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         Bruce Banner’s struggle with his super
powers may be more relatable to the real world than we might think at first
glance. Could Banner’s abnormal behavior and dual personality be a metaphor for
Dissociative Identity Disorder? Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly
known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is an extreme condition in which
several separate and distinct identities exist within a single person. An
individual with DID may experience anywhere between two to more than 100
fragmented personalities, only one of which being the “host” personality, or
the one that identifies with the person’s original birth name and identity. In
terms of the Incredible Hulk, Bruce Banner, the timid scientist who transforms
into the Hulk, is the host personality. The cause of DID is not completely
clear, but it has been correlated with trauma, particularly trauma during
childhood. This is in line with the story of Banner’s childhood, as he grew up
with an abusive, alcoholic father who took his anger out on Bruce and
eventually murdered Bruce’s mother. The DSM-5 describes DID through five points
of criteria.

         The first criterion of diagnoses for
DID is that two or more personalities must be present within the individual,
each having its own unique way of relating to and thinking about the world and
its self. There are two distinct identities within the character of Bruce
Banner—Banner and the Hulk. Many superheroes have alter egos and secret
identities but the Hulk takes this concept to a unique level. Hulk is not
Banner’s alter ego in quite the same way, nor is Banner the Hulk’s secret
identity. Rather, the two thinks of themselves as separate individuals. In the
2012 film “The Avengers,” Bruce Banner made the separateness clear
from Hulk and the scientist, as Banner consistently refers to his counter
personality as “the other guy.” Similarly, in the comics, Hulk has spoken of
Banner as “that puny weakling in the picture.” These two personalities think of
themselves as separate and individual, they behave as exact opposites. Bruce
Banner is socially withdrawn, extremely intelligent and mild-mannered, whereas
Hulk is aggressively angry, destructive and his IQ does not match that of

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