Winnie the Pooh Mental Disorders

By: Khushi Gupta

Image Credit: Pixabay @ csekeklari

Conspiracy theories are going quite crazy as of right now—and one involves cartoon characters you may remember from your childhood. Created by A.A. Milne with the first collection of stories written in 1926, Winnie the Pooh and his friends are some of the world’s most known and loved Disney characters. Recently, there have been studies that theorize that these lovable characters all portray different developmental disorders or psychological illnesses. In the group, it can be seen that each animal is different, each fostering their own defining moods and characteristics. For example, Tigger displays rather hyper and impulsive behaviour, Eeyore always harbours a gloomy expression, and Piglet appears permanently anxious.

Winnie the Pooh is hypothesized to have an eating disorder as he is completely obsessed and addicted to honey. Eating disorders are illnesses where people experience disruptions in their eating habits, thoughts, and emotions. There are 3 main types of eating disorders: binge eating, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa.

Anorexia nervosa occurs when a patient weighs 15% less than their healthy body weight in proportion to their height. Indications of having this include starvation and severe problems with their body image. Patients with bulimia nervosa can be slightly underweight, overweight, normal, or obese— although bulimia patients rarely go the lengths that patients with anorexia do. Those with bulimia nervosa binge eat frequently and may eat an excessive amount of food in a short time, often absorbing thousands of calories that are packed with sugars, carbohydrates and fat. Binge eating disorder is similar to bulimia nervosa where people consume large quantities of food in short periods of time, although people with binge eating don’t try to get rid of the food by vomiting or “purging” like those with bulimia.

Without proper treatment for these illnesses, many patients’ emotional and physical well beings are fatally compromised. However, with proper care, those with these disorders can return to regular eating habits.

Poor Eeyore. He never was truly happy when it came to fun events, leading many to believe that he represents depression. Depression causes the individual to feel as if there is little to no hope left for them in the world. Many falsely believe that depression is just a mood like sadness when in reality, it’s a chemical imbalance that occurs in certain areas of the brain that help regulate a person’s mood. Researchers believe that nerve cell connections, nerve cell growth, and the functioning of nerve circuits have a major impact on depression. The two main parts of the brain observed to be different from those that are depressed include the amygdala and hippocampus. The amygdala is a part of the limbic system, a system which is associated with feelings such as sorrow, pleasure, and anger. This area is activated when a person recalls more emotionally charged memories, and with patients with this disorder, the activity in this region is higher. The hippocampus is also a part of this system and has a central part that manages long-term memory. The hippocampus is smaller with depressed patients and studies show that exposure to stress hormones impair the growth of nerve cells. Depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the U.S. and can start at any age. Current investigations suggest that it occurs due to a mix of psychological, genetic, environmental and biological factors.

Tigger is almost everyone’s favorite friend with his bouncy tail and hyper personality, but many believe that this behavior signals to ADHD. ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a mental health disorder where people go through high levels of hyperactivity and impulsive behaviors. According to a U.S. national 2016 survey, the estimated number of children ever diagnosed with ADHD is 6.1 million (9.4%). ADHD was the first-ever disorder that was found to be the result of a lack of a certain neurotransmitter—norepinephrine—and the first disorder that was found to respond to medications to correct this deficiency. There are three different kinds of ADHD that are diagnosed depending upon the strongest symptoms. Predominantly Inattentive Presentation is when it’s hard for an individual to focus, remember details, and follow along everyday tasks. Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation is where the person fidgets, is restless, and talks a lot. Combined Presentation is where the patient demonstrates a combination of the two other types. As symptoms can change over time, the presentation can as well.


Educational Content:

Q: What are the three main types of eating disorders? A: Anorexia nervosa, Bulimia nervosa & binge eating. Anorexia nervosa patients generally have very low body mass indexes and attempt to lose weight through extremely unhealthy methods like starvation. Bulimia nervosa is also an eating disorder characterized by excessive eating, which is then offset by extreme fasting, exercise, or “purging”. Binge eating disorder is when a patient has uncontrollable eating habits. Q: What is the most common mental disorder in the U.S.? A: The most common mental disorders in the U.S. are anxiety disorders, like generalized anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Anxiety disorders may be caused by genetics or a complicated collection of risk factors including brain chemistry, personality, and social experiences. Here is a list of USA Crisis Hotline Numbers: https://www.removingchains.org/resources/usa-hotlines




Cites:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/what-causes-depression

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnie-the-Pooh

https://inews.co.uk/culture/film/winnie-the-pooh-mental-health-aa-milne-93148

https://goat.com.au/entertainment/the-mind-blowing-theory-that-winnie-the-pooh-characters-represent-mental-health-conditions/

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/eating-disorders/what-are-eating-disorders

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/data.html

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/eating-disorders/bulimia-nervosa.htm#:~:text=Men%20and%20women%20with%20bulimia,to%20alternating%20bingeing%20and%20purging

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/267432


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