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Did I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? Insanity is doing the exact… same f**king thing… over and over again, expecting… sh*t to change. That… is crazy; but the first time somebody told me that… I dunno, I thought they were bullsh*tting me, so boom – I shot him. The thing is, okay… He was right. And then I started seeing: everywhere I looked, everywhere I looked, all these f**king pricks, everywhere I looked, doing the exact same f**king thing… over and over and over and over again thinking: “This time, it's gonna be different; no, no, no, no, no, please… This time it's gonna be different.” …I am sorry, I don't like the way you are looking at me… Okay, do you have a f**king problem in your head? Do you think I am bullsh*tting you? Do you think I am lying? F**k you! Okay? F**K. YOU! It's okay, man. I'm gonna chill, hermano. I'm gonna chill… The thing is… alright, the thing is: I killed you once already… and it's not like I am f**king crazy. It's okay… It's like water under the bridge. Did I ever tell you the definition… of insanity?
~ Vaas Montenegro giving his famous "definition of insanity" in his monologue to Jason.

This category is for villains who have any type of psychological disorder and can be deemed as mentally unstable or villains suffering from mental disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociative identity disorder (DID or in this case dissociative villains), schizophrenia and psychosis.

In addition, a villain who is perfectly meaningful, coherent and stable can still be qualified as mentally ill if the evil deeds they perform go beyond the usual psychopathy by being extremely fiendish and malevolent, the reason being that no sane individual would think it's acceptable to take villainy to the degree that they do.

These characters can be tragic, since the trait of being mentally unstable is not being fully aware of their actions, and not being in full control of themselves. Examples of which include many Yanderes, the Nina EinsteinBae Su-mi and Anniyan. In addition, many people (both in fiction and real-life) suffer heavily from mental illness and can struggle on a daily basis, so villains who have difficulties with their mental health can often be seen as sympathetic.

Nevertheless, Mentally Ill villains can qualify as Pure Evil if they have no redeeming factors and if their mental illness doesn't interfere with their moral agency and knowledge of right and wrong.

Notes

  • To qualify as Mentally Ill, a character must have horrible behavior, beliefs and commit actions which do not stem from their cultural beliefs unless it severely hinders the character's activities.
  • A character who has simple phobia (e.g. Hopper) do not count, as nearly everyone have at least one phobia.
  • Not all villains are mentally unstable when they first appear. While some are, others who were sane to begin with suffer experiences that causes their sanity to snap, like Andrew Detmer and Lucy. The primary causes for this are prolonged abuse and humiliation. A severe-enough degree of fear can do it too, but less commonly.
  • Psychopaths/sociopaths will never fall under this category as they are fully aware of reality and are not crazy, where as mentally ill villains are not aware of reality and have limited views on it.
  • Non-humanoid entities and demons almost never count (e.g. Valak), regardless of how evil they can be. To them, such acts are normal or a simple spiritual/cultural function.

See Also

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