Being a school counselor, it goes without saying that Disney comes into the picture at work – especially when working with my younger students who know countless characters by name. There are a lot of great lessons to learn from Disney characters–Mickey is always friendly and helpful; Tigger is a case study in being unique but happy; and Chip and Dale know how to have fun without it being dangerous.
One other way in which Disney enters into my professional life is in the very obvious mental illnesses with which several Disney characters live. While my specialty is not in diagnosis, I was inspired by a paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looking at the pathology of the 100 Acre Woods, and I think I’ve been able to identify mental disorders in many of our favorite characters. Check out the utterly non-exhaustive list below!
Over a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving the exposure of one’s genitals to an unsuspecting stranger.
Diagnosis: OCD, Presenting as Hoarding
Common compulsions include ordering and arranging rituals; counting; and hoarding.
Diagnosis: Anxiety Disorder
Symptoms can include poor memory, fear or confusion, inability to relax, constant worry, shortness of breath, poor concentration.
Characterized by excessive sleepiness or prolonged sleep. Sufferers are compelled to nap at inappropriate times.
Diagnosis: Anti-Social Personality Disorder
Antisocial personality disorder consists of these symptoms: Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors; Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying; Irritability and aggressiveness; Reckless disregard for safety of others; Lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt another.
Diagnosis: Selectively Mute
Because Goofy can fucking talk. Why can’t Pluto?!
Diagnosis: Oppositional Defiant Disorder
A pattern of negativistic, hostile and defiant behavior.
Diagnosis: Binge Eating Disorder
Have you seen what that man puts away for breakfast?
Diagnosis: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Characterized by a long-standing pattern of grandiosity, an overwhelming need for admiration, and a complete lack of empathy toward others.
Diagnosis: Paranoid Personality Disorder
Characterized by having a long-standing pattern of pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others. Individuals with this disorder assume that other people will exploit, harm, or deceive them.
Care to guess at the diagnosis for your favorite character? Let loose in the comments below!