Just recently we’re getting all fascinated with Winnie the Pooh again. With the movie ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ and the new Disney release, I thought it timely to take a deeper look at the characters.

The story of ‘Goodbye Christopher Robin’ revolves around Author A.A. Milne played by Domhnall Gleeson and his son, Christopher Robin, played by newcomer Will Tilston whose stuffed animals inspired the magical world of Pooh Bear during a difficult time following the first World War.

After the war, Milne suffered from post-traumatic stress which eventually led him to recreate his family outside of London to a quiet cottage near the East Sussex woodlands. The forest surrounding the house would come to inspire Pooh’s Hundred Acres Wood.

The story, however, is the heart-warming and endearing story of a father and a son playing together in the woods, inventing stories about his teddy bear Winnie which he named after a visit to a famous black bear in London zoo, alongside Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Tigger.

However, given who I am as a person, I have long thought that Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends had a deeper meaning than that, which goes way beyond childhood stories.

As I child I would not be able to keep my nose out of the books and they were my ‘go-to’ reading matter. Even at a young age I could see the different characters and would, in turn, identify with each of the characters and their personality types. I would often want to dive on in and join them all and try and put a smile on Eeyore’s face, correct Owl’s spelling mistakes, stop Christopher Robin from dragging Pooh on the floor and tell Kanga to stop being so anxious – all would be fine. As far as I could see they made a great little team – each one balancing the other out! The perfect friendship group!

Turns out, wise Owl that I am, I’m right.

According to the Canadian Medical Association, each ‘Winnie the Pooh’ character symbolises a certain mental disorder! Of course, they do, that makes sense, doesn’t it? A.A. Milne was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, he had a disjointed relationship with his son, only bonding on their walks in the Hundred Acres Wood – Christopher Robin’s mother hardly played a part in her son’s upbringing – no wonder he bonded with his dad during those walks in the woods.

So here’s a little breakdown for you should you want to ponder, just like me, on the personality types *;

  • Winnie the Pooh – Impulsivity with obsessive fixations and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder) with a touch of OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) – shown by obsessive fixations – he loves honey (boy don’t we know it!) and counting.
  • Eeyore – very depressive – seriously negative outlook on life.
  • Rabbit – OCD – has to have everything in order.
  • Piglet – anxiety disorder – he suffers from a distinct speech impediment and is stressed and anxious most of the time.
  • Tigger – ADHD – he is impulsive and hyperactive all the time.
  • Owl – Dyslexia – he’s the most intelligent but suffers from dyslexia.
  • Kanga & Roo – social anxiety disorder – she’s overly protective of her son Roo.
  • Christopher Robin – Schizophrenia – his friends are toys and he has created characters.

(*all above references and personality breakdowns were taken from ‘Strong Mind Brave Heart’ and the Canadian Medical Association).

Well, there go all your childhood memories of these characters down the toilet, he, he. However, never fear as everyone has mental health issues some way or the other, and these characters simply, in a child-like manner, put a label on each and every one of us.

What really makes me laugh so much is the fact that my dearest friend Helen (who I was lucky enough to meet over four years ago) and I have held each other’s hands over those years, and often refer to each other as either Piglet, Tigger, Pooh or Owl on many different occasions. Afterwards, we often laugh out loud and say we think we’re a mixture of all these ‘Winnie the Pooh’ characters. I like it though and think it’s far better to be called Pooh or Piglet rather than suffering from Bipolar, OCD or ADHD!

In truth, we probably all have a ‘touch’ of these characters in us or possibly mirror one of these characters more closely. I’m proud to be mostly Pooh, a bit of Rabbit, sometimes Piglet (but rarely these days) and quite often Tigger where I use a huge amount of energy and then completely collapse. At least I get to the exhausted bit – a girl’s got to have her beauty sleep! 🙂

With love and a big hug,

Tracey B x
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