1. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    Deterioration of the mind

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Dagolas, Jun 24, 2015.

    I've been mulling over this plot idea set in a what if situation where the Nazis took control of Europe and South America. At this point though, it's the late fifties, and Hitler, in his late sixties himself, is slowly getting madder and madder. The media doesn't show this though, and asserts he is fine (this is me denouncing how media lies, like every murder or crime Russia commits that they cover up, then lie about in their media).

    In any case, that's the premise, but does anyone know what Hitler actually had in terms of mental illness? And how would that develop in the fifteen years had he not died? What state would he be in?
     
  2. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    If you don't know enough about Hitler already then maybe you shouldn't write about Hitler. Create a character that is like Hitler and create your own mental illnesses for him that will take the plot to where you want to go. I feel these are questions that should already have answers to them coming from the author's point of view. If you don't know enough where you want the story to go, then maybe you need to do more brainstorming on your own and not asking us to do the research for you.
     
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  3. Miss Lonelyhearts
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    Miss Lonelyhearts Member

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    Why do you assume Hitler had any mental illness? I don't see how it logically follows. If you mean he deviated from the normal mode of life, morals and principles and consider this a mental illness then you have a misunderstanding of mental illness. Anyway I think you could give Hitler the type of illness like a psychotic break or psychosis.
     
  4. sashawrites
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    sashawrites Member

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    I completely agree with this completely.

    But as far as I remember, Hitler had to deal with a lot of rejection in his life including from art school which made him homeless. I personally believe he was angry with his situation and was not mentally ill, and that he just believed in his values.

    Could your dictator have early onset dementia or something along those lines?
     
  5. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    Google "Hitler's mental illness"...https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evil-deeds/201412/how-mad-was-hitler
     
  6. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Sociopathy, an exceedingly high sense of self-superiority and sadism doesn't count? They're mental illnesses, right?
     
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  7. Miss Lonelyhearts
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    Miss Lonelyhearts Member

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    No they do not.
     
  8. Void
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    Void Contributing Member

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    Seconded ... or rather, thirded (that's not even a real word). I think you have to be pretty confident in your historical knowledge to tackle alternate history, or any real world politics for that matter. When you're dealing with fictionalised extrapolations of recent history you're basically asking for controversy over the depictions and historical accuracy, and so you should probably have a solid enough understanding of the places, people and situations to weather the inevitable criticism.

    I can't really tell anyone what they can and cannot write about, but if I were to tackle a story like that I would say an entirely fictional setting may be a better option. After all, you'll probably spend less time world-building for it than you would otherwise spend on historical research.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2015
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  9. sashawrites
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    sashawrites Member

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    I just don't see it like that but I can see traits of narcissism and possibly borderline personality disorder. There's nothing proven however which is why I'm so reserved about my judgement.
     
  10. topimerlin
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    topimerlin New Member

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    Write about what you know. Study mental illnesses, study hitler. Maybe that will give you inspiration.
     
  11. Mattiemae
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    Mattiemae Member

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  12. DeathandGrim
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    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    Well Hitler was a sociopath, I'll give him that. But not all sociopaths are mentally ill. At least I don't think. Come to think of it Hitler is a very interesting guy, there's a lot of layers of deceit and pure villianous genius intelligence to him. He's one of those minds that could have made a real positive change to the world if he wasn't a monster. Really sad.
     
  13. theoriginalmonsterman
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    theoriginalmonsterman Pickle Contest Administrator Contributor

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    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Hitler%27s+Doctor
     
  14. Shadowfax
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    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

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    1/ That's a bit like saying that not all murderers are killers. Perhaps you meant that not all sociopaths are sufficiently mentally ill to be a problem to society?

    2/ I don't believe that there were any layers of deceit in Hitler. Mein Kampf was fairly explicit. What you saw was what you got.
     
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  15. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    Agreed. Ever heard of the trope where the villain tells the hero everything he's going to do while the hero works out a way to stop him? That's basically what Mein Kampf was, only no one took him seriously until it was too late.
     
  16. C. W. Evon
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    C. W. Evon Member

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    Mental disorders, yes, but not mental illness. Sociopathy is a personality. It can't be "cured"--it's just a dysfunctional way of being that is part of who that person is. There's a whole category of these, called personality disorders: antisocial (clinical term for sociopathy/psychopathy), borderline, narcissistic, schizoid, histrionic, etc.

    Sorry. The psychology nerd in me sees something like this and can't help but jump in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
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  17. Mark Gordon
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    Mark Gordon New Member

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    Go watch Downfall starring Bruno Ganz as Hitler. There you will see his obvious madness and his hand trembles. Id say you dont have much of a plot with your original premise as the man was clearly deranged before the war started never mind before it ended.
     
  18. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    There are several documentaries talking about Hitler's personal life. In all of them, they acknowledge that there is much debate and controversy surrounding Hitler's mental or physical illnesses. Some believe his doctor was deliberately giving him medications that compromised him mentally, others think he was already suffering from natural psychological illness, and still others claim that he had STD's that affected his brain. There are many theories and much evidence to support each theory, but the truth is no one has come up with a definitive answer that everyone an agree on.

    Do your research, decide is this is something you can realistically take on. I agree with others above that perhaps you should invent your own dictator so you can do what you want with him.
     
  19. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Didn't Hitler try to get into art school? Or is that just one of the rumors, that he couldn't get in so he moved on to genocide later in life as a result of being an angry little man. IDK. Moving on you could say he had "little man syndrome". Because he was a short fellow already his need to dominate all would slowly take it's toll on his mental faculties. Creating wilder and wilder delusions of becoming more than a man. That would make him at least look crazy as he proclaims himself a god, and he shall be the ruler of all. Just trying to help. :p
     
  20. historymom
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    historymom Member

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    Who is your audience? I think the concept is a fascinating one, but I agree with everyone else that you'd probably have to research the crap out of Hitler to even attempt this. Too many people know an awful lot about him, so unless your audience is fairly small and ignorant (or just interested in being entertained by a rabbit trail) you may need to become a leading expert on Hitler's personal life.
     
  21. General Daedalus
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    General Daedalus Active Member

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    He didn't have any mental illnesses, the most prominent condition I can think of off the top of my head is the fact that he had terrible insomnia, so he used the chemical they use to put rabbits down to help him get to sleep (true story). He also dabbled with amphetamines, which could be an interesting plot point.
     
  22. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I do know that he had some kind of digestive/stomach issues which meant he didn't eat much meat, even though he loved it. I know this because "ah but Hitler was a vegetarian so you are basically evil" is on my bingo card of "stupid things people say to vegetarians." :D
     
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