Does the Joker have anxiety? (+7 Mental Health Problems)

The following info-rich article will answer if the Joker has anxiety. We will also be taking a look at the different mental health conditions or mental problems that the Joker might be suffering from. Furthermore, we will also closely explore the factors that may have led to his issues.

Does the Joker have anxiety?

No, the Joker does not have anxiety. The Joker seems to have some type of psychotic illness as a result of which he needs therapy and psychotropic drugs. At the same time, the Joker may also have pseudobulbar affect which causes him to laugh uncontrollably.

Mental health problems of the Joker

The Joker, as a personality in comics, cartoons and movies, has been studied deeply. Many mental health professionals have given their opinions as to what the Joker’s diagnosis might actually be. Some of the mental health conditions and issues that the Joker might have are:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

While Narcissistic Personality Disorder may not be classified as a diagnosable mental health condition, it still can bring a lot of emotional stress for the person and disrupt their quality of life and their social relationships.

In looking at the Joker’s actions and external behaviors, we can see that the person often demonstrates a high level of self-obsessiveness. He can also be seen inflating his qualities and capacities and taking active steps to achieve goals higher than what he is capable of.

The Joker is definitely narcissistic in nature, and can be seen the course of his life to accommodate his stand-up comedy career so that everyone’s attention is on him. He also wants to get on a TV show so that he is at the center of public attention.

He also demonstrates narcissism in his delusions that his neighbor, Sophie, is attracted to him and likes him in a romantic manner. In the TV show that the Joker appears in, he gets angry that no one laughs at the joke that he makes which leads him to his shooting rampage.


Depression is often the most common mental health condition that is associated with the Joker. While this is not entirely true, it is also true that the Joker indeed demonstrates many signs and symptoms of this mental health condition.

The Joker’s mood seems to be alright on the outside but the character can be seen to be living without many friends and no healthy hobbies. He also shows an unhealthy weight, which can lead viewers to understand that he does not take care of his health.

Pseudobulbar affect

One strange characteristic of the Joker that is shown in the 2019 film, ‘Joker’, is his inability to control his laughter. Therefore, the character can be seen to be laughing and grinning in the presence of danger and even when he is supposed to be sad or disappointed.

This nature of the Joker is explained by a medical condition called pseudobulbar affect. This often comes across as a result of head injuries or even strokes. Some neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis can also lead to pseudobulbar affect in a person.

In this condition, there is a disconnect between the brainstem and the frontal lobe due to which the person may not be able to regulate their emotions based on the context that they are in. This condition may also make it difficult for the person to understand emotions from others.

A lot of people are not aware that the pseudobulbar affect is actually treatable, mainly through antidepressants. However, the person can use a variety of coping strategies and techniques like deep breathing to cope with the situation.

Psychotic illness

Mostly, the Joker can be seen to be suffering from some psychotic illness or the other. As a result of this psychotic illness, the Joker seems to be struggling to grasp a good sense of reality and the current environment.

However, the psychotic illness is not specified. Due to this, the Joker can be seen to be going in and out of reality and self-awareness. For his psychotic symptoms, the Joker requires medication and when this is absent his symptoms only increase in frequency and intensity.

Psychopathic personality

The Joker’s behaviors and actions can also be explained due to the presence of a psychopathic personality, or antisocial personality disorder. As a result of the presence of this personality disorder, the Joker often flouts social norms and rules.

He also shows impulsiveness and a lot of recklessness, putting his own life and the lives of others in danger. Furthermore, he also lacks remorse or guilt at his behavior, even if he has taken lives directly.


In the movies, Joker, the character is seen to be romantically interested in his neighbor, Sophie, who is a single mother. However, later it is understood that the exchanges and communications that he has with Sophie are all hallucinatory in nature.

Strong delusions and paranoia

The Joker also seems to be clouded in delusions, especially delusions of grandeur. He seeks attention from others since he feels that he is far superior to others and therefore deserves to be applauded by everyone else.

The Joker furthermore, shows a lot of paranoia as a result of which he directly attacks and harms others. However, these feelings are shown to be at their peak after his medications have been cut off as a result of funding issues.

Causal factors of the Joker’s mental health issues

The Joker’s mental health conditions and issues can be blamed on a number of reasons. The possible causal factors of the Joker’s mental health issues have been explained in this section of the post.

  • Due to a head injury: Pseudobulbar affect is often caused by direct traumas to the brain like a head injury or a stroke or even a neurological condition. While a head injury is not depicted directly in the movie, a likely injury could have triggered such a condition.

Also, as a child, the Joker experienced childhood abuse at the hands of his mother’s partner, including an injury to his head. This could have led to blunt force trauma for the Joker leading to pseudobulbar affect.

Head injury can also lead to psychotic symptoms such as dissociation from reality. In addition to this dissociation, the Joker experiences hallucinations and constant paranoia which can be blamed on a head injury.

  • Due to childhood abuse: The Joker has also experienced major childhood abuse at the hands of his biological mother and his mother’s partner. Childhood abuse can definitely lead to mental health issues much later in adulthood.
  • Familial history of mental illness: One strong causal factor of the Joker’s mental health issues and conditions is his familiar history. His biological mother is known to be struggling with personality disorders and delusions throughout her life.
  • Lack of access to medications: In the early points of the movie, Joker, the character is seen to be consulting a mental health professional and also taking medication. However, later on, the medications are cut off as a result of funding issues.

The lack of the right care for the Joker can be clearly seen to increase the intensity and frequency of his symptoms. In fact, the Joker takes out his anger and frustration on a public level only after his access to his medications was cut off.


The following info-rich article has answered if the Joker has anxiety. We have also taken a look at the different mental health conditions or mental problems that the Joker might be suffering from. Furthermore, we have closely explored the factors that may have led to his issues.

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