The psychosis of Niko Bellic part one

Niko Bellic - playwisegaming.comBelow is the first part of an analytic look at the mental well-being of “Grand Theft Auto IV’s” main character, Niko Bellic. It was written for an abnormal psychology class, therefore reference to outside materials might be helpful in fully deciphering its meaning. However if you’re feeling lazy, you can generally use the context of the essay to extract most of its meaning. Let the psychoanalysis begin.

Inside of Niko Bellic’s brain, a torrent of personality disorders and mental illnesses are fighting for dominance over his psychotic lifestyle. Bellic, who describes himself as the lead character of “Grand Theft Auto IV,” indiscriminately murders foes and innocents alike — a clear indication of his severe mental instability.

However, Bellic often defends his actions by claiming he had no choice but to kill the people around him. Bellic may even say he doesn’t want to kill, which is at odds with his overzealous use of violent, oftentimes homicidal, actions.

Sometimes, when going for a midday cruise, Bellic may decide on a whim to begin mauling innocent people on the sidewalks of Liberty City. Several times, Bellic has verbally assaulted pedestrians for getting in his way while proceeding to crack their skulls under the wheels of whichever car he decided to steal for the day.

But violence against others is not Bellic’s only perverted pleasure. He can be found frequently smashing cars into walls and bailing on motorcycles causing him to skid along the surface of the pavement, ripping his skin to a bloody mess of pulp. His trips to the emergency room are a common occurrence to say the least.

Bellic also has trouble retaining a regular sleeping pattern, often sleeping in the middle of the day to, as he puts it, “raise his health bar.” In some cases he won’t sleep for a week at a time, after which he might binge for a full three days of sleep so he can “advance to the next mission.”

Niko2 - playwisegaming.com

Bellic’s heavy involvement with the various drug rings and crime syndicates of Liberty City is troubling. He practically lives for crime, attempting to do little else save a few rounds of bowling and the occasional game of darts. He’s also a regular patron of the strip clubs in his time off from killing and terrorizing the neighborhood.

It’s clear that Bellic needs serious medical attention by the way he conducts his business and leisure time. This may be a difficult patient to diagnose, but the typical methods should still work.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is a guideline that’s been used by psychologists for nearly 60 years to help diagnose mental illnesses. The most current edition of this handbook, the DSM-IV-TR, was published in 2000 and contains a five axis system for evaluating patients. This same axis will be used to diagnose and possibly treat this psycho.

The first Axis, clinical disorders, will be used to label exactly what Bellic’s disorders are and whether or not they are a constant recurring problem, labeled as chronic, or sudden and abruptly onset, labeled as acute. Given the number of symptoms he exhibits, it may be difficult to pinpoint this down to any one particular disorder.

It’s obvious from Bellic’s lust for chaos, blood and destruction that he is exhibits highly volatile homicidal and suicidal tendencies. However, from his descriptions of these events, he’s merely participating in a game of his own delusional design.

Bellic constantly describes the events of his life as “missions,” events that are initiated through interactions with others on his cell phone rather than just life events. He even describes restarting these missions and holding conversations for a second time with friends and people involved. Either his friends are all participating with his delusions, or they too are part of his elaborate hallucinations; it’s difficult to determine having actually met some of the people he describes.

However, he is absolutely suffering from schizophrenia, this much is clear. He exhibits Type I, or positive, symptoms of the disorder in the form of game-like elements. These symptoms manifest themselves as both delusions and hallucinations that permeate much of his behavior and thought processes and are likely the cause of his irregular sleep patterns.

He commonly cites an outside source as having control over his actions, forcing his hand to pull the trigger of a gun, compel him to steal a parked car or even cause him to throw his body from the side of a building. From Bellic’s description, he seems to think he has little to no control over his actions.

In Bellic’s descriptions of his life, his cousin, Roman Bellic, is mentioned frequently. They are initially both from Serbia, only recently having moved to America. Roman seems to also be suffering from some form of schizophrenia, going along with much of what Niko says. This leads me to believe that this is a biologically inherited disorder.

However, Roman’s schizophrenia seems partially based in reality and may be much less severe than Niko’s. He is heavily indebted to several loan and card sharks and is rightfully paranoid of their encroachment on his well-being.

Check playWISE next Wednesday to find out how I’ll be curing Niko of his psychotic lifestyle.

Image Credit: Rockstar

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