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 ›
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...
Unpaid internships during summer's off from college are largely viewed as a right of passage.
But in most cases, they weren't exactly legal.
For-profit companies can, in fact, only hire unpaid interns if they are the "primary beneficiary" of the experience, i.e. not making coffee runs or spending the whole day at the copy machine, as most interns do.
Shockingly, many companies still continue to hire unpaid interns, knowing full well they are breaking the law by doing so.
But then, some people have no problem knowingly breaking the law, and worse still, they often get away with it.
Redditor Diligent-Log6805 was curious to learn about other illegal activities continue to happen without anyone seeming to notice, leading them to ask:
"What is illegal, but people continue to do openly without consequences?
Making the long haul even longer.
"Hauling more than the legal weight limit in dump trucks."
"I did a project a few years ago for my former employer because they noticed ALL the contractors that they hired were carrying more than the legal weight limit."
"This is a big issue because these trucks have increased stopping distances and are more likely to injure/kill people in the cars they hit."
"My company was pissed because they didn't want to be legally responsible if there were an accident."
"They had me analyze how much it would cost to buy a fleet of dump trucks, but it turns out you can't make much money hauling at the legal limit, so all dump trucks carry like twice the limit and just take the fines when weigh stations are open because it is WAY cheaper."
"Pretty messed up."
"Honestly, I felt like I did humanity a disservice telling them it wouldn't be worth it."
"If you ever get hit by a dump truck you can almost certainly sue them for being above the weight limit, but nobody really knows this."
"This depends on the legal weight limits in your region, but I know this to be true for most of the Northeast US."- tehipite_tom
Not everyone is deserving of a raise...
"Tell their employees they can’t talk about their wages with coworkers."- bowlofjelloSeason 6 Reaction GIFGiphy
Making the market even more volatile...
"Insider trading."- CremeDeLaNut
Don't people care about the environment?
Seriously, what can be so urgent?
"I see at least 3 red lights run on a daily basis."- Podoboo322Driving Fast GIF by The Grand TourGiphy
People are distracted even when they're walking
"People driving while on their phone."- Elettra_of
Sadly, seems like it's the American way...
"Politicians accepting bribes."- Patron_of_Wrath
Reserve with caution
"AirBnB, in a lot of places."- leadfoot9season 2 home GIFGiphy
More expensive than I thought...
"Where I live, if you buy something in another state without sales tax, but bring it back to your home state, you have to send your home state the tax you 'should have' paid if bought locally."
"Even if it's pants."
"Let me get right on that..."- prof_dorkmeister
Some people seem to like to live dangerously, without fear of any consequences or repercussions.
And most likely, these same people are thinking only of themselves, and not how it might affect others.
Among the biggest casualties as a result of the global pandemic are ongoing supply chain issues, which has resulted in a number of items costing considerably more than they once did.
As a result, a coffee and pastry will likely go for $12 or more.
But even before the pandemic first hit in March of 2020, the cost of various things still proved to be a major point of contention, namely at how overpriced they were.
These could be things which might seem frivolous in the grand scheme of things, such as a Caribbean vacation, or things which were literally life or death, such as healthcare.
Redditor madmart07 was curious to hear the things the Reddit community were worth far less than their asking price, leading them to ask:
"What should be at least 5x cheaper than it is?"
The hefty price of education
"Graphing calculators."- floofyskypanda
"They are charging insane prices and switching the required books often."- SuvenPanStudent Loans Graduation GIF by INTO ACTIONGiphy
Want to stay alive? Then pay up...
"Prescription meds."- Straight-Audience-91
"For something that could potentially save a life shouldn’t cost that much."
"Some people even carry an expired epipen because they can’t afford to get a new one."- xiaom1ng
Let people die with dignity
"When I die I’m getting turned into a tree."- TheEvilestArtichoke
Guess we'll just starve.
"Due to commissions, a kilo of onion costs more than onion imported from China."
"That is the case for most good items."
"Bangladesh here."- niamulsmh
Might as well just buy a new printer!
"Printer Ink."- bruinblitzrainbow hp GIF by Anthony AntonellisGiphy
Don't be fooled by the price tag...
"Transaction fees."- BadBadGrades
Wish I could see it...
"F*cking eye care."
'Glasses and contacts."
"I’m lucky with decent health insurance that the style of glasses that I wear is only $20 copay but Jesus! "
"It’s all so expensive!"- SwigSwoot92sleepy good night GIF by Benedikt LuftGiphy
Not everything should only be enjoyed by the super wealthy.
Let alone the right to live.