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Marvel’s Moon Knight Recognizes and Lives the Reality of Schizophrenia?

Moon Knight from Marvel Comics reflects the lifestyle of how some living under the banner of schizoaffective disorder may feel. The question that ultimately remains, inquires of exactly what diagnosis he suffers from. Although according to the comics early on his diagnosis flagged as schizophrenia. This resulted wholly from the lack of consensus in the psychological community and development of treatment. As is often with psychology, the major study of such disorders came later than when they initially surfaced. However, today one can without a doubt place the prognosis as Dissociative Identity Disorder.

In this article one intends to grapple with the realities of Dissociative Identity Disorder and Moon Knight. Also evocation of the similarities between the Moon Knight and The Schizoid’s(Maf – Author of this post) effect will reign apparent. In hopes of resolving the similarities and differences between both Schizoaffective Disorder and Dissociative Identity Disorder, this article intends in finding a middle ground. However, the main intention persists in arriving at these conclusions based wholly in part to Moon Knight.


Photo by Emre Turkan on Unsplash

What is Dissociative Identity Disorder and Why, in Moon Knight, Was it Confused with Schizophrenia?

Dissociative Identity Disorder affects 1.5% of the global population and remains extremely rare according to the National Institute of Health. On the other hand schizophrenia reigns even more rare as it affects only 0.32% of the global population. Regardless, according to Marvel Moon Knight’s inhabitant suffers from at least one of these ailments. In the past this disorder received comparisons and even former references as Multiple Personalities Disorder. Altogether these maladies constrained some major similarities. 

First comes, the most common and prevalent relation as hearing voices. Next comes memory loss and then the feelings of disconnection from self and others. One finds here the symptoms already listed on 21SCHIZM for Schizophrenia. Of these, the emerging differences show through as disorganized behavior. Dissociative Identity Disorder victims may present no signs of disorganized behavior. In Dissociative Identity Disorder the victim suffers from alternate personalities that emerge with or without the awareness of the sufferer. DSM or Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition identifies it as identity disruption indicated by the presence of two or more distinct personality states.

Marvel and Moon Knight’s Symptom Presentation

Initially, found in the first episode one witnesses a deviation from normal accounts of Dissociative Identity Disorder. The implications of retaining the identity as an avatar of the Egyptian Deity, Khonshu, requires more mental instability than the average being. Couple that with the identity that accompanies the anti-hero protagonist Moon Knight. Also with the other two inhabitants, Marc Spector and Steven Grant. To the untrained mind this whole charade squares off as quite the undertaking. However, to a seasoned veteran this makes a cake walk. Although both assumptions evoke errant suppositions under closer considerations.

For one thing Marc Spector is a trained and capable military mercenary. Steven Grant is, well, he is Steven Grant, a loose identity with roots in London and a feigned British accent. And Moon Knight, now that conundrum bears the crux from which this narrative spawns. While Marc Spector possesses the original identity. Steven Grant presented himself when Spector was young as a response to abusive trauma inflicted to Spector by his mother. Trauma resonates as considerably common amongst cases of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Moon Knight however, emerged after Khonshu, Egyptian God of the Moon and Night Sky saved Spector from a lethal mercenary mission. What happened thereafter, for all intents and purposes was kismet.

False and Sensationalized Demonstrations

In the first episode, the reasoning behind misconceptions between Dissociative Identity Disorder and Schizophrenia show through. As Steven Grant loses control of his body while trying to protect a magic scarab from Arthur Harrow, the main antagonist. Now lack of motor control of this level often reflects symptoms of schizophrenia. Most schizophrenics identify with this as Steven Grant honestly meant no harm. One even witnesses the internal workings as he protests against violence mentally yet his actions impart no mercy on Grant’s intentions. One also witnesses the uncoordinated meshing between Grant and Spector as they argue over control of the body. One may find solace with Spector, Grant or what have you. As those with schizophrenia know for outsiders and naysayers siding with the mentally sound the illness presents as more difficult than just willing control back to the victim.

Furthermore, in the second episode, The Schizoid finds a more lighthearted connection with his illness. While for those without the wherewithal to envision humor in the mundane and somewhat malicious. The Schizoid recants the rumored origins of entities like The Schizoid’s very own Dark Passenger. If perchance one would allow The Schizoid to indulge in attempts to draw relatedness with Khonshu. The rumored origin of the Dark Passenger or the conceptualization of The Schizoid’s illness summons from the use of the dark web to find a body to inhabit. Although this resonates as tongue-in-cheek and somewhat humorous, Spector’s own ensnarement with Khonshu bears no similarity. The only similarity belies in the overbearing necessity to do what the invasive entity perceives as morally correct and just no matter the cost or actual perception of the actions.

More Similarities Between the Schizoid and Spector

In case this Schizoid/Passenger jargon befuddles the reader refer to the 21SCHIZM Therapy Corner on YouTube. Besides the fact that in the case of Spector, homicidal activity appears just which also meshes with the Dark Passenger’s transgressions. In the case of Spector, Khonshu continues to muddy the lines of what means retain necessity for the ends.

Moreover, though Grant witnesses the actions of Spector and their alter-ego he continues to deny that they occur in reality as a consequence of his body’s actions. The Schizoid and Passenger relate to this all too well. The Passenger also manifests as multiple voices and Spector experiences both Khonshu and Grant. One tidbit as meager as the word of these possessing entities remains the promises of the ideal lifestyle after they release the victim. The first mistruth allays in the promise of vacating the body and the second in the guarantee of a better lifestyle.

Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

Unusual Circumstances Treading the Lines of Delusion and an Account of a Fictional Reality

In the fifth episode, one witnesses the juxtaposition of Spector and Grant in an insane asylum. The subtle similarity between reality and delusion emerges from the perspective of Marc. In brief, he undergoes a phasing in and out of consciousness as he attempts to grasp hold of some semblance of control. At first, the narrative explains the phasing to occur only due in part to sedatives prescribed by his psychiatrist. The psychiatrist introduced however, retains the identity of the main antagonist of the series, Arthur Harrow. This phasing in and out of consciousness mirrors the symptom of gaps in memory experienced by Dissociative Identity Disorder victims. The Schizoid also can testify to gaps in memory during his catatonic phase.

Additionally, the occurrence invokes a curious nature. For the first time, throughout the whole narrative Marc and Steven exist as separate physical entities. The explanation for this whole incident evinced from the Egyptian Goddess of women and children, Taweret, resounds that they are in an almost purgatory-like state being judged for the afterlife. After Harrow mercilessly shoots Spector, presumably to death, the show proceeds with this narrative. Another strange detail which attaches more suspicion to the whole instance is the mention of Grant’s referral to the asylum prior to all these events.

By the end of episode six, the narrative reveals that Marc in fact did suffer from a cruel death. However, as fate would have it, he endures thanks to a herculean effort by his love interest Layla El-Faouly, as she resurrects him.

Moon Knight Returns, Hurrah! Maybe Not?

In the sixth episode, it appears that Moon Knight has returned with Khonshu as per Layla’s actions. Thus unfolds more action and fighting before a strange lapse in memory recurs. Neither Marc nor Steven identify themselves as the cause. Consequently, after the action ensues a fitting conclusion. Marc awakes from an imagined dreamlike sequence where Harrow as the psychiatrist finds himself bleeding and Marc seemingly declares victory. Afterwards Harrow is murdered at the hands of another Spector personality, Jake Lockley. This personality seems to explain the lapse in memory experienced by Spector and Grant earlier. The apparent comeuppance of Spector as he arrives in a limousine accompanies the reemergence of Khonshu, after he supposedly rid himself of the Egyptian God prior to the dreamlike sequence.

In all seriousness, perhaps from a mental health standpoint, the return of Khonshu and Moon Knight may not represent the best of circumstances for Marc Spector. Although he recognizes this, as is apparent from his rejection of the God, Khonshu, after the sealing of Harrow’s inhabitant Goddess Ammit. That phenomenon escapes the confines of this fine establishment of a website. Now the inhabitants or haunts of Spector include Spector himself, Grant, Lockley, Moon Knight and Khonshu. Of all of these personalities, as is the case with a multitude of the mentally bound, none of them have been able to abide by their moral ground. All of them attest in committing unjust murder in Khonshu’s name.

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Broken Resolutions and Resolving Self-Image With Dissociative

The promise Khonshu made to Grant and Spector, eventually fails as he somehow re-inhabits the mind and body of Spector. Spector intended on abandoning his life of sin and resurfacing as a somewhat normal or civil member of society. Khonshu of course possessed other plans as he knew the whole time that there was more to Spector than met Spector’s eye.

The first hint of this third identity, surfaces during episode three when he gets into a fight with three surly types and an apparent third party with Marc’s body appears to have murdered two of them. The third enemy either got away or murdered by Marc’s third identity. Although, the episode remains titled the friendly type, Marc nor his surly enemies bare any friendliness toward one another. Also the show never clarifies whether or not the third identity witnessed here manifests as Lockley. However, considering the murderous nature shown in the third and sixth episode, it seems safe in assuming that Lockley’s hand in both of these episodes is not exactly clean of habit.

Now how exactly Spector handles this emergence remains up to the future. Yet one thing certainly appears true. Khonshu will not release the relenting Spector until he dies or proves unfit to serve. Unfortunately for Spector, as is proven earlier even death cannot keep him from Khonshu.

Photo by Isi Parente on Unsplash

Summation and the Future for Our Dissociative Moon Knight

A diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder jars even the most steady of minds. Whether one allows that jarring entrapment to unsettle them or worse, mince their wherewithal remains up to the hands of the victim themselves. A heavy uphill battle appears even more apparent as the victim like Spector must find a way to navigate through the mind. As stated before one may not simply will their way from the illness. Instead persistence and regimented treatment pave the way for a brazen recovery.

Although, it appears Moon Knight may only endure for one season on television. Marvel promises more of his menace in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The creators of the show listed the series as limited on the Emmy Award panel. Regardless, seeing Spector on the silver screen may be imminent as this show’s success certainly exceeds a meager one season TV run.

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