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Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood

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Growing up, the Hundred Acre Wood represented a world where a young boy could play with his stuffed animals. Within this fictional world where the animals could talk, the play and conversations seem very innocent. With a deeper look into the show, it seems as if it is not as innocent as we once thought it was as children. According to a 2000 study by Sarah E. Shea and other contributors, the classic show starring Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh isn’t as innocent as it seemed; the characters are said to represent various mental disorders.

Let’s start off with the star of the show: Winnie-the-Pooh. This classic, honey loving, crop top wearing bear has some serious issues. To a five year old, Pooh seems pretty normal. Well, I mean as normal as a talking bear can be. According to Shea, Pooh has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). This is due to his significant impulsivity. The researchers witnessed this disorder while Pooh tried to receive honey by disguising himself as a rain cloud. The researchers also thought Pooh to have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). They noticed this disorder because of Pooh’s perseveration of food and his ability to repeat countless behaviors. The researchers also raised the concern of microcephaly, a condition where a baby’s head is significantly smaller than expected. They were not able to “diagnose” this completely due to not knowing the appropriate size head for a brown teddy bear. All I can say is maybe honey will make it all better.

Anywhere Pooh goes, Piglet is not far behind. Yes, little Piglet is also said to have a mental disorder. With Piglet’s constant flustered appearance, the researchers claimed that he had Generalized Anxiety Disorder. If Piglet had been assessed properly, maybe he would have experienced a lot less emotional trauma.

The researchers moved onto Eeyore next; they claim that his constant depressed state led to Pooh and Piglet’s disorders. Whether this is true or not is an entirely different story. Since the beginning of time (or the first episode), Eeyore has always been depressed. The researchers were not able to pinpoint an exact disorder due to not having more context about his situation. They said that Eeyore could benefit from an individual therapy session. With a therapy session or two, maybe Eeyore could see the humor that Piglet sees.

Another character that is concerning is Roo. Even though he is impulsive and hyperactive, the researchers brushed those characteristics to the side. They wanted to focus on something they deemed as more important: his environment. Roo lives with his mother which puts him at higher risk for Poorer Outcome. The researchers predicted to see a delinquent, jaded Roo someday hanging out at the top of the forest causing some major trouble. The next time you travel to the Hundred Acre Wood, keep watch for Roo’s wanted signs.

Last but not least, let’s take a look into the boy who started it all: Christopher Robin. Even though him talking to his stuffed animals and creating a fictional world for them to live in wasn’t concerning to the researchers, they pinpointed something else that was concerning. With his lack of parental supervision and difficulty with academics, the researchers concluded that Christopher Robin could be showing early signs of gender identity issues. I am not entirely sure how they came to such a conclusion, but they’re the scientists, so I thought it was best to not question their logic.

Overall, I found this study to be very informative and a huge waste of time. The study itself was unique, but it took an innocent children’s show and turned it into something horrifying. When I sit down with my niece and watch Winnie-the-Pooh, the last thing I want to think about is mental disorders. The show was created for entertainment purposes, not medical purposes. The Hundred Acre Wood is a place that children could get lost in. The enchanted forest with talking animals seemed like the place to be, but now that these researchers ruined that idea for us, the Hundred Acre Wood sounds like every psychopaths daydream. To read more about the study, go to http://www.cmaj.ca/content/163/12/1557.

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood”

  1. Robin Asher on April 13th, 2018 1:19 pm

    Oh, Kirstyn Kiger! How dare you make me think these things! Just kidding! I actually found this reading very interesting. I think anyone can make anything something other than what it is.
    The last paragraph is the BEST!

    [Reply]

  2. Mari Karmel on April 16th, 2018 8:21 am

    This is very interesting and strange. I agree with you that they defiled a kid’s show with these mental disorders. I truly don’t think Winnie the Pooh has a deeper meaning to it. A lot of the disorders they pinned on the characters seem pretty far fetched. Great article though!

    [Reply]

  3. Olivia Salyers on April 16th, 2018 8:21 am

    This is very interesting! I watched Winnie-the-Pooh every now and then, but never enough to notice something unusual about the characters. While this is an interesting study, I agree with you that it seems like a waste of time. What was the point in assigning mental disorders to fictional characters, who’s audience includes toddlers? I can’t see how that would draw any attention to actual mental disorder awareness. Great article!

    [Reply]

  4. McKayla Ramsey on April 16th, 2018 1:50 pm

    This is very interesting and I haven’t ever heard of this study before. I used to watch the cartoon as a kid and I just loved piglet because he was pink. I can’t imagine people caring so much about a children’s show to assign these mental disorders to the characters. Maybe if I went back and watched now I could see the disorders just like when you re watch old cartoons and understand jokes you didn’t before. Overall, I agree with you that this study seemed like a waste of time. Great article!

    [Reply]

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood