#nonononononono let me hug you please
In moments like these, I think he’s reflecting the pain of all of the regenerations from his past.
You have to remember, Eleventh is essentially the aftermath of Tenth. The various incarnations of the Doctor always reflect what had destroyed the previous incarnation.
Tenth had allowed himself to get too human. He had formed romantic relationships with his companions and was a far more emotional Doctor than previous versions.
Eleventh reacted by alienating himself from those around him instead. He doesn’t let people see his feelings. Eleventh does all he can to make people laugh, and to make people think he truly is “always alright”.
All of the above, yes.
The Doctor started as an almost grandfatherly character when we’re introduced to him. He takes people under his wing, takes responsibility for those who travel with him because they’d never get into the messes he encounters if they hadn’t decided to hop on board the TARDIS and go on a journey. He has accidental travelers, stowaways, the whole range of them, and he simply cares for them and makes sure they’re fine. But then there’s more. The Doctor has a family, has a granddaughter who travels with him and chooses a human love and life over an eternity of travel, sees appreciation in humanity over the stars that our dear Time Lord has always so adored, and so he works at it, to become the most humane person he can, only destroying his enemies when he needs to.
But the Time War changes him, as any war changes any soldier. He fights, not on the side of the Daleks or the Time Lords, but on the side of the rest of the universe, the one side nobody else wants to take, and in the process, he loses everything. In the New Who that most people are exposed to, we meet his ninth regeneration, one with a fierce defense mechanism when it comes to other people, but very little care for himself. He throws himself into the path of danger over and over, and it’s only sheer luck that he survives half the time. If Rose hadn’t been around, he would have gotten himself seriously injured or killed multiple times in that season. Nine hates Daleks with a passion, he is a man of fire and fury and the ability to burn through worlds, but love stops him, and he regenerates for love.
Ten comes into the scene, born of a kiss, and immediately in the Christmas Special we see him do something that we’re not accustomed to… sleeping, exhausted, and unable to help in their time of need. Of course he comes through at the end, he always does, but he’s distinctly human, recognizing which social habits are unacceptable in company, dressing smart, trying to impress a girl. He’s in love, and he forgoes his ability to roam around free throughout time and space because he’s found a tether, a lifeline of sorts, and when he loses it, he’s devastated. He fills the gaps the only way he knows how, drifting and lonely until he finds someone who’s willing to connect with him while still mourning for Rose. His emotional negligence drives away Martha, and he finds a fantastic friend in Donna, only to lose her as well. The realization occurs, in the end of all things, that everyone he interacts with becomes a soldier, just like he was, and that knowledge nearly breaks him.
Oh, but that’s not all, of course not. There was the one glimmer of hope, the Master’s return, the I’d-dare-not-have-hoped possibility that there was another Time Lord left, that he hadn’t caused the utter devastation of his race, that there was someone who might understand the kind of life he led. And so he allowed it, a year in captivity for the sake of knowing that his once-friend was still alive and well, even if he had to undo the damage, even if he had to use the power of humans (still always humans) to reverse time itself. And he cried when the Master died in his arms, begged him not to go, but as always, he was left behind. So he buried him and ran, only to find that burial hadn’t kept him down and even still he tried to reason with him, tried to make him understand that they could lead a life without the perpetual loneliness that plagued him, the constant guilt that might have been alleviated just a little to know that there was someone of his own kind that he may have been able to help, and that disappeared too. So he gave up. He gave up his life for the love of a friend who wouldn’t remember him, for Donna, because her grandfather was the dearest person left in her life. He left that life behind to turn into this, what you see above.
What you see above is Eleven. He’s the man who thinks he’s a monster, who is his own worst enemy. This is the Time Lord who is the stuff of his own nightmares, who is plagued by every guilt imaginable, whose only solace as a dying man was a little ginger girl that refused to stop believing in him, the only one he hadn’t done wrong by. Rule number one: The Doctor lies. And most of the time, it’s for your own good.