When we first meet Jack we learn that that he is a 30year old single white male complaining of insomnia for over 6 months. His job is a liability consultant for an automotive company that requires him to take frequent trips to different time zones which often leave him jet lagged. He goes to the doctor to get a prescription to help him sleep, but the doctor prescribes support groups for cancer patients, so that Jack could see what real suffering was. During one of his business trips he meets Tyler Durden, a nihilist soap salesman who is disgruntled with common culture. Eventually in the movie Tyler takes the fight club and turns it into Project Mayhem, which organizes ...view middle of the document...
The title Fight Club itself is their response to handling life’s demands. Jack/Tyler’s struggle is one to make his own decisions, but since the particular brand of Dissociative Identity Disorder from which I believe he is suffering from, explicitly contains an element of dominant/submissive character type to it; and it is very clear that Jack isn’t making his own decisions even when he is Jack. Tyler’s key characteristic is that he attempts not only to create his own environment but forces others to accept it.
My official diagnosis of Jack/Tyler is Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as DID. DID is formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder, where the patients have the presence of two or more distinct identities/personality states that recurrently take control of the person’s behavior. Jack had no idea he was Tyler, and there is very little evidence until the end that Tyler knows he is Jack. Usually it is said that personalities are vastly different, and after watching the movie it is clear that Tyler and Jack are completely opposite to one another.
Dissociative Identity Disorder patients can’t integrate these various aspects of their identity, memory, consciousness without professional help. Each personality, or alter ego, has its own history, name and image. According to research it is said that the primary identity, which in the case of this movie is Jack is passive, dependent, guilty and depressed. Jack discloses to the doctor that he sometimes would wake up and have no idea how he got there, which accounts for the DID symptom of experiencing gaps in memory that go beyond normal forgetfulness for the primary identity. In the case of Jack is the lost time.
Lastly, it is common for individuals suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder to self-mutilate, be aggressive or suicidal. Just by watching the movie, it is clear to see that Jack is all of these. He fights and beats himself. He pulls the trigger of the gun “Tyler” is holding in his mouth, knowing that he is really holding a gun in his own mouth. However, this proves to be something of a ritual for Jack, in that once he pulls the trigger, he shoots himself in the check, which doesn’t kill him, but we as the viewer sees Tyler fall down with an exit wound in the back of his head.
According to the DSM IV-TR the criteria for Dissociative Identity Disorder includes the following:
A. The presence of two or more distinct identities or personality states (each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self).
B. At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person's behavior.
C. Inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness.
D. The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., blackouts or chaotic behavior during Alcohol Intoxication) or a general...