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The Wall - A Borderline Peronality Disorder odyssey

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Marley's Ghost, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Fro those of you unfamiliar with BPD, a google search will reveal much info. Otherwise - Read on!

    Pink Floyd's "The Wall"

    The movie, starring Band Aid and Live Aid hero Sir Bob Geldof, fleshes out the Roger Waters autobiographical story. In the beginning, his dad is killed in WW2, clutching the phone in his hands that would be an ongoing metaphor for his inability to "communicate" functionally in the story. The plot follows his childhood,where he experiences devaluation in various situations. As an adult, he is unable to appreciate the riches of rock stardom due to his intense feelings of BPD worthlessness. The building of the wall is clearly a metaphor of his narcissistic coping mechanisms, which create perpetual unease.

    The devaluation culminates when he calls home, and his wife's lover answers the phone (probably trying to protect her from his raging, but we never get to see her side of the story). He invites a naive young groupie back to his luxurious hotel suite. He then projects his BPD rage towards her, trashing the room and driving her away. In typical BPD fashion, the last lyrics of the song are "Why are you running away?" as he is unable to accept the consequences of his actions. He falls into a psychotic state, where he cuts himself and starts to organize the rubble in his room in a bizarre fashion. The band is unable to reach him in the room, and hotel security has to knock down the barred door. When they see the trashed room and his psychotic state, he is injected with most likely an anti-psychotic drug so he can leave to play the concert. In his BPD fantasy, he is now a Nazi, projecting his inadequacies on the unsuspecting audience. In the end, his overwhelming feelings of defectiveness lead to his fantasy of being tried and convicted off all the evil things he has done to others. The wall tumbling down is a metaphor for his desire to then lead a "normal" life, where the clock is reset to zero and all is forgiven.

    After he rejects the groupie in a BPD rage (projecting his self loathing onto her), the next scene includes the track "Don't leave me now". This is the core of his BPD and all BPD imo. The "man answering" at his home has triggered a severe fear of abandonment reaction, pushing him over the borderline into a psychotic dissociative state.

    The Nazi concert

    Now that he has been abandoned by his wife, an overwhelming need for control takes over his consciousness to mitigate the feelings of helplessness. The Nazi metaphor is the perfect tool to communicate his control fantasies and project his overwhelming rage. In attacking the minorities and disaffected, he is able to diffuse his own feeling of weakness. The ultimate irony is that he becomes what killed his father and started the whole BPD chain reaction.
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    that's REALLY deep..

    i'm going to read it a few more times..

  3. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    I love seeing other people's view of an art piece.

  4. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    For those of you unfamiliar with Pink Floyd's "The Wall", you're missing out. It may possibly be the greatest rock album ever! That is all...
  5. arbitrary


    Oct 24, 2005
    Boston, MA
    I'll grab a DSM-IV from work and see if it checks out, but I'm skeptical. I dunno; there's probably not enough info. I always simply saw it as trauma and a lack of healthy coping mechanisms. Interesting interpretation though.
  6. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I am not a psychologist, I just got stoned at a Holiday In Express last night. ;)

    Actually, I think this goes a long way in explaining the feud between Roger and the rest of the band. His narcissism led him to believe that only he could decide the future (or lack therof) of Pink Floyd. When the others invalidated him by disagreeing with his vision and wanting to carry on with the band, he focused his rage at this slight by carrying on a frivolous lawsuit (PD's love to sue), which he eventually lost. At the Live 8 reunion, David Gilmour's loathing of Roger was plainly obvious (and well deserved I am fairly certain)

  7. Interesting, and it certainly fits.
  8. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    I'm a Pink Floyd fan going way back and I've seen the movie dozens of times.

    And having been married for ten years to a woman with BPD, I will express my opinion that "The Wall" is not about a character with BPD since I don't think the symptoms are that good a match.

    I would say it is a closer match to a character with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), whether consciously or not. Since "The Wall" is generally agreed to be somewhat autobiographical in nature (obviously written by Roger Waters) I think that this also is a more accurate match for NPD.
  9. I think there's a lot more similarities between the personality disorders than there are differences. Lots of blurred lines in differentiating them.
  10. That movie is sooooo intense/deep - I've watched it more times than any other movie, and it helps if you're really bummed.

    I think it holds special meanings to die-hard fans they can relate with.
  11. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    As others have said, there are similarities between NPD and BPD, and both can coexist. And I am theorizing that Pink's BPD evolves into NPD, and the Wall is actually a metaphor for the protective NPD defense mechanism he must use as a shield to proect his battered ego.
  12. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    There's a very in-depth analysis up on the web.


    I've spent a lot of time researching, studying, drawing my own conclusions, reading about other people's, etc. about the album. It's a great musical piece, and quite an underrated piece of psychological commentary. There's a lot more to it than most people realize, stoned or not.
  13. superfunk47


    Sep 9, 2007
    It's not even necessarily to protect his ego - it's implied that it goes even deeper than that, to a state of even greater innocence. It simultaneously protects his ego, but his bricks started building up before there was an ego to protect (father dying in the war, his initiation into the world, the original brick, etc.), so it serves more to protect his fragile psyche, made fragile by the same things that contributed the brick to build the wall.
  14. Wow! I've never seen this before. Thanks for posting. It will be interesting to read.
  15. TallLankyBastyd


    Jan 31, 2007
    thewallanalysis link looks like a fun read and this is a very interesting thread.

    But... IMHO... Pink Floyd's GREAT accomplishments were the creations of Roger Waters... yes, he was a pain in the ass but most geniuses tend to be such.

    Even though the rest of the band were/are awesome musicians they were simply contributors to Roger's visions/masterpieces. When they sent him packing they cut their own proverbial throats and "Pink Floyd" died.

    David Gilmour is/was but a pimple on Roger's ass in the real Pink Floyd realm of things musically superior.
  16. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL

    Very cool stuff. They missed the boat entirely on the psychological aspects, though. Not surprising, since very few people outside the world of clinical psychology and certain internet forums have a good working knowledge of PD's.
  17. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    The Wall = WIN. That is all :cool:
  18. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    Don't get me wrong. I love it even more now that I truly understand it. I saw the show live at Nassau Coliseum in 1980. The greatest rock concert ever, imo. I saw the premiere of the movie at the Zigfeld, where the band had installed the surround sound system specifically for the movie. I have watched it recorded dozens of times. But after I became aware through research that someone close to me suffers from BPD, the puzzle pieces of the Wall fell into place. BPD is complex confusing illness. It is usually associated with several other disorders (anorexia, depression, NPD, HPD, Bipolar, etc) It is like a Jekyll Hyde situation, where someone can me likeable and normal in certian situations and times, and violent, angry and/ordepressed the next. :help:
  19. hbarcat

    hbarcat Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2006
    Rochelle, Illinois
    The latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) defines Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) as: "a pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, as well as marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts." The criteria are:

    1. Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. [Not including suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5]
    2. A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.
    3. Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.
    4. Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., promiscuous sex, eating disorders, binge eating, substance abuse, reckless driving). [Again, not including suicidal or self-injuring behavior covered in Criterion 5]
    5. Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars (excoriation) or picking at oneself.
    6. Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days).
    7. Chronic feelings of emptiness, worthlessness.
    8. Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).
    9. Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms

    The ICD-10 (International Classification of Mental and Behavioral Disorders regards Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) as "a personality disorder that fits none of the specific rubrics". It relegates it to the category known as "Other specific personality disorders", which also includes the eccentric, "haltlose", immature, passive-aggressive, and psychoneurotic personality disorders.
    DSM IV-TR criteria

    A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

    1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance
    2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    3. believes that he or she is "special".
    4. requires excessive admiration
    5. has a sense of entitlement
    6. is interpersonally exploitative
    7. lacks empathy
    8. is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him or her
    9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

    According to W.
  20. Nyarlathotep

    Nyarlathotep Banned

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Coast of Canada
    I don't trust people with single letter 1st names :ninja:

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