Did Hitler have any kind of an illness?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is difficult to find authoritative studies that clearly define and distill Hitler's mental condition. This might be due to the time period and the fact that little open and authentic study could have been undertaken at the time given the extraordinary set of circumstances.  We can piece together a couple of items regarding Hitler's physical and mental conditions.  Psychologically, Hitler's condition must have been somewhat fragile, as he did attempt suicide as a young man, and suffered from what we could call now a form of "manic depression," with intense extremes in emotions experienced.  Hitler's fear of Jewish individuals and the entire notion of "enemies of the state" could have been fueled by intense paranoia.  This is especially valid in the early days of his ascent to power, where scapegoating others as well as constructing elaborate conspiracies that helped to explain the condition of Germany became the norm for him.  There is also some delusion in how Hitler viewed himself, in terms of the modern version of Napoleon as well as the idea that he could stand to unify the entire world under his philosophical ideology.  There is also footage of Hitler, though not entirely and absolutely reliable, which shows Hitler rocking back and forth, indicating some type of physical disorder was present in him, but was kept quiet.