David Haller is a young boy trapped in the body of a man and lost in a maelstrom of emotions he can’t understand. He’s been described as autistic and schizophrenic. However, based on the documented evidence, he suffers from a multiple personality disorder. What makes this case so unusual and interesting is that David is a mutant and can spontaneously generate and associate powers with these personalities.
Apparently, his mutant powers manifested themselves during a terrorist attack and, he not only killed the terrorist leader, but absorbed his psyche. This incident so deeply affected him that it fractured his mind as he was unable to deal with the situation.
For most of his childhood and teenage age years, the personalities within David, also referred to as psi-selves, have been fighting against each other. Based on New Mutants #26 (April 1985), three personas were in evidence and displaying unique mutant powers: his Jack Wayne persona (the telekinetic and the more dominant personality as he seems to be an embodiment of the ideal David), his Cyndi persona (a young girl and pyrokinetic) and his Jemail persona (the telepath and terrorist leader absorbed during David’s first mutant power manifestation).
While researching this assessment, I came across the following passage: “…especially the trauma that made him autistic.” p.19 New Mutants #26. And this Xavier has the gall to call himself a Professor. This kind of amateur, ignorant diagnosis makes my blood boil. You may have a trauma victim misdiagnosed with autism, but trauma certainly doesn’t make anyone autistic.
However, despite his short comings as an armchair psychiatrist, Xavier’s attempt to unify these psi-selves in New Mutants #28 (June 1985) worked. David Haller had become less withdrawn and asserted his own personality.
Getting to the root of Daniel’s problem, it’s not difficult to see that growing up without a father had a significant impact. He had shielded himself from a world that he perceived as too frightening to exist within. Growing up, he probably thought his father had abandoned him, and from all reports, his mother was too busy with her career to give him the attention he required.
More recent reports from New Mutants #2 (June 2009) indicate that Daniel had suffered a relapse. Daniel, much like his namesake Legion, can now host an army of psi-selves. During his encounter with the New Mutants, Magik plunged into his psyche and killed his Jack Wayne persona to temporarily take control of Daniel’s psyche.
In New Mutants #5 (September 2009), Dr. Nemesis and Madison Jeffries leveraged Rogue’s mutant power to absorb and isolate his psi-selves. Interestingly, Dr. Nemesis inferred that Daniel’s overwhelmed psyche created a doll object that symbolized the dominance and granted the holder of that doll control of Daniel. I’m looking forward to reading Dr. Nemesis’ paper on this procedure. At last contact, they had catalogued a 143 unique psi-selves, each with their own unique power and personality.
The bottom line is that unless David’s own personality can catch up with the development of all the others, he’s an uncontrollable danger to everyone around him. Therapy sessions with his father might prove fruitful. Daniel would certainly benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy and then I’d suggest inviting his father and mother, individually with Daniel at first, then once progress is made, we can move to having all three of them workout their deep-rooted issues.
Of course, more examination would be required for a more thorough diagnosis.