Let me just start off by saying that I have never taken psychology and never intend to. But I do think I understand Bellatrix.
Of course Bella is sadistic and mentally insane! I'm not going against that at all. But I do think that it was possible that she loved Voldemort. And I believe she did.
If you look at the diagnostic criteria for diagnosing a sadistic personality disorder, she definitely has one. But true psychopaths aren't capable of love. They might love the idea of controlling someone, or think they love someone, but they don't. Sadistic people would express their sadism in their relationship to be the dominant one. Bella certainly doesn't have control over her relationship with Voldemort.
Simply speaking, love cannot be defined, and an assessment that Bella was incapable of love should therefore not be able to be drawn.
But disregarding that, she wasn't Voldemort. She didn't split her soul into eight pieces. Just because she happens to enjoy torture as her favourite pastime does not necessarily mean she couldn't love. From where she was standing, she was doing the right thing. We might think she's "wrong", but it's all relative, right?
I also think that's one of the reasons she began to follow Voldemort, but if she felt no affection for him, she probably would have actually tried to dominant over him. And I think it's pretty safe to assume she was always a follower. Because if she hadn't been, she would be dead.
I think Bella really just has an intense respect for Voldemort because he is the only one she can't control or hurt.
If her brain hadn't been clouded by this insane love that she held, she might have tried. But, as I said about three posts ago, her love for Voldemort made her less ambitious.
But what is a god other than someone you love so deeply that you want to follow them? To Bellatrix, her love for Voldemort became was that powerful. Her love for Voldemort was so strong, so pure, so utterly perfect in her eyes that he became her "religion"—her reason for being.
She views him as a God, as her Lord. I think she is wildly devoted to his service, but that is very different from "love."
I honestly believe that Bellatrix was so in love with Voldemort that he became her "everything". Obsessive, yes. Completely obsessive. But I don't see why she couldn't have been in love with him.
Compare Bellatrix to someone so completely racist that they kill people of other races for that reason alone. It might not be right to us, but it's right to them, correct? Of course. But, continuing in that frame of mind, couldn't that same person come home to a family and love them completely, protecting them and wanting them more than anything in the world? Just because they seem to have no conscience and are apparently terrible people when looked at so simply does not mean that they can't love. Perhaps Bellatrix is at the extreme end of this example, but it fits.
Plus, she acts differently around Voldemort than she does around anyone else. She's weirdly sweet and devoted. Maybe I am ridiculously biased—she is one of my favourite characters—but the evidence is there. She's in love with him. There's no other explanation for her behaviour.
And, as always, we could just go straight to the source:
"Poor Rodolphus" is all I can say. :( I love Rodolphus.
Originally Posted by J. K. Rowling
Okay, just one more thing…
:confused: Um… Joke, perhaps?
Though, if psychologists evaluated really any of the HP characters, they would all be put away.
Well, that's about all from me. Sorry if any of that sounded ranty.