The Doctor and PTSD

The Doctor has PTSD? As if!!

Actually, there are many telltale signs that the Doctor could possibly have PTSD. He has gone through a major war. Anyone heard of the Time War? And all the time that he’s lived? He has sure gone through some sh- well let’s say things. Let’s not even begin to think about how many companions that he has lost and the damage and hurt that losing them has caused him.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is defined by anxiety and flash backs that are triggered by a traumatic event. The Time War could definitely be called a traumatic event. Losing all of one’s kind does not bode well for one’s mental state. The Doctor often avoids talking about the Time War, I mean honestly who could blame a guy. Avoiding talking about one’s traumatic events is often a common sign. Thinking or talking about the traumatic situation makes them anxious so they try to avoid it at all costs.

The Doctor also seems to have quite a few flashbacks about the Time War. Having the flashbacks probably gives him some pretty bad anxiety. More common signs that point towards the Doctor having PTSD. What also doesn’t help is that the Doctor himself killed his people giving him plenty of grief. Perhaps this is why he is always looking towards the times of distress. Maybe if he saves just one more person the guilt would get off his chest, this doesn’t seem to happen has the show has gone on for so long.

A Time War? His whole kind dying? Plus adding that the Doctor killed them all himself. The multiple companions that he has lost over the years? Seeing others die all the time? None of this could help the Doctor’s mental state.

Post-traumatic stress disorder could happen after any sort of traumatic event. Most times we think about it for soldiers coming back from a war, but there are many other ways. PTSD also doesn’t just affect a certain age group or sex. It could happen to anyone at any time. If you have been physically abused or assaulted you could get PTSD. Being sexually assaulted could give someone the symptoms of PTSD as well. But PTSD doesn’t always happen because a person got harmed. If someone close to them has gotten harmed they could have PTSD thinking about that event.

Many fans of Doctor Who have wondered about this phenomenon. Do we have everything to back it up?


The Ninth Doctor and PTSD



To begin with I’m not like any Dr. Who fan, it actually took me a while before I got into the whole concept of Doctor Who. Now that I have, I can gladly say, my lack of sleep and binge watching was totally worth it. In the early episodes of the new Dr. Who, I was actually enjoying the Doctor’s “adventures”, but then I started to observe him closer (not physical appearance, but the “vibe” his character was emitting). The Doctor was always trying to fix things, I thought sometimes his happy mood was forced, and that led me to thinking that he was actually sad (well, through how he talked about his race). That led me to the conclusion that the Doctor was going through POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.

Before I continue, I would like to point out, that all this is based on my opinion. So, I’m not implying things, but merely stating my observations.

To be clear, PTSD is a health condition that affects a person mentally, and this is caused by witnessing or experiencing a terrifying event- which they may end up having terrifying flashbacks. While observing the Doctor I noticed that whenever the topic of his race comes up or he gets reminded by it, it is very obvious that he gets really sad. It is until later episodes that I found out that he had something to do with the end of his race, and this was during the Time War between his race and that of the Daleks. Also, he seems really cautious about people dying, or Rose dying. Could this be, because he does not want to relive losing someone/people he cares about AGAIN? Maybe. Additionally, he is really insistent on the fact that things have to happen for a reason, I think that is why he really regrets the loss of his race. Oh! By the way, his race BURNT, but he made it clear that it had to happen because the fight with the Daleks was getting intense. Coming back to the Daleks, when the Doctor had a re-encounter with one of the Daleks, he was really mad and he blamed them for losing his race. Just to say, the Doctor is a little bit scary when he gets angry- Yikes! I think he when he saw the Dalek, he had a painful/sad flashback. All this while, his character felt stiff, and he seemed kind of lonely and lost. Trust me, no ordinary person would like to get into as much trouble as the Doctor, but I noticed it’s because he’s trying to fix things (maybe, because for once he wants things to work out).

But alas, the most obvious evidence of his PTSD was in The Empty Child, when he said “Just this once, everybody lives…” He was so happy that people did not end up dying, he looked relieved. I think that his way of addressing his PTSD is by travelling through time and fixing things.