Does Bruce Banner have BPD? (+5 Signs of issues)

This detailed article will be answering if Bruce Banner has BPD. We will also be checking out the different signs of mental health issues that Bruce Banner depicts in the Marvel comics and movies.

Does Bruce Banner have BPD?

No, Bruce Banner does not have BPD. In the Marvel comics and movies where Bruce Banner is portrayed, it has not been confirmed that he suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. Bruce Banner actually has Dissociative Identity Disorder.

It is this Dissociative Identity Disorder that leads Bruce Banner to turn into the Hulk whenever he is angry or stressed. Even before the gamma-ray radiation accident, Bruce Banner already suffered from this Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Before he was exposed to the gamma-rays, Bruce Banner already formed the idea of the Hulk in his subconscious. As a result, when the gamma-rays led to his transformation, he transformed into the Hulk.

While Bruce Banner having Dissociative Identity Disorder is pretty much a commonly accepted notion among Marvel fans, this has not stopped people from continuing to diagnose him. Some alternate theories as to what mental health disorder Bruce Banner suffers from are listed below.

  • Bipolar Disorder: Some fans assume that Bruce Banner actually suffers from Bipolar Disorder due to the typical highs and lows. The highs turn him into the Hulk, while the lows turn him to Bruce Banner.

At the same time, this is not a well-accepted theory nor does it hold much water. While Bruce Banner does show a lot of emotional instability, it is quite different from what is felt when someone has Bipolar Disorder.

  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder: Another theory regarding Bruce Banner’s mental health status is Intermittent Explosive Disorder. This is mainly due to the high levels of difficulty that the character shows in controlling his anger.

When Bruce Banner turns into the Hulk, he can neither control the actions of the Other Guy nor can he control the words. While Intermittent Explosive Disorder can explain why Bruce would fly into a rage, it does not explain the development of a completely different personality.

  • Borderline Personality Disorder: Still, many fans who have studied the personality of Bruce Banner have felt that he actually suffers from Borderline Personality Disorder. This is mainly due to his emotional instability.

But, Bruce Banner still does not fit all the main diagnostic criteria of Borderline Personality Disorder. For example, he does not have a fear of abandonment, and he does not portray all the signs of a BPD relationship cycle with anyone in the comics and the movies.

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder: Looking at his destructive qualities and behaviors, a lot of people believe that Bruce Banner might have Antisocial Personality Disorder. This is more specifically for the Hulk.

Contrastingly, Bruce Banner is all for helping people and avoids aggression as much as possible. Only when he turns into the Hulk can he be seen flying into a rage and hurting others and destroying public property.

  • Somatoform Disorder: The metamorphosis of Bruce Banner into the Hulk during times of duress can also be explained by the theory of an undiagnosed somatoform disorder. Whenever Bruce is stressed, his body immediately responds by physical changes.

These physical changes help him stay safe and get him out of trouble, whether Bruce wants to admit it or not. Scientifically speaking, this is pretty hard to explain and therefore this theory is also not widely accepted.

Signs of Bruce Banner’s mental health issues

In the Marvel comics and movies, Bruce Banner and his alter-personality the Hulk form for very interesting characters. More interesting than their physical abilities and smart brain is the psychological issues at play in the minds of Bruce Banner and the Hulk.

Most people believe that Bruce Banner actually has Dissociative Identity Disorder, which would explain a lot of his actions. Some of the signs of mental health issues and emotional struggles that Bruce Banner shows in the Marvel comics and movies are discussed as follows.

He cannot control his anger

The most obvious sign that Bruce Banner is suffering from some deep mental health issues is that he certainly cannot control his anger. Despite years of living as Bruce Banner and the Hulk, he is still unable to predict the Other Guy’s behavior and control his temper.

In a funny twist, Bruce Banner also cannot voluntarily bring up the Hulk when he needs to. This can be seen in the ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ movie. This signifies that Bruce Banner’s control (which creates the Hulk) is a completely autonomous anomaly.

He has multiple alter-egos

The Hulk is certainly not the only alter-ego of Bruce Banner. Even before the gamma-ray accident which created physical changes in Bruce’s body, turning him to the Hulk, Banner was already suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder.

The other alter-egos include Doc Green who is a brilliant scientist and even Joe Fixit, who is an actual gangster. In looking closer at the back story of Bruce Banner, it can be understood that these alter-egos were created after his own father abused him as a child.

In many times, the multiple identities in Dissociative Identity Disorder are created subconsciously as a way of coping with some traumatic experience, such as child abuse or even the loss of a loved one.

He is afraid of the Hulk

The Marvel comics and movies where Bruce Banner appears actually paint a painful picture of a volatile relationship between him and his alter-egos, particularly the Hulk. Bruce Banner is actually afraid of the Hulk which says a lot about their relationship.

More specifically, Bruce Banner is terrified of what the Hulk is capable of doing, especially to others. The Hulk is very child-like, but his temper tantrums are not that cute and have actually cost millions in damages to public property.

The only person who can control the Hulk is Bruce, and even he is terrified of his own alter-ego. This actually, only makes the problem worse, since the Hulk feels that Bruce hates him and uses him, while Bruce thinks that the Hulk only causes trouble and is no good for anyone.

He has poor self-esteem

Bruce Banner, despite his many strengths and talents, also struggles from very poor self-esteem. He constantly doubts himself, especially when he is among other superheroes in the field, like Iron Man and Captain America.

This not due to his lack of self-awareness, but because of the lack of control that he has over the Hulk. After the ‘Avengers’ movie, Bruce Banner seems even more depleted in his self-esteem as he feels responsible for the havoc that he created for New York City during the alien attack.

He runs away from his problems

Another sign that Bruce Banner is definitely struggling with a number of mental health issues is that he chooses to run away from his problems rather than facing them. He makes mention of running away and escaping all the chaos to make peace with Hulk.

At the same time, he is quite confused about his relationship with Hulk and simply wants to escape the judgment and fear that the Hulk brings to the public around him. At the end of the ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, Hulk takes off in a plane to nowhere and ends up in Sakaar.


This detailed article has answered if Bruce Banner has BPD. We have also checked out the different signs of mental health issues that Bruce Banner depicts in the Marvel comics and movies.

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