Mental illness touches the lives of everyone: whether they realize it or not. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), mental illness will affect 20% of Canadians at least once in their life. Real people aren’t the only ones to suffer from it. What were once quirky personality traits are in actuality, mental illnesses. With what is known now, there have been a multitude of fictional characters who can be diagnosed with some type of mental illness.
Here are five popular fictional characters with mental illness:
Scarlett O’Hara (Gone With The Wind)
The archetypal character with Histrionic Personality Disorder. The word “histrionic” refers to “theatrical” or “acting”. Symptoms involve constant seeking for approval, inappropriate seductive dressing or behaviour, and being overly dramatic and emotional, traits O’Hara has exhibited especially in Vivian Leigh’s film adaptation. O’Hara lacks the natural love of self so she seeks it from external sources. Through her veil of vanity, she is deeply insecure.
Winnie The Pooh and all his friends
Nothing changes once people start seeing the Hundred Acre Woods characters as manifestations of various personality disorders as they relate to Christopher Robin, the human protagonist who the Canadian Medical Association diagnosed with Schizophrenia. They are all still as lovable as they were.
Pooh was diagnosed by the Canadian Medical Association with having “impulsivity” and “obsessive fixations” towards honey. The impulsive Tigger is a token case for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Poor little Piglet has Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and his constant stress has manifested in a stuttering problem and Eeyore, the eternal pessimist clearly has Depression. A full list of everyone is found here.
Ariel (Disney’s Little Mermaid)
The popular Disney princess has a case of Disposophobia, a fear of disposing of material possessions and an obsessive need to acquire and accumulate. A hoarder. The Little Mermaid has quite the wealth of treasures in her room and has developed a deep obsession for them to the point of even giving them nicknames like her “dingle-hopper”, the fork. But Ariel certainly isn’t the only Disney princess to be diagnosed with a mental illness. Cinderella has Dependent Personality Disorder and Anna from Frozen has a case for ADHD just to name a few.
Charlie Brown (Peanuts)
Another ever-popular character suffering from some form of anxiety disorder like Avoidant Personality Disorder, which the WHO categorizes as Anxious Personality Disorder. Brown has extremely low self-esteem and displays textbook patterns of social ineptitude and extreme sensitivity to negativity. It is a relatable case even for those who don’t have the illness as being embarrassed in public is a fear for almost everyone.
Of all superheroes, the Dark Knight has been the most interesting thanks to his brooding nature and complex moral code. However, Batman exhibits clear signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) mainly in his obsession for preventing what happened to him as a child to the extent of pushing people away and sacrificing a balanced healthier life. Fortunately, combined with his billions, he turned his tragedy into a noble cause.