Psycological Disorders and Trauma



  • Other than running around slaughtering innocent towns and settlements on a regular basis, stealing for fun when I'm bored, getting excited during raids because every kill and every death is a learning experience and having no regard for pesky things like morals - I think Suladan is pretty well balanced.
    The Truths hurt. Always.
  • JarrolJarrol New Zealand
    I think Jarrol has no real psychological disorder, but he is constantly unhappy with himself and kind of has weird rages. As you know, Caoimhaen, Jarrol will scowl almost constantly. I think there is a major degree of envy inside him and the need for acceptance and he is merely waiting for the time when everybody greets him.
    I think he is a good person, but a jealous one. It's a dangerous combination, I think, because he is almost inherently selfish and has a crisis about this... 
  • I'm trying to get Nilith to have a couple of subtle issues, like occasional strange wordings and slightly violent imagery. Instead of rasing shades, hanging shades. If a place was robbed, it was gutted.
    New goal: Work the word evisceration into a sentence once per day.
  • BluefBluef Delos
    edited November 2014
    Everyone seems to think Bluef is bat shit crazy, but she's really not. Does that count for this thread:error: 

    In all seriousness, @Melodie is probably spot on with her response:

    Melodie said:
    To be honest, I think many older characters eventually have something wrong with them. Just to what degree it plays into your character is your choice.

    That's so well stated I can't add to it, but I can offer some IC examples: Bluef was killed and had her corpse buried in the desert for a Babelonian rite. OOCly, this was intended to spark a much-needed break away from Achaea for Flair and I at the time. IC though, when we returned 3 RL months later, it opened the door for some interesting roleplay.

    The biggest impact was obviously that Bluef had traversed the Spiritrealm during this time and chosen to become a shaman after she was finally brought back to life through Thoth's grace. The smallest was that she finds comfort in natural underground locations now. She's the opposite of claustrophobic, tending instead to have a mild case of agoraphobia (the psychological disorder, not the curable in-game ailment). 

    Likewise, having at least one controlling, dominant parent who tried to rule/ruin Bluef's life, made it possible for my character to always sport a bit of an avoidant personality. Bluef is naturally shy. She was, in her youth, extremely sensitive to what others thought about her (she's sort of grown out of that part now). She is definitely socially inhibited though and is always appraising the movements, expressions and behavior of those she comes into contact with. Her restrained and tense demeanor makes others think she's purposefully isolated herself emotionally, when in fact she's just anxious about the possibility that they may try to exert control over her like others in her life have.

    Bluef's saving grace has always been her father's influence. Because of him, she's not afraid to take risks like most avoidant personality types. Instead when she was younger she demonstrated poor impulse control, which is also something she's been able to grow out of largely.

    Finally, Bluef's Order choice was made to help her come to grips with a lot of the character's psychological malfunctions, so that instead of intensifying with her age, she has been able to see a diminishing in the overall symptoms. It may seem weird that I fixated a lot on Bluef's psyche early on and throughout her life, but I blame my minor and general interest in Psychology for it. 

    Is this "special snowflake" roleplay? Maybe. I don't know. I can only say that Bluef's every action in the game has been at least in part based off the decision tree created by her persona's psychological dimensions, which may explain why she often zigs when everyone else zags.
  • KenwayKenway San Francisco
    Kenway has mild PTSD from Shallam's final moments but only like two or three people are aware of it because I only ever hint at it while discussing the events and only ever elaborate when asked. I really enjoy the subtle hard to notice things that most people probably never pick up on. Like the particular times Kenway chooses to don his helmet or why he has his own last name despite his huge family and all the branches he could choose from.

    I think the key to doing mental trauma/disorder right is to be subtle enough with your presentation that people can ignore it if they choose. What you're really doing is inviting the people around you to interact in this specific way and if you can balance the intrigue with the subtlety you get genuine curiosity in response rather than "Oh I bet they want me to react to this." or, more often, "Yeah, I'm not reacting to that."

    - Limb Counter - Fracture Relapsing -
    "Honestly, I just love that it counts limbs." - Mizik Corten
  • edited November 2014
    Anedhel said:
    I didn't mean quirks, I meant full on psychopaths. I get that people can appear fine and be nuts underneath- and if that's the case, and you're good at it, more power to you. But what drives me up the wall is people who're full-on crazy for one thing, then they're completely normal the next. Their aggression/anxiety/etc. is triggered by some situation, but the next time that same stimulus comes up, it's ignored. Inconsistency is my enemy, not necessarily mental disorders.
    That's largely a problem of people's perception of mental illness. In reality, it doesn't work like it does in the movies - someone who reacts one way to flashing lights one day doesn't necessarily act that way the next time they see the same thing. There are certainly conditions that do lend themselves to that kind of very obvious regularity, but, if anything, irregularity is probably the norm - you often only see the sort of regularity required for a diagnosis when you look at the larger picture of more abstract patterns of behavior and thinking (you might see frequently abnormal reactions to sudden stimulus onsets for instance, but they're not necessarily the same reactions to the same stimuli each time - the pattern is broader than that).

    The problem, of course, is that when it comes to characterisation, people's mistaken perception of mental illness is unfortunately what matters more than the reality.

    In some ways, I think this is really two separate topics, and a lot of the replies here seem to support that idea: (1) people interested in playing characters with semi-realistic psychological disorders and (2) people interested in playing characters that are "crazy" or "psychopathic" (though I further submit that probably about 90% of adventurers qualify as psychopaths by any reasonable definition).


    More to the point, I've consciously tried to play Tael as mildly autistic for several years now. I think only one or two people have ever picked up on it.
  • Ehhhhh. This sort of thing usually lends itself to people being like I CAN RP BLINDNESS IF I WANT TO BC CONVERSION DISORDER. Much better experience imo to develop your character organically (i.e., have reasons that are deep-seated and personally relevant to your character for their tics) or, if you have some sort of 'problem,' to do it within the confines of Achaea alone and not try to overlay it with psychology.
    Saeva said:
    If Mathonwy is 2006 I wish 2007 had never come.
    Xenomorph said:
    heh. Mathowned.
    Message #12872 Sent by Jurixe
  • AereidhnaAereidhna Dallas
    edited March 2015
    I am somewhat crazy in real life. I play Achaea for fun, so I'm much more normal here. Aereidhna's main issues are being a bit hyperactive/overly friendly and liking whiskey a little too much. I'm sure as she gets older things will happen that will make her psychology more complex but her backstory is remarkably mild because I have enough PTSD in real life, I didn't feel the need to manufacture a backstory full of childhood trauma. 
  • I believe my character has ADH BUTTERFLY!
  • edited April 2015
    Aepas said:
    Aepas is blind. This is actually a very easy thing to RP because YOU HAVE MINDSEYE. The affliction of blindness causes the world to go into darkness, implying a more retinal based inhibition. Aepas' cornea has been scarred, leading to a non-true blindness. But man, that mindseye is so tasty. I could use it and just walk around and act like I'm not blind at all. at most he just has issues with colors at times.

    Also he has multiple personality disorder. He always had druid spirits and found himself with all the lovely voices in his head. I don't really roleplay that out either. I do it more in my head, or just think what aepas might be thinking, or which spirit he might be talking to. But really, part of playing the role is knowing your character yourself, not having to shove the character's flaws in other people's faces. If anything, these are just for me to know to develop my connection with him.
    I don't know why but I really like that a lot. As far as the Spirit thing going on, I wouldn't exactly call that Multiple Personality Disorder. I know exactly what your saying, but I'd avoid using the standard run of the mill mental illness sometimes tacked on to make characters "special".
    It seems really well too thought out for it to be labeled under a term commonly used and with a negative connotation to it... seems like brushing that creativity under the rug.
    It strikes me more like Disorganized Schizophrena, since it's mostly internal and attributing your own thoughts your outside forces. But you know, it's got an extra layer of depth as it's quite possible they are actually outside forces.
    And also, as a blademaster, you can probably guess that I absolutely love the "blind but better because of it" trope, that Achaea has in the mechanics itself.

    As far as the topic in general, I personally think it's in better taste to stray away from the standards of Psychopathy, Multiple Personality Disorder, PTSD, and ADHD; if only because of how frequently they are used in the roleplaying hobby, but moreso that they're mostly incorrectly and poorly used.
    If you insist on using these, It's probably best to describe the cause and their behavior directly, rather than just slapping a label on them and thinking it gives you RP bonus points. If Aepas just said he had MPD and left it at that, I would probably have gotten an entirely wrong idea and wouldn't know it was related to druid spirits mentally bugging him for instance.

    As far as illnesses and disorders go: I'm a fan of personality disorders, sociopathy, Aspergers (for those obsessive and socially inept casters), or other "high-functioning" types. They're usually just subtle, tactful personality quirks that lends them flaws, rather than being the flaw in and of itself.

    I didn't go into planning her personality with this in mind, but Jakarana probably has Borderline Personality Disorder with how independent she seems or pretends to be, but then gets viciously clingy to any and all relationships (not just romantic) along her ability to hold grudges. But BPD isn't her "flaw," it's her clinginess and impulsiveness that is indicative of it. And I definately wouldn't mislabel it as Bipolar or Dissassoiative Identity Disorder. In short, it's more effective to display the TRAITS of the disorder, not the disorder itself.

    Speaking of changes and conflictions, Cognitive Dissonance is also a very powerful tool to hash out a personality. Nobody has a perfectly consistent and solid philosophy, ideals, or behavior. If you hash out two seemingly conflicting ideals for them to have (Extreme compulsion to follow promises, or grudges)(An absolute hate of commitment and obligations) and then give them a shaky self-justification (Chooses commitments carefully, as she'll feels compelled to follow them) -In my opinion- it makes them more lifelike.
    Or better yet, it will make people curious and question you for being inconsistent, and you'll have a better talking point prepared than just saying you have a disorder.

    Nothing is better than a crazy that's in denial that they're crazy.
  • Anedhel said:
    Edit: Lemme try again.

    The onus is on the person making the change to leave a door open for people they're leaving behind to engage, even if they're upset (maybe after they've cooled down). When no doors are left open, I, personally, have no intention of wasting more time on a person who's switched sides, not because I think they're bad roleplayers, necessarily, but because the impression that said person doesn't want to interact with members of the faction they ditched is pretty strong.

    It's a case, it feels like, of wanting one's cake and eating it too. You leave, you don't explain yourself- what are the people whose ship you jumped supposed to do? Being written off seems a legit reaction.

    Now, when that is taken as 'x is a crap roleplayer,' I can see where it comes from. I have a hunch that most faction changes are OOC-motivated and/or badly roleplayed out (if at all), and I can see where people'd be inclined to assume that. As I said, the onus is on us to make ourselves appealing/engaging, not on others to perceive us as being so.

    ETA: Yes, people should be better. But to be on the safe side, we should give them a reason -not- to assume that you're doing things just because you're OOC bored, w/e. It's your story, how your audience reacts is at least partially on you; if you haven't given them anything to react positively to, that's your fault, as much as it is theirs.
    One can say the onus is on the one upset to try and engage as well. To learn a reason is not the onus of the player who made the change but on the player seeking the change.  I've had people seek me out to learn why and others who won't. 

    To argue the onus is on me to be interesting(ala oh hey look at me) is thr logic of a player who inly knows how to rp reactivly.  I have tried to engage some individuals about my change Ic (mostly family) only to be ignored when I said I was moving to Mhaldor.  As i said a few allowed me to explain IC.

  • Jakarana said:
    -Stuff, go read it-
    I'll agree that it's likely not MPD that Aepas has, but I couldn't be bothered to find a better word for it. It's not really like I use the known disorder itself to base him off of, but I just kind of say what I figured was closest to what he had. If that makes sense at all.
    I figure it's not really a big deal since once again, it's not something that anyone really knows that Aepas has it. He has grown used to it, never talks about it, and plus what would I say about it? what RP avenues does it open? surely a few, but I'd rather just have aepas enjoy or dislike his own affliction rather than involve other people in it.

    When he first began assisting in the destruction of forests, he'd act tough and stand strong, then go home and claw at his head, trying to release the pounding scratching within his skull, oh how such spirits would rebel against his own actions.

    As much fun as it is to analyze where your character may have flaws or issues, or even medically diagnosed issues, it's very silly to actually associate your character to illnesses. I feel like if you do that, you're just on a downward slope of basing your character around the illness rather than understanding why your character might have it.
    For instance, Aepas has multi-spirit brain. I say he has MPD. I google MPD, think hey yeah, that's cool. Attempt to throw in something I learned from wikipedia into Aepas RP, essentially forcing an outside influence on him rather than letting emotions or random actions happen organically.
    perhaps I just ramble, but remember you can analyze your character and diagnose them with whatever afflictions you want, but you can't decide they have afflictions and then base their RP from that.
    Replies the scorpion: "It's my nature..."
  • Snapplepan has been through... things, but she's not exactly sulky about it. I mean, to her, those are things that happened to Not-Snapplepan, so you could kindasorta say she's in denial? I dunno, haven't figured her all out myself.

    "Once, I was not Snapplepan, but I was also sad, stupid and boring once."
    tyvm 2 bill gates & the gamecube paint 4 my profile pic
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