#okay but this is GOLD #2011 he’s like what what are you cheering for omg stop it i just did my job #sdlkfjlsdf omg thanks guys #and then 2012 he’s like wow there really are a lot of you who love me huh #this feels nice #nice #bUT THEN 2013 HE’S LIKE OKAY BITCHES I’m just gonna stand here being awesome and you’ll all KNEEL BEFORE ME i mean take my picture sorry nOT SORRY I RUN THE WORLD
Anonymous asked: I think Tumblr ate my question. Do you think Loki suffers from clinical depression? Just he seems to engage in self-harming and pseudo-suicidal behaviour. There's the infamous scene of his bleeding foot, the part where he falls from the Bifrost with no guarantee to survive, and today on "God of Mischief" a link to a video where I noticed around 37/38 seconds in he claws/scratches at his hand in a seemingly self-harming manner. Just wondered what you thought.
Let me rephrase my thoughts.
I supposed the hand-scratching you were alluding to is this moment in Thor when he absent-mindedly scratches at his hand while explaining to Sif and the Three how he was the one who sent the guard to warn Odin (wow, I might want to go back later and edit a few commas into that sentence) as they are tending to their respective wounds in the Healing Room. They’ve just returned from the Jötunheim fiasco and Loki is fiddling with the very hand that was the instrument of the unfortunate revelation of his origins.
You know, I bite my nails when I’m nervous, wriggle my fingers, rubs my hands together, and though I suffer from actual depression, it was never presented to me as self-harm. In fact, I’m pretty sure I know people who aren’t depressive and still have genuine O.C.D. of a more or less grave kind. Actually.
Anyhow, I don’t think it would be wise to try and wrestle Loki, of all people, into any definition for a real-life medical condition. Firstly, because he is a fictional character written by several persons and portrayed by another in a context that is hardly appropriate for pathological study. And then because even a real psychiatrist would have no way to proper a honest diagnosis on a patient for which they have no medical record—in other words, sorry fandom, but in canon there is no straight evidence concerning Loki’s history, while depression is measured over a lifetime, be it life-long and chronic or the direct result of a trauma.
"Clinical depression" is a common term for MDD, or "Major Depressive Disorder", sometimes referred to as "unipolar disorder": you hear a lot about bipolar disorder on Tumblr, but MDD afflicts people who are on an all-time low, unlike the typical high/low alternating of bipolar persons. Diagnosis depression, in any case, is complicated, and depression does not always look like it, and certain people can have depressive episodes that are not part of an ongoing illness. Again, you cannot decide on your own that a fictional being suffers from depression, unless of course someone in-universe invites you to decide, and still it may be rather pointless in the end.
Note that I understand why people with depression or who know people with depression would be able to identify with the suffering of such a character, or seemingly recognise some of their symptoms; but as valid as this interpretation might be, it should remain personal and individual. I’m not saying that they shouldn’t share their impressions, I’m saying that the pseudo-diagnosis should never, ever become to be regarded as a fan-canon of sorts or the mainstream interpretation of the character’s psyche. I really think, in the end, that it can be more harmful than helpful to real-life people with real-life depression.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist, Greg House is my spirit animal. I know I shouldn’t feel proud about that per se but… oh, cut me some slack, will ya, I am an actually depressive person, I need to be indulged a bit. A lot. A bit. No?
Anyhoo. What I meant to say, initially, was that Loki’s bleeding foot is not due to self-harm (or stepping on Lego®) but the consequence of his fit of rage—a completely understandable one, with that: he is a bitter and vengeful man, though not without remorse, who has been trapped in a cage for over a year and is meant to remain there for the rest of his life as the only people he truly cares about die undefended. In a way, the fact that he rebels against his fate isn’t such a bad sign, psychologically speaking. At least he is expressing his genuine emotions and letting out some steam, whereas the past two years have been an endless flight forward for him.
However, there is hardly any other way to interpret the Fall as seeing it as a suicide attempt—or rather, Loki’s will to let go of his childhood, the illusions as well as the rest. I don’t think he exactly planned to die that day, only that the mental confusion was so strong he chose to disappear rather than face the consequences of his grave actions. In saying that, I’m not telling you all was Loki’s fault and he was but a coward for letting go, I’m only saying that problems had been piling up over the course of only three days, and that he didn’t feel like he could face them anymore.
The interesting thing, with Loki, is that he is visibly not quite all right in the head, you know. There seems to be a good part of education at fault here, because the temper tantrum and the bouts of Homeric rage looks like they run in the family, and in their most immature moments Thor and Loki appear to be strikingly similar in behaviour. Only Thor is vaguely capable of parting right from wrong, and despite what the haters think, there is a difference between his acts on Jötunheim and Loki’s. Loki has a major problem with proportions and empathy—one may argue that his current state of inner turmoil has rendered him even more self-centred than he used to be, and believe me, he was.
We know that some things happened between Thor and The Avengers that hardened him even further, so much in fact that I tend to suspect both Frigga and Thor were the world’s first rampart against Loki’s… not so very empathetical nature. That’s also what makes the character so fascinating, you know, how malleable he can be, despite what himself probably believes.