Into The Wild: Youthful Ignorance Or Mental Illness?

Hello lovelies! We hope you are having a lovely mid week. Thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello when you could be elsewhere.

Almost the weekend, hang in there. 😀 As a survivalist, you are either trained or self taught that needless risk is counter productive – Avoid it at all costs. Christopher McCandless, in our estimation, perhaps was suffering from a dissociative disorder – The needless risk, without the understanding of wider consequence (s), he placed himself into is evidence of that.

Alters can take many forms. Computers, animals, fictional characters, cartoons, family members, friends, ect. Hang with us on this: You will see where we are going.

Bear in mind we aren’t doctors (nor would we want to be one) so take this post with a huge amount of sea salt. Here are some tunes, while you read! 😀

Christopher McCandless was in love with the woods, or so he thought. To us, his grandiose sense of what the woods can potentially “Offer” someone in terms of romanticized, high philosophical truths is a misnomer.

Christopher idolized woodland authors that weren’t exactly of high moral standing, while Christopher himself, was told to be a person of high moral character. Some of the woodland authors he quoted hadn’t spent more than a day or two in the woods (Really, it’s true!). Some of them he quoted were drunks and womanizers. There are too many glaring contradictions of moral conflict to be overlooked.

Was Chris, in his own mind, becoming the woodland characters that he, to us, ECHOED. There is a big difference in echoing someone and quoting someone. We believe Christopher was becoming the authors and travelers that he/they read, over and over again, quoted to anyone he know. Echoing, not quoting.

The book talked about how Christopher witnessed violence and turmoil in his own home, which in itself, doesn’t by default mean Christopher suffered from DiD but it raises red flags. Many families hide the severity of severe abuse with lesser forms of abuse – Not to suggest this is the case, nor would we, but it happens more than one might think.

What makes things interesting is when Christopher decided to, in effect change his name from his given name, Christopher McCandless, to “Alexander Supertramp”. This to us, is the giveaway that he was suffering from a Dissociative Disorder. Interestingly, he’s not the first noteable traveler that has changed his or her name, out on the road or in the wilds.

Perhaps “Alexander Supertramp” had executive control over Chris, or perhaps, Thorough became one of his alters. Alters need to exist in both mind and body to express themselves and their existence to others.

This too, could, we think explain Chris’s unexplainable need to escape, not into the woods so much as, play out the fantasies in his mind – Implanted by the alter’s need to find romantic, but misplaced philosophical truths in solitude that can be had at Starbucks on a Saturday morning.

It was Chris’s woeful, almost complete sense of what we call “Sense of Consequence”, (SOC) that to us, is another dead giveaway. Chris never planned anything. He went to Alaska underfunded and lacked any kind of survival training whatsoever. He lacked even a basic map, that, would have saved his life. He went into the field with no hunting experience making mistake after mistake.

It’s almost as Chris, at the time didn’t understand the consequences of his actions. His need to “escape” and become “Lost in woods” to us sounds more like an alter playing out a fantasy without a real sense of the consequences – The reality is, he wasn’t far from a major highway and no part of our country is unexplored.

More glaring contradictions from a person who’s smart enough to know better. Another giveaway that it might not have been Chris at the wheel anymore. There are more though.

Christopher spoke to his friends of running from invisible enemies and other such things that to much sound, unsettling at best – The ramblings, perhaps of someone else other than Chris but onlookers see someone that they simply don’t know how to respond to. This happens a lot to us too, when Mark or Katy perhaps has taken control of Michael and they start rambling. This, can, become uncomfortable for all involved.

This is how Chris’s friends described him and it seemed to others, that Chris was becoming more and more distant from the world around him. We understand how that works as well.

Christopher railed and railed against the very system of privilege that he himself was a beneficiary of.  He attended a very prestigious school and was a natural businessman. He gave away a small fortune to charity and gave his life up – Just like that.

Again, a sense of almost no consequence(s). Perhaps Thorough, or an alter, hiding, named “Alexander Supertramp”, was disgusted by Chris’s privilege and decided, “Enough was enough, into the woods we go”.

We believe that alters were fighting with Chris. We understand the natural shaming that comes with DiD. Alters can hate you, other alters and they can do horrible things to destroy your and their, lives – Without the sufferer even understanding what’s happening.

In the end, perhaps, Christopher was disgusted with himself, running from invisible enemies he spoke of, while running track with friends.

Christopher, was at best “fashionably” distant from mechanized society and died from the lack of a sense of consequence. He simply shot a large animal and tried to smoke it, with no experience hunting that animal or smoking meat of that type. His mistakes were mistakes of ignorance, not mistakes of intelligence. Yet another glaring contradiction, given his intelligence and education.

Christopher had never spent time in the Alaskan outback and this “Great Alaskan Adventure” was plagued with the mistakes of someone who didn’t understand the line they were crossing. Even a man that drove Chris to the trailhead was worried that he wasn’t going to make it out alive.

This is an important point: In our lives, when an alter has taken over and is extremely upset, they don’t listen to reason. If Elizabeth is say, angry and she is dominant, she sometimes, cannot be talked down. Christopher, couldn’t be talked out of pulling this stunt and the person that drove him did everything in his power, including scary bear stories (Which might have stopped even us) that did’t phase Chris.

He couldn’t be talked down, no matter who or what got in his/their way. Another dead giveaway it wasn’t Chris listening to reason, had no sense of consequence and too high of a sense of grandiosity.

Christopher didn’t understand how his body was going to react with no food, nor was he prepared for a possible emergency, had he become incapacitated. Again, no sense of impending or long lasting consequence. He was simply living as an alter or alters, traipsing around Alaska unaware of that fact – Yet convinced he knew exactly what he was doing living, literally, second by second.

It is suggested both in the book and the movie that Christopher, at some point, came to a higher philosophical understanding of himself and decided, it was time to go home. Really.  We aren’t so sure. If Christopher was suffering a from a “Fugue”, there could be an another explanation, of which we have real world experience.

Perhaps, at some point, Chris split back into Chris. Perhaps, all of the sudden Christopher woke up and realized that he was in the middle of nowhere, starving to death in a bus – Having no idea how he ended up there, in the first place.

All of the sudden, perhaps, the consequences became very real and “Alexander Supertramp” was long gone, with nothing to say of the mess he got them into. It’s very plausible, in our minds. Lonely, tired and afraid. We know that all too well.

Unfortunately, he became trapped and incapacitated, which, sadly, lead to his death. Had he understood snow melt, he would have realized during the summer, his path would be blocked by huge, raged rivers of mountain snowmelt, flowing from the higher altitudes. Now, he was trapped, having crossed the line from dangerous, to suicidal behavior, without even being completely aware of these facts.

The author of the “Into The Wild” we think almost had a kind of unrealistic love affair with Chris’s story because it resonated so personally with the author. We don’t see what John Krakauer sees. We don’t see a lost, scared and confused kid, searching for his meaning in life, searching for boilerplate, higher philosophical understanding.

We see a young man suffering from a dissociative disorder not understanding the long term consequences for failing to pack even a map, given the circumstances. We see a person that went undiagnosed because privilege masked the illness under the guise of youthful ignorace.

We see a mentally ill person that didn’t really understand they were heading in a life threatening situation. Christopher knew, perhaps, in some assymetric, distant way, while “Alexander Supertramp” took control that they were heading into dangerous territory but could do nothing about it.

He wrote to others and spoke, in a very non chalant way, that he may not be coming back – That his “Great Alaskan Vacation” might kill him. This tells us, from real world exprience that Chris had no real understanding of the consequences of what he was doing. This too, tells us, lacking a professional degree, Christopher wasn’t in executive control.

We understand the romanticism of the story of a young man rebelling against the very society that seemingly, today, no one can stand. We understand the sensationalism of that of that story but there comes a point where one asks themselves:

Was Christopher mentally ill?

We think so.

Stay Lovely! 😀

E     K






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