Mental Disorders Demonstrated By Winnie The Pooh Characters

DISCLAIMER: read at your own risk – this is known to shatter your image of children stories and will cause you to reminisce about the good old times!

I was originally researching autism and the different TV characters that seem to portray many of their traits when I stumbled across a post about the different mental disorders each character in the Winnie The Pooh books depict. This isn’t the first time a big part of my childhood has been damaged by the apparent “truth” behind the story but, nevertheless, my curiosity got the better of me and I began to ruin yet another memory…

Christopher Robin: Schizophrenia – this is when there is a malfunction in the perception of reality which is certainly evident in Christopher having hallucinations where he imagines his stuffed toys are alive

Winnie The Pooh: Eating Disorder – though you may not think of this as a mental disorder, the cause of it is Pooh’s low self esteem which is psychological resulting in his excessive need for honey

Piglet: Panophobia – a mental condition where you fear everything. Piglet gets overly-nervous several times and this is apparent in the way his ears subtly twitch.


Tigger: ADHD – condition of the brain which results in hyperactivity and trouble paying attention (for more info, go to ADHD). I think this video says it all:

Rabbit: OCD – an anxiety disorder in which the person suffers from obsessive thoughts and compulsive tendencies. These can be seen in Rabbit having uncontrollable actions such as cleaning and, basically, being a “neat freak” (but to an extreme level)

Owl: Narcissistic Personality Disorder – being excessively preoccupied with themselves. Owl believes that he is the most clever animal in the wood, boasting how he has brains whilst “the others have fluff”

Eeyore: Depression (OK, even I worked out that much) – mental state characterised by a dejected and gloomy feeling surrounding them and a lack of activity. I hope no explanation is needed for how this relates to Eeyore

Now that I know about it, it’s so obvious that I’m shocked at how I could have missed it! It’s just not something you think about when you’re 6 and are spellbound by the playfulness of Tigger’s bouncy tail.

Of course, the author did not base the characters around these disorders on purpose and someone who likes their coloured pens to be in a specific order doesn’t mean they’ve got OCD; they’re just traits that people have observed over time and made a big deal out of because they feel, being a children’s story, it shouldn’t contain “darker” meanings like these.


The creator of these gifs is Matthew Wilkinson



Filed under Books, General Knowledge, Illness

90 responses to “Mental Disorders Demonstrated By Winnie The Pooh Characters

  1. Vicky Taylor

    That just destroyed me.

    • Jay C.

      People shouldn’t be disappointed when they discover things. There is joy to be had and in childhood you accepted these characters. Having some of their behaviours labelled isn’t bad. We are all more than the labels put upon on us at different times in our lives. It is not what we or cartoons are labelled it is every thing else also. Mental, physical, emotional challenges are but one part of our whole. I LOVE WINNIE THE POOH. Ulitimately it says not matter who you are or what you are labelled having true accepting friends will help us all in this crazy world. That is a great message.

      • Amber

        Ohk. Just because the characters seem like they have those mental disorders doesn’t mean they do. It is their personalities that make them who they are, and now people are coming up with backgrounds for them? I think the whole purpose of Winnie the Pooh was to bring a little joy and happiness to kids.

  2. This post is brilliant! I love it! Though I firmly believe that children’s stories should contain darker things. Their original purpose was to prepare children for the real world after all.

    • Mantar

      Agreed, but some of the people on here say they are crushed….this doesn’t change the story or how good they are….it simply explains how the writer came up with the characters.

    • Munek

      What about Alice in wonderland she was inspired by a pedophile that wanted to marry a 11 year old

      • Cali Love

        She wasn’t inspired by that. Alice Liddell spent a lot of time with the author, and always had him make up stories. Wonderland was an ongoing one. About the marriage proposal, it has no evidence what so ever. Victorian society was very different from now. Bachelors were often thought of as “uncles” and spent a lot of time taking friends’ children out. There is no evidence at all that Charles Dodgson was a pedophile, and a hint was never once uttered of such a thing until 35 years after his death. In fact, the only thing made clear was that at some point people were gossiping that he had affections for “Ina”, which could either be Mrs. Liddell or Alice’s older sister who was old enough for suitors at the time. Regardless of the author’s history, the story itself of Alice in Wonderland is wonderful…and has nothing at all to do with the real life events of Alice.

  3. Emily

    This is so sad… Poor them, I know what you mean about not realising before. You have kinda crushed my childhood 😦

  4. It’s only a few mannerisms someone has noticed! I just found it interesting and amusing – you can find a deeper meaning in anything if you look hard enough 🙂

  5. dylanjames

    What about Kanga and Roo?

  6. Elizabeth Morgan

    wouldn’t pooh be more of an addiction problem?

    • Mantar

      an eating disorder is an addiction problem lol

      • Mr. Cody

        An eating disorder isn’t an addiction. That’s bull shit. SMOKING is an addiction. Eating is addictIVE. Not addictING. No physical characteristics characterize eating as an addiction.

      • Mantar

        an eating disorder is an addiction. If you bothered to actually look something up not just spout your opinions like a fool you would of known that there are in fact TWO types of addictions.

        Mental Addiction (or emotional addiction) is when you think you can’t live without something. Drug abuse addictions of this type are weed, Xanex, LSD and so on…

        Physical Addiction is when you get physical symptoms from not having a substance. Examples of this are: tobacco, meth, and other such drugs.

        You can get addicted to watching TV, or going to the gym. Anything that can be used as a coping mechanism can be addicting. ANYTHING CAN BE USED THIS WAY. Hence everything has the potential to be addicting. Keep in mind some things are more addictive than others, for example the number of people who die because of an overdose of water is way less than the number of people who die from self harm.

    • Olivia Gill

      No, because “binge eating” is an eating disorder. Eating disorders are an addiction not physically, but mentally. Eventually, yes, they can become physical addictions, but are mostly mentally addicting.

  7. Monique Moore

    I have always thought this. We can always find ourselves in these characters.

    • Sergio

      Totally, this..

    • Frances Oh

      Yep, that’s why we can relate. We see at least a little bit of the traits in ourselves or in someone we know. A. A. Milne exaggerated these traits so we could laugh and poke fun at our quirks and think about what if we let a quirk go too far. Christopher is a normal imaginative child. He’s six for goodness sake not 66! ROFL!!! If you lost your childhood because of someones opinion, take a good look, you may find you are still in it. 😉 Hugs, F

      • Kclark1234

        Thats what I was thinking. Christopher robin is six. And its perfectly healthy for children to have an imagination. I mean come on, if you dont remember playing with your toys and pretending they were real then something there is wrong. Every kid does that at that age. Doesn’t mean they’re schizophrenic. Hence why nowadays Christopher’s little sister Darby plays with them now. Only reason she imagines it the same way, sort of, is because Christopher robin probably introduced them to her but describing what they’re like in his mind. I.e. “This is pooh bear, he loves honey alot. And this is piglet hes scared of everything but can be brave when it counts.” And so on and so forth.

  8. Lawrence

    HoneyBadger don’t care… He just wants to get a honey jar stuck on his nose.

  9. mariah mooring

    all this problems almost everyone has them and the only difference is that they are now pulled to the light. not as much as they did 12 years ago!!! people let it go…. I completely agree with Mantar. there is something you all should understand we are not all perfect… and if this concerns you don’t let your kids watch this! and keep them from having the time of their life and having great childhood memories like you all did. now that would be a problem you would have. it’s called selfish!!!!!

  10. iammerLikeaboss

    when i was a kid i always wondered why Piglet was a scardey cat and why Eeyore was always sad

  11. Nohemi Lubeck

    As of today there are still no permanent cure for ADHD but i think stem cells can give us high hopes. :

    Please do head to our web portal

  12. Zackman

    I think its amazing how the characters dont act out the psycological disorders.

  13. Sophia

    You are all idiots…? I am being serious. The ‘darker meanings’ that these stories shouldn’t contain, aren’t actually in the stories at all, you are humanising personalities. If you are going to talk about mental illness then at least get it right rather than just trivialising and making a joke out of it.

  14. Ali

    Wow for all those years I never knew. My cousin is schizophrenic. He talks to himself and has friends that tell him to do stuff. Even though there isn’t anyone there.

  15. anonymous

    As a kid I watched Winnie the Pooh all the time. So do many others. You can’t read a child’s mind, so maybe this cartoon series is the reason why when kids grow, they’re cautious of feelings. Some people understand the pain, and aim to help, this may be because they understood the cartoon as a child. Other people don’t understand and continue on with bullying, this may be because they didn’t understand the cartoon. Having the clinical depression “dysthymia” ever since 10 years old, I think this post will help the world by getting people to understand what the world is coming to.

  16. Well. i suffer of anxiety, i think.
    liKE PIGGLES 🙂
    I speak of feeling not up to do certain things, fear of failure, of not being enough, have the desire to run away, saying ‘I can not’ panic, shake your head, go haywire. who among you can say that they have never felt so at once? or do you want me to believe that you are superman type and then nothing scares you? that doesn’t scared or screwed me up that much. I have a background image portraying all these characters with their disorder written on them and I honestly think that every person has at least had some slight hint of life in one of these disorders.for example, when we do something good we all pride ourselves on being better than the others, like the owl.
    when waiting for someone who is late in coming, all we clean compulsively as the rabbit.
    when we go to mc donald and eat our favorite sandwich, and sometimes we eat a lot, like pooh.
    when we fight with someone, and we are locked in the house all day crying about ourselves, we are like Eeyore.
    when we are happy about something, all jump and sing like tigger, and we all want attention.,all of us sometimes look at something and imagine it to be alive, or dream that it is, as Christopher.
    I think this cartoon was done on purpose so.
    because the children understand that people are not always perfect,
    and are not always the same, and that diversity is a value and not a discredit., and that even if someone is a bit ‘different, does not mean you have to think to be wrong, that everyone has the special, and you can be friends despite being different.
    I do not think that there is something frightening about this, so it’s a message rich and important, above all in a culture like ours, where we are always under stress and chaotic rhythms, if you think it so strange, tell me, which one of you is not never been anxious? those who have never been depressed for a period? who has never claimed? those who have never cleaned to deal with? Who has not dreamed or imagined? who has never sang and jumped by happiness? who has never sought attention?it’s easy to shock our selves.but I do not think it-s fair, you may not always condemn all things, not reflect well on that. dont tell me you thought it was just to entertain the children. no, the children learn from cartoons, and even if the author had based the characters on those disorders, rather, would launch the best message that a cartoon can launch. and you know why in a broadcast of children? because children do not shocking, they are not dull-witted and closed as you .their friends are all, without bothering to look at their again this cartoon and go and talk to the children, maybe you find that those who really do not understand is you.

  17. Ashley

    What about the gopher dude?

  18. Dale is one of my mentors and hero. He does not call people names. Dogs are more human then cats.

  19. Diane

    They were a childs imaginary play mates they demonstrated the different feelings of Christopher Robin, it was the way he dealt with his emotions. Children can relate because they have many of these traits themselves and the stories told how to deal with their emotions~I myself related to piglet because I have always had anxiety, I learned that others out there had similar fears and I learned to deal with mine~I am 38 and in my opinion this is still one of the best cartoons to help children learn to deal with their individual emitions.

  20. sydney

    Owl has dsylexia.

  21. The post has confirmed necessary to myself. It’s quite informative and
    you really are naturally very well-informed in this region.
    You have got exposed my own sight to varying opinion of this
    particular matter using intriquing, notable and solid content material.

  22. Cap'n Morgan

    Give credit where credit is due;

  23. ramabas pi

    I’m 15 and I’m empathetic. Most people don’t think of this as a mental disorder, but I have it so bad that I can’t distinguish between someone else’s emotions and my own. I love Winnie the Pooh and realizing the disorders behind the characters does not change my opinion. I’ve been fascinated by mental disorders for at least 5 years now, and I love observing people and they way they act.

  24. Issy

    Well I didn’t think that Christopher Robin had schizophrenia all young kids believe their Teddy’s are alive does that make all young kids have schizophrenia..

    (No offence and not trying to be rude or anything)

    • Mantar

      Ok, not all kids believe that their stuffed animals or imaginary friends are real. Acting like it and believing it are not the same thing.

      However, that being said I have to agree with you. It’s not really abnormal for children to behave/think that way. Although it’s also not untrue that such things are symptoms of schizophrenia. For all we know Christopher could of had it.

  25. Nate

    What about the kangaroos

  26. Are you kidding me??

    This is so ridiculous.

    • adriana

      Right, the show is supposed to be innocent, not warped into something sick. So please remember it is a cartoon meant for children.

      • Mantar

        This is analyzing what made the show so good…The characters are based on more realistic personalities so it is easier for children and parents to bond with the characters. Hence making the show more interesting and enjoyable.

      • werff

        I always thought it was supposed to represent feelings whinnie the pooh:hunger tigger:happines eyore; saddness piglet:fear rabbit:anger ect.

  27. Pingback: Emotional Freedom Technique Is Helping Me With My Anxiety

  28. Lena

    Well, if you find a person with none of this disorders or similar… well, you don’t know the person enough (most people have a little OCD, they just don’t realize). If the characters are not extreme in something they wouldn’t be interesting. Authors maximaze some things they see every day, to make them “funny”. Christopher schizophrenic? well, if you follow that line, every fictional person who lives an adventure that wouldn’t happen in real world is. Some times, it’s a fantastic story, some times it’s just imagination. Who has never played that your toys are real has never had a childhood. Eating disorders are not always assosiated to low self estime, and it’s usually abaut having to eat all the time to feel good, some times sweets, but what pooh seems to have is just what half of the people have with chocolate, but shownd to the “extreme” (I dont even think it gets to that).

    • Allyssa

      I agree with you about most people having a little ocd. most, if not all, people have a little of most/all disorders. like a lot of people suffer at least some small amounts of depression.please nobody be offended, I’m not saying that those with cases of these disorders are not dealing with worse, because many are but we definitely all have a little bit of all of these disorders.

  29. Lois

    I don’t agree with the author when it comes to Christopher Robin. A child with a vivid imagination is a healthy normal thing. Every child pretends things. I used to pretend my bicycle was a horse. I knew it really wasn’t, but I pretended it was. Same thing with Christopher Robin. Normal healthy imagination.

  30. Matt

    There’s a whole bunch of ways to read into this series, however I like Benjamin Hoffman’s book, The Tao of Pooh, best.

    I loved watching this show as a child. A bowl of macaroni & cheese sweetened the deal.

  31. Im looking to purchase a plush toy,.Eeyorr.for someone for Christmas.

  32. Pingback: Entry #2 | aprilscottpsychblog

  33. Kay

    Absolutely hilarious. Not just the character assessments, but also how seriously some people take this. Whats wrong with the world nowadays that we can’t have a bit of fun?

    • Allyssa

      there was no need to be rude if that was how you meant it. it is just people personal opinions. With all children’s shows there are ways to read into it. It just takes a little imagination sometimes. For many other shows there are stories or deeper meanings behind them. Sometimes they are not what the author intended and sometimes they are

  34. User

    What about kanga and her son roo hmmmm

  35. tina

    In either case I really don’t think it matters in todays world. Look at the cartoons thatare on air that are to be alright fpr children to watch. N seriously I’m 30 years old now. N when I was 10 they didn’t advertise condom comericals. Douche comercials. Tampon n pad comercials. Or let alone have half the filthy crap we have on the air now. Yea ren n stimpy beavis n butthead …..even the p.js californis rasins. The snorksthe jettsons the smurfs. …..really winnie the pooh u have to pick that one to try and show up todays cartoons. What about spongebob and dora the explorer. Or bubble guppies. Small younge babies n toddlers watch that. A false statement of what goes on under water. Small ones thinking they can venture off n play under water. Spongebob is a good one to take out on. A sponge that is a fry cook n an idiot n gay. To a star that is dumb

  36. foolishmastermind

    Come on people. It’s real life. You never fully grasp a situation when you’re young as you do when you are an adult. Without these character traits, Winnie the Pooh would be another corny children’s show.

  37. I think this is really great. I have depression and anxiety and I do see myself a lot in both Eeyore and Piglet. It’s really uplifting to see that even your childhood favorites dealt with the same bad things you do and still be okay.

  38. theorybusta

    There is a big flaw in your Theory about Winnie the Pooh the story was written before anyone knew these mental disorders existed you may see it in the characters just it just isn’t the truth behind it all it’s a story that gets out and gets bigger and bigger every time it is told and ruins peoples childhood for no.reason whatsoever

  39. Hexx

    Kanga and Roos represent codependency disorder.

  40. Actually I love the fact they all resemble a mental disorder. I love it when something so known and normal for me has actually a deeper thought. i don’t see the big deal behind everyone saying this destroyed their childhood, this actually made me think brighter about life and how they want to teach us that we’re all different and some people maybe have mental disorders like this but that doesn’t mean we can’t live together ? It’s actually quit interesting how they all get along really well. I’m really glad I’ve discovered this but I’m still left with one question: what about the kangaroos ?

  41. Pingback: หมีจิต | Somzai

  42. Eaor was sad and felt down on himself. ”why bother’. He would say. Winnie the Pooh was the only normal one that was happy and cheerful all the time, Tigger ADHD, the rabbit had ocd , piglet had anixety. I wonder if Roger Rabitt had ocd or ADHD cause he was totally hyper all the time. he couldn’t stay still.

  43. Daniel G.

    Where’s the kangaroo?

  44. nicki

    Shows how unaware and accepting children are. How do we end up with bullies.

  45. DiJon W.

    Umm this is intresting, but I must disagree on two characters in particular, those being Pooh and Christopher Robin. With Pooh having self esteem, I beg to differ. In the many adventures of Winnie the Pooh, we can find our lovable friend talk about his physic and that he was proud of it. And the times his fluff would pop out he would simply stuff and tie it back in. Also, in the episode where Pooh is stuck in Rabbit’s front door and Rabbit says its because Pooh ate too much, Pooh quickly replied and said it was because the door was not big enough. Now how is being proud of how you look and defending yourself symptoms of low self-esteem? If anything Pooh suffers from gluttony. Lol. And secondly, Christopher Robin. We must remember he is a child. And what’s the most important thing about being a child is having an imagination and not having to worry about adult problems. If he has schizophrenia so does Doc Mcstuffins, Mr. Rogers and his new counterpart Daniel tiger. We as adults do need to be cautious of the signs of many different things, but trying to diagnose cartoon characters is not one. This is one reason kids grow up too fast. Way too many adult themes on everything and everywhere.

  46. Mark

    Are you joking!!! So, it’s wrong for a kid to have “imaginary friends”, who “come to life”??? Have you never heard of *fantasy*??? Good grief!!! I think the writer of this article has delusions of grandeur. But, that’s me. I’m not a professional, but think the writer should seek professional help before destroying the imagination of kids..

    • Allyssa

      Nobody said it was wrong. And you cant just go around accusing real people of having disorders. BUT i’m not sure i completely agree with the article. I think that these characters might have characteristics that relate to these disorders.

  47. I find it incredibly distressing how many people are bothered by this… like some how because the characters might have these mental disorders they are some how less worthy of adoration….these are characters we all know and love (or knew and loved.)

    Every single person who commented on this article how devastated they are, how their childhood is ruined, needs to ask them selves what if there mother/father/brother/sister/son/daughter were diagnosed with a disorder. Would they love THEM any less? If so then THEY are the ones who are sick! Not their loved ones.

  48. Meadow Bowman

    I disagree with Christopher Robin. I believe that imagining his animals being real is normal, as I did when I was younger… It’s imagination, also expressed in Barney and other shows. Though I do believe Christopher was dyslexic. He always spelled thing wrong, like “Kerits, Cabege, Howse, and Hunny.” And Pooh had no problem with his chubby-ness. He always said he was “Short, Fat and Proud of that”. Though I do believe Pooh had obesity, which is a mental disorder because of the addiction to food. That’s just my opinion.

  49. tmkn

    I don’t think it’s a bad…it’s the real world where all of these disorders do exist.

  50. Amy Rose Fawkner

    it amazes me how people can turn a harmless childes show into mental attack. I have autism but just because me and a lot of others in the world have these mental disorders doesn’t mean everyone dose. You don’t need to be on lookout for small traits you see in a kids show. Peoples personalities on children’s shows have always been exaggerated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s