As I was doing some reading this morning, I discovered a cross-curricular phenomenon:  the Winnie-the-Pooh-as-psychology industry.

Just go to your favorite search engine and type in some combination of the words depression, Milne, Eeyore, ADHD, Pooh–and you will soon find dozens of sites that take all the fun out of A. A. Milne’s classic children’s stories.  The internet experts go so far as to diagnose not only Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger, but even Christopher Robin, Rabbit and Owl.  It seems there is no one “normal” in the 100 Acre Wood.

Obviously, with my experiences, I focused my research on Eeyore:

The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, “Why?” and sometimes he thought, “Wherefore?” and sometimes he thought, “Inasmuch as which?” and sometimes he didn’t quite know what he was thinking about.
A. A. Milne From book Winnie the Pooh

“Good morning, Eeyore,” said Pooh.
“Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning, which I doubt,” said he.
“Why, what’s the matter?”
“Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”
“Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
“Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”
A. A. Milne From book Winnie the Pooh

One can’t complain. I have my friends. Someone spoke to me only yesterday.
Eeyore
From Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

 So what is the consensus of the experts?  Our favorite disfigured donkey is either

  • Realistic
  • Fatalistic
  • Stoic
  • Exhibiting a Melancholy Personality
  • Mildly depressed
  • Suffering from Dysthemia
  • A victim of Limbic System ADHD

(Some of the above diagnoses overlap; others contradict. )

Here’s my conclusion:  Eeyore is an interesting fictional character, consistent in portrayal, and with his complete “case file” written and on hand.  If the “experts” cannot agree on a diagnosis for him, what hope do any of us real, inconsistent, and incomplete humans have?

Seeking treatment, taking medication, following prescribed therapy, and all the rest are steps of faith, which may be in short supply for the mentally ill.  Pray for those around you who suffer, that they will get proper early diagnosis and treatment, so that they can focus their limited faith in the Almighty, and not have to waste it on doctors.

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