Four Cartoon Characters Who Possibly Suffer From Mental Disorders

Elsa: “Don't let them in, don't let them see
Be the good girl you always have to be
Conceal, don't feel, don't let them know.”

Seems pretty innocent, right?

But what if I told you, it’s not as simple as it seems to be. Read: Your beloved snow-spewing “Frozen” princess possibly had mental health issues. If you look into it, other characters that come to mind are Beauty from Beauty and the Beast, Charlie Brown from Peanuts and many others.

Most of us grew up spending an awful amount of time binging on such cartoons before “Netflix and chill” even became a thing. I for one, was absolutely hooked on to them - whether it meant squeezing an hour or two on school nights or gluing my eyes to the screen on the weekends, the quirks in the personality of these characters made them my heroes.

But my heroes are not perfect.

Elsa From ‘Frozen’ Suffered From Depression?

The Disease: It’s natural to feel sad at times when your heart is breaking (metaphorically) or you are having a really shi**y day at your workplace, but when that sadness or apathy lingers on for weeks leading to months, it could signal depression. According to the World Health Orgeanisation (WHO), depression is a common mental health disorder, characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.

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Symptom: The anti-heroine Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” is possibly one of the best descriptions of depression. While the protagonist Anna is trying to advance the rights of women, our anti-heroine is battling the demons of her own mind. In the beginning of the movie, Elsa accidentally strikes her younger sibling with her magical powers as she is unable to control her emotions. Disturbed, Elsa locks herself away and refuses to face the world out of fear of hurting more people.

Slowly, she loses interest in the all the fun-and-games. The “ice princess” also struggles with extreme guilt for the lack of control over her powers. This is quite evident in her song, “Let It Go” where she expresses the need to put up a facade in front of the world.

Even the writer and director of the movie, Jennifer Lee stated on Twitter that the character's body language and mannerisms were "intentional to show anxiety and depression".

The Little Mermaid Ariel Suffered From Disposophobia (Hoarding)?

The Disease: Every time I go to dine at a restaurant, I ensure I leave with a bundle of tissues and toothpicks, thinking that I might need them some day. Honestly, that “some day” is a long way from actually happening but still, it provides me with some sort of mental satisfaction, I suppose.

Now double that. No WAIT! Make that a gazillion times and imagine this, every thing I have collected over the years, I have stored them all. The situation is so grave that my things are lying on– the kitchen counter, bathroom floor, balcony, wherever possible. Such is the situation of a person who suffers from Disposophobia, also known as hoarding.

Initially, hoarding disorder may not seem to be a problem at all. But give it some time and it may start creating problems in your relationship, social and work activities, according to American Psychiatric Association.

Symptom: When the little pretty mermaid Ariel swam into our hearts, so did her mental disorder: disposophobia, Have you seen the stuff that Ariel collects? A fair amount of things that can’t even be used underwater. A candle? A corkscrew? Really? On top of it, the mermaid gets extremely distressed when someone destroys the things she has randomly collected.

Charlie Brown From ‘Peanuts’ Suffered From Avoidant Personality Disorder?

The Disease: For people with Avoidant Personality Disorder, ‘Akele Hain To Kya Gum Hai’ is more than just a song. According to WebMD, such people just cannot stop thinking about their own shortcomings. They form relationships with other people only if they believe they will not be rejected. Loss and rejection are so painful to them that they choose to be lonely rather than risk trying to connect with others.

Symptom: Though lovable and endearing, our protagonist Charlie Brown’s many “psychiatric help” sessions with Lucy makes us ponder about his psyche. This little boy who tends to suffer from Avoidant Personality Disorder is avidly dominated by his insecurities and overwhelmed by his “terrible case of bad luck.”

Even when he is not getting picked on by people, he can’t stop feeling that he is being bullied. This makes the situation even worse as it affects his ability to become close friends with people, in fear of being rejected.

Belle From ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Suffered From Stockholm Syndrome?

The Disease: Imagine this, you are walking on the roads of Delhi or any other city of your choice and you get kidnapped by a man. He keeps you locked up in his home where you meet others like you who are being held hostage by your captor. He feeds you, keeps you warm, gives you a room to live. But he has only one condition - You can’t leave his home. As months turn into weeks, though you have been robbed of your freedom and maybe, can’t ever return to your previous life, you fall in love with your captor and decide that your happiness lies in being locked up.

Sounds a bit too “unrealistic”?

But if you did, you won’t be the first person who fell in love with their captor. Such is the case of a person suffering from Stockholm syndrome. According to a BBC report, Stockholm syndrome is most associated with Patty Hearst, the Californian newspaper heiress who was kidnapped by revolutionary militants in 1974. She appeared to develop sympathy with her captors and even joined them in a robbery.

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Symptom: The beautiful Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ probably has Stockholm syndrome if you take into account all the things I have said above. She falls in love with the Beast, despite the fact that he kept her trapped in his castle.

Ostensibly, the Beast had all the power in the relationship between him and Belle, and he did get violent and controlling that first night, in particular their interaction in the West Wing.

He roars at her, makes violent swipes at her, and scares her badly enough that she chooses to run out of the castle, into a snowstorm. And then not five minutes later, he saves Belle’s life from the wolves, and she’s left in a moral conundrum.

He imprisoned her father, and her, for a seemingly minimal offense. He had no problem with starving her to death when she wouldn’t do what he wanted. He was a literal monster. And yet he saved her life. And yet going back, helping him, means giving up her freedom again, this time permanently.

Emma Watson who played the role of Beauty in Beauty and The Beast acknowledged that she "grappled" with Belle's relationship with the Beast when she first signed on to the movie in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, but as far as this live action take is concerned, she doesn't believe Stockholm Syndrome fits since Belle is continually resisting the lord of the castle. She explained:

That’s where a prisoner will take on the characteristics of and fall in love with the captor. Belle actively argues and disagrees with (Beast) constantly. She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm Syndrome because she keeps her independence, she keeps that freedom of thought.

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