Do Winnie the Pooh Characters really represent different mental disorders?

There are various reports on the web suggesting that each character in Winnie the Pooh represents a different mental disorder, but what are they, and is it true?

These reports stem from an article by the Canadian Medical Association, which “diagnosed” each character. However, given that AA Milne died in 1956 and the term “learning disability” wasn’t even introduced until 1963, it seems unlikely that Milne consciously linked each character to a known type of disorder. However, he may well have been ahead of his time in recognising that some children have specific issues which can cause them difficulties in their everyday lives – and Winnie the Pooh characters may well have been based on these observed differences. It’s not likely that we will ever know for sure.

What are the “diagnosed” disorders?

Could Eeyore be suffering from depression?

Winnie the Pooh: An eating disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), meaning it is very hard to focus he also has impulsivity with obsessive fixations.

Piglet: Generalized Anxiety Disorder. The theory states that he may have suffered from an injury that crippled his self-esteem, and that his stuttering problem most likely developed from said injury.

Owl: Dyslexia and Short-Term Memory Loss. Even though he’s shown as being exceptionally bright, it’s shown that he has trouble reading. An example would be in Pooh’s Grand Adventure when he mistook the word school for “skull.” Also Owl tends to forget things as quickly as he says them.

Tigger: ADHD. Tigger is always seen bouncing and can never stay in one place for a long period of time.

Kanga: Social Anxiety Disorder. She is very overprotective of her son, and she would never let her son make his own decisions because of her overprotectiveness.

Roo: Autism. He lacks awareness of danger and has an attachment to sitting in his mother’s pouch.

Rabbit: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). He is very orderly and obsessive, and the theory also questions his sexual orientation due to his feminine behavior.

Eeyore: Depressive Disorder. He always has a bleak outlook on life, and never feels any positive emotions like happiness and excitement.

Christopher Robin: Schizophrenia. It is believed that all the characters from above are manifested depending on Christopher’s mood.

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25 comments on “Do Winnie the Pooh Characters really represent different mental disorders?
  1. Shawn Lambe says:

    Every cartoon character ever written could be said to have a disorder. Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, Tom, Jerry, Mickey, Bugs, Elmer Fudd, Wile E Coyote, etc., etc. The whole idea is stupid and absurd.

  2. Paul says:

    Beyond laughable the garbage people come up with these days. It’s only because mental health has become fashionable in recent years that people are making this comparison. In reality 3 of these disorders weren’t even a thing when pooh was written. ADHD wasnt even recognised until 30 years after the book was written. All a load of tripe

    • Dustin Knowles says:

      So you seem to believe mental issues are just a way for people to get attention and they are fashionable . Your an idiot . Yes some of these disorders were not recognized in that time but they are now , so people are putting the pieces together . If you watch just one episode of the show with this page open you would recognize each disorder . I’m guessing you never seen any of the shows or at least not since you was little before you could understand such things but are now spewing out your arse .

      • Kayleigh says:

        It’s since you *where little not was little

      • Leora Lewis says:

        Its either you are or you’re..
        I think its fun to look now at Milner’s characters and discuss their traits. The one thing he achieves is to make us love all those characters equally.They are all part of the delightful..inexplicable soup!

      • Georgia Hall says:

        Thats not what they even said ADHD wasnt even knowen in that time so A.A mill woudnt know what ADHD was

    • Chadd says:

      ADHD was discovered in 1902, 24 years BEFORE the release of this.

    • Bobby says:

      If you don’t like it so much why did you read it take your hate and everyone else’s hate with you because no one needs it anyways this was the authors opinion NOT yours btw I think the disorders match up perfectly

    • Katie says:

      Mental health is not fashionable… how insensitive can you be? As technology has evolved, so has our insight into “mental disorders”. Maybe you have one?

    • Danielle Smith says:

      Seriously?! This theory has been around for ages. It’s not just because mental health is trending you twit!!! Heck I heard about this when I was in elementary school. That was over 18yrs ago. I have depression and anxiety and to see someone say that we just do it for attention makes me sick!!! So many kids look up to this show and book series because if gives them someone to relate to .

    • Yero says:

      I believe the author of Winnie The Pooh wanted each character to have a unique personality. Although ADHD wasn’t recognized until 30 years after the book was written,like you stated the author could have still came up with this idea. To support my idea,if you know anything about A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens you know that the idea of time travel is used,and the book was written in the 1800’s when time travel wasn’t even considered and I’d say nobody thought about it. Their is always that minority that think outside the box. That is all I’m saying. Who honestly knows? Probably nobody.

    • LT says:

      Regardless if it was “a thing”, people did suffer with illnesses prior to their discovery/naming…
      Milne obviously did not diagnose his character with terms that were not used yet, but the traits of these characters are clearly traits that humans have that he gave to his characters.
      After countless years of extensive research, individuals are finally being diagnosed and these traits he gave his characters are key symptoms for many mental illnesses.
      Also, fashionable? I think we should use phrases such as- bringing awareness, teaching acceptance and educating to recognize symptoms to know if they or others need help.
      This post is quite scary and sad to read and I hope you have been educated since you posted this absurd “laughable” post last year.

  3. Reese says:

    I think this is true to be honest with you and saying that a mental health condition is fashionable now a days is absurd. Jesus Christ

  4. Sara says:

    For those of you saying that Milne did not purposely write this book with mental disorders in mind, A.A. Milne was a veteran from WWI and suffered from PTSD. He probably wouldn’t tell you that Pooh had ADHD since it was not a thing back then, but there were plenty of people with ADHD in the early 1900’s, just because it didn’t have a name doesn’t mean it wasn’t a mental disorder.

  5. Bob Staines says:

    Definately factually correct.
    Suck it up haters !…

  6. Dave obviously says:

    So nut allergy didn’t exist until gave it a name right? Fkin idiot

  7. Emma says:

    Having “feminine attributes” does not make a male gay. Just like being masculine does not make a female gay. That’s just a stereotype. There are plenty of straight men in the world who are feminine because that’s just who they are.

  8. Abbie Topley says:

    All off y’all think metal disease is fashionable well it’s not it’s life so if the author of this has there own opinion then they can but y’all don’t have to be hating on people with ADHD or depression

  9. Justin says:

    Of course it is fashionable. Fashionable to play a victim and to make excuses for your shortcomings nowadays.

    Unless you crap your pants and are non-verbal, you don’t have real autism.

    • Duck says:

      I think you need to learn what autism is, before you say stuff like this. There are many types of autism. Also try telling the teenagers who spend every lesson dreading the teacher calling their name because they don’t want talk in front of the class or the ones who feel so strongly about what others think of them that they nearly stop eating all together, that it’s “just fashion” see how many friends that leaves you with.

  10. Mike says:

    One thing I know is true. This story is a great teaching tool as it is even used in college courses, allowing professors to connect and make the study of psychology “real” to their students. If that gives one student a path in life and that path leads to a break-through and we, or someone we care about benefits, then I’d like to thank the author for giving us a vehicle to help make the world a better place through the interpretations of this classic childhood story.
    If you are so intrigued do a little research on “Bambi” and the connection of that story to WWII. Just remember when we share an educated discussion on any topic and respect each other’s opinions we make the world a better place.

  11. Nalani Rowe says:

    While it is debatable if that was intended each character having some kind of disorder. The behavior each exhibit can be linked to some kind of disordered. Even gopher has a speech impediment in the cartoon. Any book or cartoon is open to interpretation. Mental disorders have gained more since a lot of celebrities having issues themselves. It has nothing to do with being a victim. Most who have disorders don’t see themselves as victims. The idea of them being a “victim” blaming everything on the disorder comes from a lack of understanding. Some people do use things as a crutch for sympathy or special treatment but nobody I know who suffers from depression is looking for pity.

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