Some time on the couch may have helped the fallen Jedi knight, Bui says. "I believe that psychotherapy would have helped Anakin and might have prevented him from turning to the dark side," he writes. "Using the dark side of the Force could be considered as similar to drug use: it feels really good when you use it, it alters your consciousness and you know you shouldn't do it."
Other psychiatrists, including UCLA child and adolescent psychiatrist Dr. H. Eric Bender, think Bui and his team are overreaching with their diagnosis.
Those afflicted with borderline personality disorder must present "enduring and maladaptive patterns" of the traits over a lifetime, which Skywalker does not because Darth Vader identified himself as a villain, Bender said.
What do you think of the study? Was Darth Vader really just in need of some time on the couch?