In the film Iron Man (2008), Tony Stark is a diligent young adult, and the CEO of his family's company: Stark Enterprises. Given that he inherited such a large company at such a young age, his personality can be described as narcissistic. However, prior to his successes, he was harbouring the death of his parents, along with his close friend Jarvis. Throughout the film, he deals with a number of traumatic experiences, for instance: nearly dying, and being held captive, which then progresses into his creation of Iron Man, an alter ego he generated through technological advances. .
Due to his near-death experience and the emotional trauma of losing his parents, Tony could land in the category of people with PTSD. Hence, his recurrent panic attacks and flashbacks. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America's website, the symptoms of PTSD can affect a person's relationships, trust, closeness, communication, and problem solving. A few of these symptoms correlate with some of Tony's behavior. This suggests that Tony leans toward technology more than other people because of his issues regarding PTSD. For instance, he frequently turns to his robots Dum-E and U to do both simple and difficult tasks. These robots' soul purpose is to assist him in his creations. However, the brilliance of having this technology is that it can compensate for actual people and he can manipulate them to work however he wishes. In other words, he can trust in his technology because he creates it. Significantly, Tony's constant need to control things is a reflection of his trust issues that come from PTSD. .
Iron Man is more than an invention of Tony Stark's, it is an identity that he can hide behind, a likely result of his PTSD. Through Iron Man, Tony is more than just a genius, billionaire philanthropist; he is a courageous hero who never has to feel weak. Having PTSD can be debilitating, so this heroic persona distracts him from the symptoms of PTSD.