books The Characters In Winnie The Pooh All Represent Mental Illnesses  

Cheryl Adams Richkoff
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Could it be that all the Winnie the Pooh characters represent mental disorders? Be it via books, TV shows, or movies, generations of children grew up with Winnie the Pooh and his friends in Hundred Acre Wood. Each character was so different, yet lovable. And so seemingly innocent. But do stories of Winnie the Pooh possess hidden meaning? Could Pooh's calm, happy distraction, Rabbit's mania, or Eeyore's gloomy outlook be teaching children about mental illness?

Examples of mental illness in children's literature are fairly common, though it isn't always labeled explicitly. There are clear metaphors in Winnie the Pooh, personality traits and mental issues to which everyone can relate. Whether or not AA Milne intended this to be the case when he wrote the books, or those at Disney had it in mind when creating the animated adaptations, is unclear, and perhaps irrelevant. If Pooh and friends can teach kids about mental health, let them teach.

Pooh Bear Struggles With ADHD


Pooh Bear Struggles With ADHD is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Characters In Winnie The Pooh All Represent Mental Illnesses
Photo: Disney

Pooh Bear seems to suffer from a number of mental disorders. The one that stands out most is his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Specifically, his ADHD is of the inattentive subtype, exhibited in his scattered, disordered thoughts, random remarks, and forgetfulness.

Piglet Should Probably Be On Prozac


Piglet Should Probably Be On P... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Characters In Winnie The Pooh All Represent Mental Illnesses
Photo: Disney

Poor little Piglet. He lives his life in an anxious whirl. Anything that happens, or might happen, is cause for alarm. Sudden movements and noises, like those from Tigger, can send Piglet running to hide. He prefers the calm, distracted ways of Pooh. Piglet probably has Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

Roo Displays Symptoms From The Autism Spectrum


Roo Displays Symptoms From The... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Characters In Winnie The Pooh All Represent Mental Illnesses
Photo: Disney

Roo is overprotected by his mother, Kanga, and shows signs of possible autism. Despite his mother's frequent advice and warnings concerning safety, Roo often finds himself paying no attention to what is going on around him, and wanders into danger. He also has a preference for sitting silently in his mother's pouch, with not a lot of interest in venturing out. Those two extremes could put him somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Tigger Bounces Between Hyperactivity And Impulsivity


Tigger Bounces Between Hyperac... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Characters In Winnie The Pooh All Represent Mental Illnesses
Photo: Disney

Tigger's diagnosis is a no-brainer. The fanciful tiger can't hold still for a moment. He's a classic case of ADHD, with an emphasis on the H: hyperactivity. He is super active even when he clearly needs rest. Tigger also exhibits poor impulse control, bouncing where he isn't wanted, assuming everyone around him wants to be similarly engaged in whatever it is he is doing.