The Batman character can be helpful and often therapeutic for someone like me, who has a mental illness. I've written about this in other places, in other ways, but Dark Knight News is the perfect forum to get this positive message across to my fellow Batfans. Bare with me.
Try for a moment to forget that Batman was ever created as a fictional character. Forget that you know what he looks like, who he is and that he protects the innocent.
Now, imagine what it would be like (even amongst the chaos of 2013) to see a man dressed up as a bat looking down at you from the buildings in your city. Is this normal and rational behavior? No, not really!
Someone who would spend their life in such an extreme way "must have issues." According to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) Bruce Wayne fits the profile of someone with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He was exposed to a traumatic event with the murder of his parents. This (along with being attacked by bats) produced nightmares, and "persistent negative trauma-related emotions (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt or shame)."
What makes Batman inspiring to me isn't the gadgets, the car, or all the fun collectibles we've all horded. It's his relentless will and strength to keep going and that he, in many ways has learned to manage - and even make use of his emotional issues. He represents the option we all have to turn our inner demons into a positive action and / or virtue.