What Pooh Bear Can Teach Us About Mental Disorders

The charismatic Winnie the Pooh marked a generation of children and adults with his stories, having first appeared in books in 1921. Now, he is back with the live-action film, Christopher Robin – An Unforgettable Reunion, with a premiere date expected August 2.

In the film, Christopher Robin, the owner and creator of teddy bear Pooh (Ewan McGregor) grew up and is now an adult. Forced to exchange his leisure time with his wife and daughter for work, he is unhappy. In a moment of despair, he meets Pooh, who will help him to seek his forgotten principles. The design is inspired by the works of Alan Alexander Milne, with “Winnie the Pooh” as the original title. You can check the first trailer subtitled below:

But what does this have to do with psychology? What few people know is that there is speculation that the innocent and amusing stories of the teddy bear are also about mental health.

Winnie the Pooh and mental transports

It is not possible to know if the creator’s intention was to do this, but researchers at Ave University (Canada) conducted the study and found sufficient evidence in the episodes analyzed to support this thesis.

Examples of the representation of mental illness in children’s literature are not uncommon, although they are not explicit. However, it is essential that this type of issue comes up from the first years of life.

The study’s research was published by the Mental Association of Canada. According to her, each character in the cartoon Winnie the Pooh represents a mental disorder . Below you can see which disorders each one presents.


According to the research, Winnie the Pooh would have eating disorder , represented by his constant need to eat honey, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD . In the latter, it is very difficult to stay focused on an activity and there are obsessive impulses and fixations at certain points. ADHD is represented by your disordered thoughts, forgetfulness and random observations.


The character Piglet is believed to represent generalized anxiety disorder. This is easily seen in his constantly anxious behavior . Anything that happens or might happen is cause for fanfare. Sudden movements and different noises are enough to make poor Piglet run. So he prefers to stay close to Pooh’s calm and distraction.

big tiger

Like Winnie the Pooh, but with a focus on hyperactivity , Tigger is represented by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The tiger cannot stand still for an instant. He is extremely active, even when we know he needs a break. Tigger also has impulsive control, assuming that everyone around him will be interested in the same things he is up to. He also appears to have bipolar disorder , changing his mood from very cheerful to very sad from one hour to the next.


Perhaps the Eeyore Disorder is the most striking: depression . He always presents a sad and negative outlook on life, never feeling positive emotions like happiness and enthusiasm. This severe depression, also known as chronic dysthymia , causes him to remain in a state of continuous moodiness. It gets you to the point where you seem comfortable with sadness .


Abel, the rabbit who needs to keep things organized all the time. Does it remind you of any condition? Among mental disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder is a striking feature of the character. His angry energy is spent counting, retelling, arranging and rearranging everything and everyone in his life. It goes so far as to bother your friends. Wherever things are out of order, there is Abel to organize them.


The kangaroo Guru is overprotected by his mother Kanga and shows signs of autism . Despite frequent warnings from his mother concerned about his safety, Guru often fails to pay attention to what is happening around him. This makes him fall into dangerous situations several times. In addition, his other favorite activity is to stay in his mother’s purse, without much interest in adventures. These two extremes define your autism.


Within the universe of Winnie the Pooh, the Owl is the only one capable of reading and writing. For the same reason, he is often making charming signs of wisdom. However, he still makes some mistakes and is slow to read, representing his dyslexia. Corujão is living proof that dyslexic people can, in fact, be very intelligent.


Finally, Cristovão, the child who sees all the characters, has schizophrenia . All characters are believed to be imaginations of their creative mind. Each of them is a manifestation of your mood . However, contrary to popular belief, schizophrenia does not make a person see or hear things that are not there. Its word comes from the Greek and means “separate mind” that is, outside of reality. For this reason, Cristovão has a large collection of imaginary friends.

The importance of knowledge about mental disorders

They are called mental or emotional disorders, mental illnesses or psychiatric disorders in which the diagnosis is made by a mental health professional . In them, behavioral or mental patterns cause suffering , abnormality or inability to function healthily in daily life.

Above any other type of health problem, suffering and disability are the biggest characteristic. They can be caused by biological, environmental or psychological factors, and do not choose ethnicity / gender / age / culture / economic class. That is, they can affect anyone at any time in their life. To achieve complete physical, psychological and emotional well-being , it is essential to have knowledge of these disorders and identify them as soon as possible.

For this reason, we created the periodic table of emotional disorders. With it, you can visualize various disorders, their concepts, causes and forms of treatment. Click below to access!


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