The Slippery Slope of Captainship

Kathryn Janeway Voyager Crazy

Admiral Kathryn Janeway is widely credited throughout the Federation with successfully returning Voyager and her crew to the Alpha Quadrant. She has negotiated numerous conflicts, engaged in First Contact with countless species, even aiding the Borg against a new threat from fluidic space. Many consider her to be a fine example of the Federation’s tenets of Exploration, Diplomacy and Temperance.

I do not believe she is as sane as the records show.

It is the intent of this paper to recommend Kathryn Janeway be stripped of her rank, and reprimanded into Psychological custody at once. I cannot deny her accomplishments as a captain; but I do not believe placing her in the higher tiers of Federation governance as an Admiral is a wise decision.  I believe Admiral Janeway has – on numerous occasions – exhibited psychotic behavior, and is in denial; she uses her laurels as a cloaking field for the more insidious and insipid aspects of her psyche.

I believe she is exhibiting signs of psychotic behavior; to wit – she is becoming / has become a psychopath – defined medically as: “A person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior”

This paper lists several incidents where Janeway’s behavior can be classified as psychotic.

Janeway as an Exemplar


There are several components in Janeway’s habits and psyche that have made her more susceptible to psychotic behavior.

First, early on in her career, she experienced what criminal profilers and psychologists call a psychotic break; an unusually traumatic experience that serves as foundation to future psychotic behavior. Janeway’s father died under the polar ice caps of Tau Ceti Prime, he drowned, frozen beneath the icy waters. This sent Janeway into a fit of extreme depression – the effects of which have not been fully understood or treated.

Kathryn Janeway Voyager Star Trek Crazy

Pictured: Starship Captain Candidate

Second, she exhibits an unhealthy addiction to coffee. More than a casual drinker, she regularly takes black coffee when faced with critical, command decisions. While one cannot overstate the prevalence of caffeine in human society, this writer is left wondering if Janeway’s judgement is more impaired – rather than enhanced – by the drug.

Third, on her first command – she caused an away team severe injuries, directly related to her orders. The night following, she personally risked her life to complete the mission (even if it was on a hostile volcanic world), ignoring protocols to assuage her remorse and her guilt. While not technically an example of psychotic behavior – this implies a much darker, Machiavellian sense of “the end justifying the means” seems to be the crux for Janeway’s moral fiber.

Janeway Crazy Tricorder Star Trek Voyager

“Machiavelli says you’re expendable.”

Fourth, during her time in the delta quadrant, there was a great deal of stress and repeated attacks on her psyche and morals, both by alien attacks, invasive mental devices, or contact with violent and uncontrollable telepaths. The sum of these events may have further distorted her ability to make rational, ethical decisions; further undermining her ability to lead and command her crew.

Fifth, with no peers or equals (of the same rank) to contest / discuss her decisions, she unwittingly sets herself on the road to a dangerous form of benevolent despotism.

Sixth, she has the keys to kill everyone on the ship and repeatedly uses it as a viable tactic; Janeway alone has the self destruct codes for the USS Voyager. Repeatedly she uses it as a bluff or a final chance at escape – but one cannot deny how quickly she weighs her own goals versus every single life on the ship.

Finally, she was given a second chance (she was given technology to go back in time and “fix” her mistakes), she took it, making all the sacrifices of herself and her crew moot.(seemingly absolving her of all guilt and remorse) It is important to note that the lack of remorse and guilt behind this decision is also a hallmark of psychotic behavior; psychopaths do not feel remorse like normal humans do.

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