Growing up, I was a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh. The relationships between the characters, their personalities and of course, who doesn't love honey like Pooh does.

Recently I came across this article and it hit me why till this day, the characters remain relatable. They each represent a disorder, an illness per se. As a child, I related to their kinship and as a teenager, I related to their struggle in society while battling and managing their problems and disorders.

WINNIE THE POOH

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A naive and slow-witted character, Pooh is characterised to be simple and lovable while pursuing his happiness. Pooh suffered from more than one disorder and perhaps the most prominent one among them would be his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Pooh's ADHD is exhibited in his scattered, disordered thoughts, random remarks, and constant forgetfulness.

PIGLET

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Pooh's favourite confidante and his closest friend, Piglet is known as the character that is kind, gentle, and very shy. Piglet he sees himself as small and helpless in a big world and is reliant on the security and comfort of others. Piglet suffers from a case of a Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Piglet is timid and often takes his lead from others unless overcome by fear in which he will suffer from “stage fright” and find a place to hide or run away.

TIGGER

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The quintessential extrovert, Tigger is full of energy, fun-loving but sometimes so overconfident that he thinks that any task is “what Tiggers do best”. Tigger is a classic case of ADHD, with an emphasis on the H: hyperactivity. He is super active and constantly bouncing around on his tail even when he clearly needs rest.

EEYORE

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Everyone knows this character as the one that is perpetually sad and depressed all the time. Eeyore is slow-talking and more cautious than his friends and is often reluctant to go along with their actions, but usually does not bother trying to oppose anyone because he believes it to be futile to try. It comes as no surprise that Eeyore suffers from Depression or more specifically Chronic Dysthymia.

KANGA

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The only mother and female of the group, Kanga is known as the overprotective mother of Roo. Although her overprotectiveness can make her seem fierce, Kanga is kind-hearted, calm, patient and often concerned for the well-being of others. Kanga is said to be suffering from a case of Social Anxiety Disorder which is possibly why she is so overprotective over her son.

ROO

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Roo is Kanga's cheerful and energetic joey and also the youngest of the group. Roo looks up to Tigger as an older brother and is always asking questions to analyse the world around him. Roo shows signs of possible Autism. Roo often pays no attention to the world around him, wandering into danger. He also prefers to sit silently in his mother's pouch, with little to no interest in venturing out. These two extremes put him somewhere on the autism spectrum.

OWL

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Characterised as one of the most intelligent characters compared to the rest, Owl is the oldest member of the group and presents himself as a mentor and teacher to the others. However, his frequent inability to spell out words along with misspelt words on many of the signs around Hundred Acre Wood hints that Owl may suffer from Dyslexia.

RABBIT

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The friendly, dependable and extremely organised character, Rabbit can be seen constantly making plans and finding ways to improve things. Rabbit must have every single thing organized at all times. His time and energy is mostly spent on counting, recounting, arranging, and rearranging everything, much to the annoyance of his friends. Whenever anything is out of place or order, one must be prepared to feel Rabbit's wrath. Rabbit suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, he hates it when people mess up his work or his space and the concept of fun may seem foreign to him.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

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The main protagonist of the story, Christopher has a cheerful and compassionate personality and is someone that Pooh and the others look up to. Christopher Robin is the only human in the Hundred Acre Wood, all the other characters are his stuffed animals and the entire world of Pooh is essentially a figment of his imagination. Christopher suffers from Schizophrenia.

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Friends are the family you choose

I believe that we all have a little bit of each character in us. Sometimes we want to run away from public situations like Piglet and sometimes we may be sad like Eeyore. The beautiful thing about the entire story is that even though many of the characters are drastically different, they accept each other with all their heart. Putting this into perspective, learning about the characters' disorders has made me understand what it means to accept not just friends who are different from us but most importantly, accept ourselves and learn to love ourselves despite all our faults.

Piglet: “How do you spell ‘love’?”
Pooh: “You don’t spell it…you feel it.”
— Winnie the Pooh

Thanks for reading!

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