Winnie-the-Pooh is a famous cartoon that generations of people have cherished. But what if I told you that he was sick — and his friends, too?
I didn’t believe it, either. Not until I read the report by the Canadian Medical Association that revealed the characters had mental health issues. What do the characters in Winnie the Pooh represent then, you may wanna ask? Keep reading to learn more.
Winnie the Pooh and the Characters
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Winnie the Pooh is a series of stories published in 1926 and authored by A. A. Milne. The stories were inspired by her son, Christopher Robin Milne (Christopher Robin in the story), and his beloved teddy bear (Pooh).
The stories were loved thoroughly and adapted into movies and shows. But before we get into more details, let’s have a quick rundown of all the main characters.
Christopher Robin: An English boy who is seen adventuring with the animals and is the reliable one who gets them out of their predicament.
Winnie-the-pooh: Pooh is a soft-voiced teddy bear who is obsessed with honey. He is slow-witted, humble, and always there for his friends.
Piglet: He is a small pig who is Pooh’s best friend and is always by his side. He is shown to be very afraid but exhibits bravery in times of need.
Tigger: An overconfident tiger who thinks he can achieve anything. He is the happy-go-lucky guy who often becomes the root of the trouble. However, at the same time, Tigger is also resourceful, courageous, optimistic, and tough.
Eeyore: He is the sad donkey who does not seem to have any hope. Eeyore is a pessimist and sarcastic and experiences difficulty in keeping his tail attached to his rear.
Rabbit: He is the friendly bunny who likes to boss people around. He wants everything to go according to his plan, as he is the smartest bunny. He gets irritated very fast and, sometimes, even loses his temper.
Owl: The nocturnal bird is a self-acclaimed teacher and mentor of the lot. He is considered the most intelligent animal. However, he is not very smart and cannot even spell his own name correctly.
Kanga: She is a mother Kangaroo with baby Roo in her pouch. She is the only female character and has a crush on Pooh. She is a sweet, patient, and kind-hearted animal who is ready to become a host to anyone who wants food.
Roo: The youngest character in the book, Roo is Kanga’s playful and cheerful baby. He becomes best friends with Tigger and considers him a big brother.
If you have watched Winnie-The-Pooh as a child, you must have had an amazing time watching the drama unfold every time and learning life lessons from their adventures.
However, if you didn’t already know about the report published by the Canadian Medical Association, we apologize for ruining the beautiful story for you.
According to the study titled “Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: A neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne”, Pooh and his friends suffer from mental issues.
Yes, you heard that right.
The simple characters who made our childhood special were much more than that. It’s like we never really knew them.
Before further ado, let’s look at what scientists have unearthed.
What Do the Characters in Winnie the Pooh Represent? 9 Issues
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Here is a brief explanation of the various mental issues that the characters in the story exhibit.
1. Pooh with ADHD and OCD
The titular character suffers from more than one mental issue. However, the more prominent one that stood out was Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). His ADHD is seen in his inability to pay attention, random remarks, forgetfulness, and disordered thoughts.
Pooh may also have OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This manifests in Pooh’s behavior of repetitively counting things and preserving food.
Our dear Pooh could also be suffering from impulsivity. He is seen struggling with self-control and is obsessed with everything honey — searching, acquiring, and eating.
2. Christopher Robin with Schizophrenia
The fact that Christopher is the only human and all the other characters are his stuffed animals indicates that the boy had vivid imagination, which could indicate schizophrenia. The boy seems to have parted from reality and is living in his imaginary world.
3. Tigger with Hyperactivity or Impulsivity
Tigger is hyperactive. He bounces from one place to another and cannot sit in one place. But is he impulsive too? Yes. He seems to have poor self-control. He often demonstrates “risk-taking” behaviors and impulsively samples anything he encounters.
4. Piglet with Anxiety and Self-Esteem Issues
Piglet is always seen worrying. He is eternally flustered, blushing, and anxious — clear signs that he may be suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Piglet is always unsure and looks up to Pooh for making hard decisions, exhibiting that his spirit may have been crushed in childhood.
5. Kanga with Social Anxiety
Being a single mother, Kanga is very worried about surviving in society. She worries about her son and overprotects him, always keeping him in her pouch.
6. Owl with Dyslexia and Narcissistic Personality Disorder
“Low” that’s how Owl spells his name — backward. And not just his name; he also misspells the names of other characters. And considering that Owl is the only animal who can read and write, we now know who made those mistakes.
However, he is also intelligent and smart, proving that people with dyslexia can be smart too.
Owl knows that he is not that wise or intelligent; however, he still acts and dresses the part and expects everyone to do the same. He acts superior to others and is arrogant—characteristic traits of the disorder.
7. Eeyore with Dysthymia
If there is one character you could correctly diagnose, it must be Eeyore. The donkey with his drooping eyes and sad face is the epitome of depression — chronic dysthymia, to be more precise. It explains why he could never be optimistic about anything.
8. Rabbit with OCD
You know what Rabbit does — organize, recount, count, and recount things. And what happens when things fall out of place? Rabbit gets angry. Now that we see it, he did suffer from OCD.
9. Roo with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Roo exhibits extreme behaviors. Sometimes, he wants to wander around oblivious to what’s happening around him, and other times, he wants to sit quietly in his mother’s pouch. He displays the two extremes of the disorder.