TV and movie characters often display signs of mental illness, however diagnosing someone at a distance is a challenge. Some are obvious though - like Monica Gellar, who needs everything to always be in its proper place, or Archer, who, well... the mommy issues are only the tip of that iceberg.
RogueFart asked, Psychologists of reddit, do you ever find yourself "examining" fictional characters from tv, books, books and movies? If so, what are some interesting characters that are maybe unassuming to the "uneducated"?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Sound like anyone you know?Giphy
PhD student in clinical psych here. I often say that the main character in Nightcrawler is one of the most accurate depictions of psychopathy/antisocial personality that I've seen in film or TV. Most "psychopaths" (not a diagnosis, but a term used in research that overlaps with a lot of antisocial personality disorder) are not overt sadistic murderers, but they lack empathy and will manipulate others for personal gain with superficial charm. Jake Gyllenhaal nails this in my opinion and the character is written very realistically
How I Met Your -- Psychopath?Giphy
Barney Stinson is not a psychopath (i.e. ASPD). He's not destructive and parasitic enough in the group he's currently exploiting. He supposedly falls in love, has remorse and empathy. That's a little off for someone who is played out as a psychopath. It's the same with some other supposed psychopaths in TV. Dexter is a remorseless killer with no empathy but starts caring and turns into a normal person when he meets The Woman. Honestly, if you have a psychopath character, just keep it consistent.
Bonus: Michael Scott is a domineering workplace bully and Toby is his submissive victim. We watched a compilation of his bullying in an organizational psychology class. I also would say Jim is a reactive bully and Dwight is his provocative victim. Dwight acts in strange, provocative, and norm-breaking ways, which provokes Jim to bully him to put him in his place.
Touch one thing in that kitchen...Giphy
I have a BA in Psych but my professors would often use Monica from Friends as an example to have Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder. That's OCPD not OCD, which are often confused. Just the way she is very rigid, and wants everything clean and organized. My professors would sometimes classify Sheldon Cooper to have OCPD, as well.
Tony Stark had some serious PTSD. Also, solid advice here.Giphy
Iron man is totally going through a Manic episode at the beginning of the Iron Man movie where he's building all those Iron man suits.
Rapid speech, racing thoughts, no sleep for 3 nights, grandiose behaviour, goal directed tasks (his machines, but unlike manic people he finished his objective).
Edit: To everyone relating to the above information, if you think even for a minute you can relate all too well with this, please go see your physician or a mental health professional! These are important conversations to have and the sooner you have them the better.
Mental health diagnoses can be complicated; there are an array of illnesses who's symptoms overlap or co-exist. Google, movies, your friend or a reddit comment are not the most accurate nor the most informative sources to figure out what illness you or a loved one may have. Please go seek help from a professional. I promise you we will do our best to diagnose and treat you to make YOUR life and subsequently the lives of the people around you better.
Also to the buddy who graced me with gold, thank you! For anyone else who thought (or not) about it, please spend those few dollars by donating to a Mental Health charity or facility. Your local one preferably!!
Hogwarts' liability insurance premiums must be astronomical.Giphy
I wrote this a while back when in my MSW program with a mental health focus, but it applies here:
Harry Potter definitely has posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), esp from the end of Goblet of Fire, with symptoms coming full force in the following book. Looking at the DSM5 criteria, he:
- Criteria A: Witnessed a death/had his life threatened - the events of the end of GoF
- Criteria B: recurrent distressing dreams - constant nightmares
- Criteria C: avoidance - doesn't want to talk about Cedric, begins avoiding his friends and isolating himself to avoid questions about that night
- Criteria D: self-blame (esp with Cedric and suggesting the grab the portkey together), feelings of detachment or estrangement from others (belief that his friends don't get it, feeling isolated)
- Criteria E: irritability/anger outbursts (hello all of book 5), reckless behavior (Harry in a nutshell), problems with concentration, sleep disturbances
- Criteria F: has persisted longer than 1 month
- Criteria G: these disturbances cause clinically significant distress and impairment
- Criteria H: his experiences cannot be attributed to a substance (e.g. drugs)
Hogwarts really needs a counseling center.
She'll always be his girl.Giphy
Degree in behavioral science. Done a lot of work with people dealing with trauma. Jenny from Forrest Gump is an incredibly fascinating character. The way her childhood abuse sets her up to gravitate towards abusers, and avoid people who could make her happy is a hell of a watch. Also consider her feelings of power over Forrest considering his handicap, and to see that affect her relationship with him is a whole other layer to her story. She is a hell of a character, much more so than Forrest.
Chuck is detestable yet he draws sympathy toward the end.Giphy
I read someone examining Chuck McGill from Better Call Saul. Chuck basically believed he had a disease but didn't, and it stemmed from a narcissistic personality needing to be in a world where he was treated like a king. He already was a person of respect and on top of his field, but his wife divorcing him and his ne'er-do-well brother being more charming sent him into some kind of spiral.
I can't say it as well as that person did. If a psychologist knows the show, I'd love to hear their opinion on Chuck.
Funny how that works isn't it?Giphy
In college, I did a research paper on the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman. (If you haven't read it, I highly suggest it!)
Anyway, there's a part in the book where a Jewish survivor of a concentration camp doesn't want to pick up a hitchhiker, because the hitchhiker is black.
I thought it was super interesting, so I did my work on that part of the story specifically. Turns out, a lot of survivors of traumas turn pretty xenophobic, if their own trauma was race/religious oriented.
Brains are weird, man.
Frank Reynolds is a baller.Giphy
I am a licensed and accredited psychologist and I can say for certainty that Frank Reynolds has Donkey Brains.
World's greatest boss.Giphy
Psychotherapist here... Michael Scott is a textbook case of histrionic personality disorder.
What would a retired Peggy Hill be like? She's got an alluring Laura Bush quality.Giphy
Peggy Hill gets SO much hate on reddit, but all her flaws are exactly why I find her character so entertaining. Here's to hoping the King of the Hill revival actually comes to fruition.
*Mike Judge has stated that any revival would have all the characters aged in real time, and taking place in the midst of the current Trump administration. That means Hank in his mid 60s (!!!) and Bobby in his late 20s (29, to be exact). No animated show would have ever aged their characters in real time like this before. It would be almost an entirely different show.
Yes, 13 great seasons. But have people forgotten Fox cancelled it for The Cleveland Show? There's still a lot of life left in the series and aging its characters to the current day gives the showrunners a chance to do something truly unique.
Spoiler: he's bipolar.Giphy
Licensed social worker here, but I appropriately diagnosed Ian on Shameless about 5-6 episodes before they gave him the diagnosis on the show. That was one of my prouder moments.
The Harry Potter series is awash in mental illness.Giphy
Not a psychologist, but I read a really interesting paper on the psychological disorders present in the Harry Potter universe that are never acknowledged in the series.
- Voldemort showing an almost textbook case of ASPD - a facade of superficial charm, manipulative, arrogant, lack of remorse, recklessness, aggressive, difficulty sustaining personal relationships, exploiting others for own gain, thinking lowly of others, and having a callous attitude to people they have hurt.
- Harry suffering with signs of PTSD - dissociative episodes of reliving past events, recurring nightmares, avoids trauma-related thoughts and emotions
- Lupin suffering with depression - linked to his lycanthropy of course, things like melancholy and lonely, losing interest and enjoyment in things they previously did enjoy, reduced fatigue and constantly tired, reduced self-esteem and self-confidence, ideas of guilt and unworthiness
- Mad-Eye Moody suffering with Paranoid Personality Disorder - mistrustful, constantly suspicious of others, delusional, always preparing his own food and drinking from his own flask due to his paranoia he'd be poisoned, his catchphrase of "constant vigilance" screams of someone who is extremely paranoid.
- Snape suffering with Schizoid personality disorder - no interest in social relationships, sheltered lifestyle, secretiveness, general detachment, apathy, emotional coldness, aloof attitude, consider themselves "observers" of the world rather than participants, etc.
- Peter Pettigrew suffering with Dependent personality disorder - constant dependency on others to meet their need for physical and emotional support, characterized by fear and anxiety when the needs aren't met. Desire of constant approval, failing to make decisions on their own, passive and clingy, pessimistic, sensitive to criticism and rejection
Darth Vader/Anakin had some issues yo.Giphy
More than one of my professors have used Darth Vader as a template to explain borderline personality disorder. He meets more than the required number of symptoms to warrant a firm diagnosis.
- People Divulge The Most Recurring Themes From Their Nightmares - George Takei ›
- Friends Of Psychopaths/Sociopaths Divulge When They Realized Their Friend Had Issues - George Takei ›
- Psychologists Describe The Most Interesting Mental Disorders They've Ever Encountered - George Takei ›
- People Share The Exact Moment Someone Made Them Think 'That Person's A Psychopath' - George Takei ›
- People Debate Which Historical Figures May Have Had An Undiagnosed Mental Illness - George Takei ›
Sometimes being naked isn't the sexiest look there is.
Certain articles of clothing were designed to accentuate all of our gifts.
The mystery a fantastic piece of clothing can create can also heighten the mood.
That's why lingerie is a billion-dollar industry.
Sexy cloth. Can lead to sexy time.
Redditor Great-Tiger6307 wanted to get into the sexy of it all when it comes to choices in fashion.They asked:
"What clothes worn are sexier than being naked?"
I love a tightly fitted tee. It speaks volumes on the right body.
"Skirt, thigh highs and a bra."
"And with a garter belt and matching panties. Can’t leave those out."
"A long dress with a naked back (and no bra under) bonus point if there is a side split."
"I just love how it's the perfect blend of sexiness and elegance."
"Every Bond movie will force an event where the girl is able to wear a dress like that, for this obvious reason."
"According to my old school, anything that revealed a shoulder or a kneepad."
"As a guy who was once a teenager, an exposed shoulder was legit enough to distract for the length of the entire class, and then some. Still 100% bullcrap to demand that the girls cover them so onlookers don't get distracted, though. Teach your kids self discipline and we'll be all good."
"Women in red dresses."
"Thigh-highs and panties and girls in red dresses. Flannel and T-shirts and mostly-kempt tresses. Garters and chokers, all tied up with string. These are a few of my favorite things"
Woofblake shelton television GIF by The VoiceGiphy
"Buff man wearing flannel."
"Ah. The Plaiddy Daddy."
Work that flannel and a Bounty paper towel roll.
Oh YesSam Heughan Dancing GIF by Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip with Sam and GrahamGiphy
"Buff man in a kilt."
"Lol. “DUFFMAN… can’t breathe… oh no."
"A Clone Trooper Phase II armor."
"'Yes honey, you can leave the helmet on tonight.'“
"Mini skirt and thigh highs."
"Sheer white thigh highs with no lace pattern at the top."
"Seen that a lot XD I honestly also just gotta say thigh highs are one the most comfiest pieces of clothing I could wear."
"Any clothing that's provocative enough is sexier than being naked in my opinion."
"I've always held the firm belief that being clothed is sexier than being nude. Nudism is beauty, it's art. Lingerie, pushup bras, and tight underwear accentuate the curves. It doesn't just hide and tease you; it gives you a perfect frame. Do you understand? Now put on the clown shoes."
Sometimes a little bit of clothes can make for a little more magic.
God is a big part of life.
It's become a contentious topic in life for many to discuss.
So people are so driven by faith.
And many others find it just a fun fantasy.
But what many of us believe is deeply personal.
And that should be respected.
Redditor Glittering _Leading74 wanted to talk about one of life's most controversial issues: God. They asked:
"Do you think God is real, and why?"
I believe in God. I just sort of have to. I'm also afraid of death.
NoBored Episode 15 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
"At this point in time, No. I've explored several denonminations and attended a church faithfully for a big part of my life, participated in Sunday school as a child and adult, read the bible, prayed."
"But finally accepted that I don't believe in God. I think the God concept is more about feeling connected to something bigger than yourself. Feeling connected to yourself and others. But I don't feel connected and I don't have faith or trust."
"Live a good life. If there are Gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are Gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. - Marcus Aurelius"
"I really hope God is real but lacking any proof it seems like a fantasy to me. I'm terrified of death currently because I don't have a real belief system. I'd be so comforted if I were able to rely on any afterlife at all."
"Yep if God doesn't understand why I didn't believe then he is not God! 1000s of religions pick the wrong one suffer for eternity! Once again all eternity humans are full of sh*t were barely a blip in the universe's timeline."
"One of the biggest reasons I don't believe in God is precisely because i presume it was an invention made by a group of people who used their new religion as a weapon to earn easy cash thanks to the fact that it was really not hard to fool people in that era (even easier considering that they probably targeted poor people who needed something to give them a will to keep living in awful conditions)."
"Thats why they tried to silence a lot of intelligent people (for example, Galileo Galilei, who supported the idea that the Earth and the rest of the planets were the ones orbiting around the Sun, instead of the greek theory that the Catholic church imposed that said that the planets and the Sun orbited around the Earth) who, if they hadn't been stopped by the Church, technology would be a lot more advanced than what we have today."
Lost Itjesus GIFGiphy
"No, was raised a Christian but have had so much loss and general not having enough proof and such and just didn’t enjoy it that I quit believing in it."
Being raised certain ways can lead to more questions than answers.
IdeasDesign Idea GIF by Veo Branding CompanyGiphy
"I do but I don't really follow any religion. I have my own ideas about everything. And there ain't really a reason why. I guess I just wanna believe that there is life after death or something."
I can’t handle that...
"My dad was a minister. I tried SO hard to believe for my parents’ sake mostly. But I just can’t. I also cringe so hard when people talk about 'God was with him, that’s why he was ok' or 'God saved her!' or 'God was obviously present in this terrible tornado because the bibles in the pews were unmoved.' I can’t handle that. That’s like saying God abandoned the person who wasn’t ok."
"God didn’t want to save that other person. God cared more about bibles in a building than he cared about the actual real lives lost in the tornado. I can’t believe or worship something like that. I also used to say I believed in something, but wasn’t sure it was the Christian God. Now I’m not even convinced of that. Most of the miracles I see happening are the pure results of science."
"I have major issues with organized religion. But I can't be sure about anything else. I feel like maybe there is something there, and idk what it is. But I'm trying to live my life as a decent person either way. I do like the story of Jesus. With or without all the majorly religious stuff, he was just a good guy running around being nice to people and telling people not to be a**holes."
"I like the way that Jesus didn't have any problem with anyone who wasn't victimizing another person.
ETA - honestly it's the story of Jesus that gives me such huge issues with organized Christianity. This is their savior, right? Paid for sins and set the world right. But apparently they want to keep Judas-ing him, the way they act."
"Having faith of a God kind of just gives me more purpose and makes me more at ease about whatever comes after death. Even if he turns out not to be real then the important thing is I had guidance to follow instead of pondering the point of my useless existence and living for nothing. It's not about following God, It's about following your own beliefs that give you comfort in this crumbling world you will one day leave."
No AppealOver It Wow GIF by The Comeback HBOGiphy
"No. Raised religious but it just never appealed to me. I don’t think about it, question it, or wonder about anything religious or spiritual in nature. Just complete non-interest."
This will probably never be an issue with an answer that makes anyone happy. So believe what brings you comfort.
What do you believe happens after death? Let us know in the comments.
Most of the wild kingdom is far more ingenious and kind than us.
And when they do get "snippy," it's usually in reaction to humans.
They share food, build one another home, and will adopt lost creatures from another family.
We have a lot to learn from them.
Redditor pancakebunny15 wanted to discuss the best knowledge that can be shared about animal kingdom.They asked:
"What is a wholesome animal fact you know?"
I have two dogs. They make me feel better. That's my wholesome take.
Dam ItWorking On My Way GIF by San Diego ZooGiphy
"When they hear running water, beavers will automatically start to build a dam. We know this because people put a speaker playing sounds of running water next to beavers, and the first thing they did was start building a dam on the speaker."
"There are reports of elephants finding humans sleeping under trees and the elephants think they're dead. People have woken up with elephants gently stroking them with their trunk and in some cases they try to cover them with branches and sticks as a 'burial.' Elephants are one of the few animals who mourn their dead and have rituals."
"I saw a video not too long ago of some research ravens given small toys to play with. When the researchers came to collect the toys the ravens hid the toys and tried to trick the researchers into looking in fake hiding spots so they wouldn't find and take the toys away."
"Ravens are crazy smart. They can use tools to solve problems, remember human faces especially ones they have a grudge or connection with, and will sometimes bring trinkets for people who give them food and such."
"Orcas have incredibly complex social structures. They have different languages and regional dialects. They have names. They sing and dance. Pods that are close and speak the same language will mourn deaths and celebrate births together, even from other pods, other families."
"Their young are largely taught by the matriarch(s) of the pod, and they're able to teach verbally, rather than by showing. This means they have culture. Traditions, not just instinct or patterns. One of the only animals in the world that has that."
Group Effortguinea pig eating GIFGiphy
"In Switzerland it is illegal to own only one Guinea Pig as they get lonely."
Two of every pet is always best.
ColorsVideo Platypus GIFGiphy
"Despite all the weirdness that is the Platypus, they are still discovering weird things about it. Within the past two years it was discovered that platypus fur glows blue-green when exposed to ultraviolet light."
"Wild wolf packs and murders of crows form bonds over time. The crows help lead the wolves to live prey and in return and crows get the scraps after the wolf pack has eaten their fill. Crows have been seen playing with wolf pups and bringing them sticks and feathers as gifts."
"These same crows and wolf pups reunite as adults and do the deal time and time again. Sometimes the birds and carnivores just hang out together, supposedly just to enjoy each other's time. Like Hood Nature (Casual Geographic) once said, 'There's a Disney movie in here, I just know it.'"
Sharing is Caring
"Vampire bats will share food with other vampire bats who haven't fed in the last day or two (their metabolism means they die if they don't eat roughly every three days). This helps support members of the colony, even though it puts the sharer at risk. It is considered one of the few forms of altruism observed in non-human animals."
"My father in law worked for a commercial plumbing company. They got a job putting in all the water related stuff for the primate enclosures at the local zoo. While working near orangutans, they had to not leave their tools unattended, and take inventory when they left. The orangutans would try to use the tools to take their enclosure apart."
"Bonus Wholesome: Years later, my son got a book on animals at the book fair. Reading it together, when we got to the part about orangutans it said, 'orangutans are so smart, plumbers working on their enclosures at the (Hometown) Zoo had to be careful not to get their tools taken when working on their enclosure.'"
"I said, 'Holy crap, they are talking about your grandpa!!'"
SlumberWildlife Zebra GIF by BBC AmericaGiphy
"Zebras can’t sleep alone which leads to my theory Marty spent like 80% of the Madagascar movies as a raging insomniac hence explaining his erratic personality at times."
I love animals. They're so much better than us humans.
Okay hear me out, Zombie apocalypse films all get it wrong.
They focus on things like ammo, cool cars, and buff people trained in hand-to-hand combat (all of which are cool things) but fail to take into consideration that the true hero of the apocalypse is likely to be... secretly freaky suburban moms.
Reddit user DrillSargeee asked:
"What common household item would be priceless in a post-apocalyptic scenario?"
We'll get back to my theory that Britney Spears from the "If You Seek Amy" video might actually be our post-apocalyptic final girl superhero, but first let's talk to Reddit.
Sodium HypochloriteNicksplat Bleach GIF by NickRewindGiphy
"Absolutely. You only need a teeny tiny bit to make a lot of water drinkable."
"I was told by one of my patients who survived in Germany during WWII. She asked me multiple times if I kept enough bleach at home. She said it was by far the thing they used most, in order to purify water for drinking."
"Bleach starts to degrade after six months and gets less effective by 20% every year. And that’s if you store it properly. So make sure to adjust calculations if using older bleach."
"That's uselful for anything"
"Much like the Force, it has a dark side and a light side and it binds things together."
"Every time we go hiking my dad brings duct tape, and every single time we use it. It's pretty impressive stuff"
"I remember seeing one of those prepper shows, and he was talking about legit prepping for a zombie apocalypse."
"This bit always stayed with me cos I thought it was genius, but he was suggesting wrapping duct tape around clothes to create a kinda makeshift leather armour. to protect against bites."
Multi Use Shovel
"(based on a roleplaying session with very limited tools. My character was quickly nicknamed 'Shovel' based on the multitude of problems he could solve with the only item he could find)"
"Digging holes, cracking skulls, digging holes for the cracked skulls"
"Ah, that satisfying 'Pang!' from hitting a face *just* right! -Chef's kiss-"
"Is it a Tactical Shovel with 1,000,001 uses including eating ice cream?"
"When my mom took me and my sister to stock ourselves with a bug out bag, one of the first things I grabbed was a collapsible shovel."
"Entrenching, making fire pits, one edge is serrated for cutting wood, and the handle is designed to make it easy to use as a makeshift battle axe. Probably in the top 3 of most important tools I have."
Iron, Cast Iron
"I have a cast iron skillet that I use so much it feels like part of my hand. Seasoned to a black mirror shine. It's a pan, it's a bowl, it's a melee weapon, what more could you need?"
"I had so many answers, then I read this.."
"It's just too useful to leave."
"Proper iron intake is essential for survival. You get iron simply by cooking in your skillet. You may have the best answer here."
"Who knew, right?"
"Books, because hiding out in a bunker would probably get old quick"
"Things like manuals, encyclopedias, atlases and even cookbooks hold a lot of knowledge that would definitely come in handy."
"I have an antique pharmacists' guide from the 1890's that I bet would be useful!"
"It doesn't just list how to make medications. It lists how to make things like lotion and diaper rash cream and toothache powders. All types of daily things."
"Nice one. Cabin fever might be the intro to full-blown mental breakdown."
Unibrow Or Not, Useful .
"Tweezers… I know that’s not a kitchen thing… but they come in handy from splinters to unibrows. As for an actual kitchen thing, perhaps a sturdy pot and sharp knife (weapons and food prep)."
"I'm letting my unibrow go if we get to post-apocolypse. (Tweezers are super useful though)"
"So many medical uses for tweezers! You can perform a minor surgery with tweezers and a sharp knife."
Multi-Toolknife tools GIF by Kaho YoshidaGiphy
"A Leatherman multi-tool."
"We called them diggits in the navy. I always have one on me and my wife got me an upgraded one last birthday."
"Good to know. I just bought my boyfriend one for his birthday."
"Ha ! Was here for saying that. It's a tool with a range of uses beyond imagination."
"Weights and measures are often overlooked in dystopian fiction. But they form the very basis of early/emerging economies. Having a reliable scale means you can conduct trade and bartering effectively and consistently."
"Especially an analogue scale. Digital scales will eventually need rechargeable batteries and a screen replacement."
"God damn. You just blew my mind. Never once thought of this, thank you"
"Especially if we go back to precious metal dependence"
"I have a feeling you're going to be dosing medicinal herbs before you conduct trade."
"Or mixing up saltpeter, sulfur and charcoal."
"But good answer 👍"
Buy Or Harvest , Vitamin C
"Humans cannot produce it but need it. Depending on what SHTF scenario, transportation might be impacted, meaning no fresh foods and no vitamin c until you can grow something. Some cheap vitamin c tabs could prevent issues due to vitamin c deficiency"
"Nettles make a wonderful spring tonic due to all of the needed chemicals they contain. People used to make a tea with nettles and peppermint (it's really tasty too) to help recover after a long winter."
"I don't know where you live but in my area most people have dozens of plants that contain high concentrations of vitamin C right in their yards, and many can be harvested year round"
"Birch bark tea/sap fixes that issue."
Kniferaul julia GIFGiphy
"Good quality knives."
"Knife sharpener too"
"This is the only good answer here. People think perishables and medicines will matter. Those things only matter in society because we continue to replace them. In the apocalypse, they are only stop-gaps."
"They buy you time but they solve nothing. You will eventually run out of them and you will be back at square one. Everyone here is also assuming the incredible privilege of sheltering in place. In a true apocalypse, nowhere is safe. You will have to be a nomad or be incredibly lucky to find a tiny oasis of civilization. Even then, there won't be anything remotely resembling modern drug production or agriculture."
"The only people surviving the apocalypse are the people already living like they're in one. (Not me)."
Well, we're certainly going to add some of these items to our bug out bags if Z-day every does come.
Do you have something to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below.