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 ›
When I was a kid, I would occasionally watch this show called Big Bag. It went off the air more than 20 years ago and it seemed to only play at five or six in the morning. If I happened to wake up early, I'd catch it. It was targeted toward preschool viewers and was fun and silly, a partnership between Cartoon Network and what is now the Sesame Workshop.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who remembers it existed. But I'm not the only one with this kind of dilemma.
People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor LegitimateMangoHeir asked the online community,
"What's a show from your childhood that no one else seems to remember?"
Sagwa The Chinese Siamese Cat (2001)
"I thought Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat was a fever dream for so long."
Probably because it only had a single season! Might as well have vanished off the face of the earth after that.
"Hamtaro. For the LONGEST time I distinctly remembered watching the show but couldn't remember what it was called or anything else. I remember having a revelation in middle school and going "IT'S REAL???"
It certainly was real! And it was quite possibly the cutest thing to ever be broadcast on our television screens.
"There's a specific age group that really enjoyed Gargoyles."
Hi, it's me. I'm the age-group. There are dozens of us!
Mummies Alive! (1997)
"Mummies Alive! That and Gargoyles were my favourites to watch after school."
Another one that aired for a single season, it was part of a general trend of "mummymania" in 1990s pop culture.
Out of the Box (1998)
"Out of the Box. So long, farewell, to you my friends."
This one had a good run. That theme song is now in my head.
Count Duckula (1988)
"Count Duckula. The best damn cartoon ever!"
I hadn’t heard that theme song in decades and I was just transported back to my childhood room.
Maggie and the Ferocious Beast (2000)
"Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. Great googly moogly!"
O Canada! This one was cute!
Stick Stickly from "Nick in the Afternoon" (1994)
"Anyone remember Stick Stickley on Nickelodeon? I even remember the jingle but everyone I talk to looks at me crazy!"
Write to me, Stick Stickley, PO BOX 963, New York City, New York State, 10108!
The Angry Beavers (1997)
"The Angry Beavers. People look at me like I’m a psycho when I mention it."
This one — along with CatDog — was super popular!
2 Stupid Dogs (1993)
"2 Stupid Dogs. Well, ain't that cute. But it's wrong!"
I quote that line at least once a day. I loved that show.
You should probably run to YouTube and take a trip down memory lane. Thankfully, many of these are available in some capacity for you to enjoy!
Have some shows you love that you'd like to mention? Tell us more in the comments below!
You know what would be great?
If "family influencers" didn't exist. I don't know what people get out of watching people do their shopping and raise their kids, but it sounds boring as hell. Oh, and did I mention that the children have pretty much no privacy from the moment they're born? Yeah... that'll be a treat for them to comprehend when they're older.
But there are a host of other things out there that are just as annoying. People shared their thoughts with us after Redditor RAZOR314 asked the online community,
"What modern trend do you absolutely hate?"
"News agencies writing articles..."
"News agencies writing articles about "all these people are saying X" when it's just a few random people on Twitter, and generally the trend of amplifying fringe theories, beliefs, conspiracies, etc."
I think one of the unfortunate developments in the modern media landscape is the obsession with Twitter. I think it really exacerbates some current issues of representation in the media.
"I hate these videos..."
"I hate those videos with a split screen and something interesting is happening on one half, while an 'influencer' is literally just watching on the other half."
"I do not give a single f*ck about the influencer. I just want to see the thing on the other side. You know, the thing worth reacting to."
So true. They can't create worthwhile content so they "react" to the worthwhile content.
"People recording when they should be helping."
Sometimes recording does help — look at all the instances of police brutality that have made national headlines — but it's not when people are recording for likes, views, clout etc.
"The abundance of unskippable ads on videos. I 100% guarantee I will actively try to not buy your product if you're interrupting what little precious time I have to watch something."
Yes, it makes me so angry. Stop wasting my time. I will click out of something so fast.
"Corporations buying single family homes and turning them into rentals."
And people wonder why there's a housing crisis.
"All controls in a car being through a touch screen."
"For driving safety I wanna keep my eyes on the road, and want to find controls (like window wipers, radio by touch. With a touch screen, I have to look to see if I am touching the right place on the screen for the control I want."
Yes! It's an unnecessary design change, honestly more trouble than it's worth.
"The fact that EVERYTHING is a f*cking ad."
There are many ways to get around that and you can learn about it in my new book How to get rid of ads (free with your Amazon Audible trial).
"Subscription services. Everything nowadays is being turned into a monthly bill."
It's awful. And everything is so expensive. Why bother having all these subscriptions in the first place, right?
"The abundance of people trying to be influencers/streamers, while the majority of them are about as interesting as a boil."
To be honest, most people would rather watch the boil.
We live in a pretty cool world. It'd just be better if most of this stuff didn't exist.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
TV audiences cheer when the terrorist or psycho-killer in their favorite shows gets killed off.
The offing of nefarious characters provides closure and brings us viewers a sense of relief in knowing that justice prevailed.
But sometimes, the characters we've grown to love meet their untimely demise, and it can be devastating to witness after viewers have established a connection to the characters they've grown attached to throughout numerous seasons of a beloved show.
Strangers online recalled the times they mourned the loss of a character as if they've personally known them when Redditor Mysticalmadss asked:
"What is the saddest TV show death of all time?"
Warning: spoilers abound.
Long-running series go through the process of "cleaning house," so to speak, a necessary evil in an attempt to keep the show fresh for loyal viewers and in the hopes of attracting new ones.
It's all heartbreaking just the same.
"The transplant patient deaths in Scrubs. The hospital finally got organs (from one donor) for all the people on the transplant list, but they discovered the donor had rabies too late, by that time, all the recipient of the donated organs started dying off and John C. McGinley (who played Dr. Cox) was really emotional in that moment as he tried his damnest to save the transplant patients."
British Historical TV
"Not shown on screen exactly, but the ending of the 4th series of Blackadder where all the shenanigans suddenly come to a stop and nearly all the main cast get sent over the top to die in No Man's Land."
"The rest of the series is the usual Blackadder humour, some of it touching or morbid at times, but it's like it's just at the end when you remember where they are and the insane amount of death, fear and misery surrounding them. A really effective ending."
A Shocking But Understandable Character Exit
"Adriana in the Sopranos, she just loved her boyfriend and shiny things but was doomed and way in over her head from the start."
Narrowing It Down
"Fry's dog in Futurama"
"Hank in Breaking Bad"
"Opie in Sons of Anarchy."
The impact from the death of an individual can be more devastating if they are a parent, child or the elderly.
"Buffy's mom. 'The Body.'"
"I always love the way the scene plays out because when Buffy first comes in she doesn't realize and is just telling her mom why she's upset before she realizes that her mom isn't answering. When she says 'mommy?' after realizing something's not right I break."
Educating Children About Death
"Mr Hooper from Sesame Street. I was in pre-k"
"If you want to ugly cry about Sesame Street like I did then go watch 'Street Gang' on HBO. It's a documentary about the founding of Sesame Street/Children's Television Workshop. It is fascinating."
"Anyway, you get a big discussion of Mr. Hooper's death with the footage from the show which still guts me to this day, because it is such a moving representation of how young children view death."
"But that's not all! You also get Big Bird/Carol Spinney singing 'It's Not Easy Being Green' at Jim Henson's funeral (which also destroys me). And then you get to see some very melancholy interviews with a very aged but still delightful Carol recorded just before his death (which was about a year before this was released)."
The Mother Who Couldn't Take It
"On the M*A*S*H finale, when the woman killed her baby because it wouldn't stop crying."
Tragedy In The First Season
"Sybil in Downton Abbey. So sad and pointless."
"Dr. Wilson, House MD... Even though I guess that's technically a presumed death."
Let's take a look at some more honorable mentions.
A Grievous Error
"When Bubbles gave that kid a hot shot on accident on The Wire. It eventually led him to getting his life half way in order but it was absolutely devastating to watch that episode."
"Sun and Jin on Lost."
Twisting The Knife
"Lots of great answers, but I still have to go with Leo McGarry’s death in The West Wing. Dying right before being told they’d won was bad enough, but the fact that it was written in due to John Spencer’s death was just last kick in the nuts."
The most devastating TV show death was each major character in Six Feet Under.
Every episode in the brilliant series about our mortality started with a prologue of incidental characters meeting their demise that brings them to Fisher & Sons Funeral Home.
In what is considered to be one of the greatest TV series finales ever, we got to say goodbye to each major character in a series of flash-forwards in an emotional montage.
I ugly cried then, and the poignant manner in which we parted ways with all the memorable characters in the show still haunts me to this day.
Finding the right pajamas can be a fairly stressful ordeal.
Which is perhaps why some people choose to forgo pajamas all together, and sleep in the nude.
No doubt saving people hundreds of dollars on what they might otherwise have spent on a pair of pajamas.
But in addition to being economical, people no doubt have countless reasons for their natural choice of sleepwear.
Or lack thereof.
Redditor -TheMidpoint- was curious to hear why people opted to sleep in the buff, leading them to ask:
"People who sleep naked, why?"
Because I can!
"Zero restrictions while sleeping means better sleep."
"I have learned to hang a robe by the bedroom door..."- IssaScott
"I sleep better when my body is a bit cool."
"I hate having to wear clothes by day, so by night its a relief!"- Draculamb
'I have to wear clothes all day, f*ck having to wearing them in bed."- Purple-Homework764Lets Go Undress GIF by PaxerosGiphy
Built in security system
"Wouldn't you be scared if you were a robber and saw a naked man running at you with a frying pan?"- makz_ammo
Read into it as you will...
"Same reason I shower naked, so I don't get my clothes wet."- dmack080288
This could have two meanings...
'It's f*ckin hot."- KulladarFan Reaction GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Not just at bedtime...
"It stops people from sitting next to me on the train."- bujler
"When else does my genitals gets to see sunlight."- sex_chef
To get a head start on the day.
"In the morning I don’t feel like taking off clothes to get into the shower so i just sleep naked."- Zoie10135Relaxing Homer Simpson GIFGiphy
It just feels so good...
"because it's way more comfortable and I won't feel every single crease in the clothing and it won't bunch up."- everyonesBF
The most important factor when it comes to sleepwear is comfort.
Which, for many people means ditching sleeping attire all together.
And let's face it, there are few better feelings than that of the sheets against your skin.
Well, maybe one or two things, which also involve a lack of clothing...