Doctors Diagnose Gollum

Poor Diet, Inherited Disease Made Gollum Mad

from AFP

PARIS - The Lord of the Rings character Gollum was paranoid and had a split personality, but this was because he probably suffered from vitamin deficiency, anaemia, hyperthyroidism, and a metabolic disease called porphyria.

That's the conclusion of a group of British doctors who sift through Gollum's symptoms in a tongue-in-cheek diagnosis published this Saturday in the British Medical Journal.

"Gollum's diet is extremely limited, consisting only of raw fish. Vitamin B-12 deficiency may cause irritability, delusions, and paranoia," they say.

"His reduced appetite and loss of hair and weight may be associated with iron deficiency anaemia. He is hypervigilant and does not seem to need much sleep.

"This, accompanied by his bulging eyes and weight loss, suggests hyperthyroidism. Gollum's dislike of sunlight may be induced to the photosensitivity of porphyria. Attacks may be induced by starvation and accompanied by paranoid psychosis."

Porphyria is an inherited disease of the metabolic system.

The "study," lead-authored by psychiatrist Elizabeth Sampson of the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London, describes Gollum as "a single, 587-year-old hobbit-like male of no fixed abode.

"He has presented with anti-social behaviour, increasing aggression and preoccupied with the 'one ring.'... He has no history of substance misuse, although like many young hobbits, he smoked 'pipe weed' in adolescence."

The diagnosis concludes: "Gollum displays pervasive maladaptive behaviour that has been present since childhood with a persistent disease course.

"His odd interests and spiteful behaviour have led to difficulty in forming friendships and have caused distress to others. He fulfills seven of the nine criteria for schizoid personality disorder."

In J.R.R. Tolkien's trilogy - subsequently turned into a trio of Oscar-winning films - Gollum, a thin, pale, gangrel creature, is enslaved by a magic ring made by the evil Sauron.

In his desperation to retrieve it, his mind persistently fights between a "good" personality, Smeagol, and a nasty one, Gollum.


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