"Winnie-the-Pooh and Disorders" is an outstanding example of a paper on the disorder. Eeyore is one of the most famous of all the characters in Winnie-the-Pooh. He is a donkey with a tail that is attached with a pin. He has long floppy ears, walks with his head low to the ground, and speaks in a low, drowsy voice. Eeyore is often one of the funniest characters in my opinion, but not in the same way that Winnie-the-Pooh and Tigger are funny. Eeyore is funny because he is the antithesis of the other character that appears to be fun and lovable in their way. All of the Winnie-the-Pooh characters have traits that could be interpreted as mood, personality, or cognitive disorders. Winnie-the-Pooh has an apparent learning disability, Tigger may very well suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Piglet displays symptoms of a host of generalized phobias and Rabbit’ s gardening habits lead one to believe that he may have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. But in my opinion, Eeyore has the most pervasive of all assembled mood disorders. In my opinion, Eeyore suffers from a condition known as dysthymia. Dysthymia is a mood disorder that has several specific characteristics. First of all, Dysthymia is a disorder that must be present for a long time, at least two years, to be diagnosed. Everyone experiences the major symptoms of Dysthymia at some time or another during life. According to the Mayo Clinic website, “ With dysthymia, you may lose interest in normal daily activities, feel hopeless, lack productivity, and have low self-esteem and an overall feeling of inadequacy.
People with dysthymia are often thought of as being overly critical, constantly complaining, and incapable of having fun (Dysthymia Symptoms, 2013). ” Who hasn’ t felt inadequate or maybe a bit hopeless at one time or another? What makes Dysthymia different is that lasts for a very long time and does not abate. Think about Eeyore and his actions. He will occasionally smile, but usually in an ironic way. He disparages all of his thoughts and ideas, assuming that no one would want to listen to him because he is just a sad, unsuccessful donkey. His outlook on life seems to be one that feels other people get all of the breaks and have all of the talents, but he has nothing to offer. Eeyore often comments on the nice things others have, such as a red balloon or a tail that doesn’ t fall off. But he has no hope of ever obtaining such fine things. Looking at Eeyore’ s symptoms, it is clear that he has a constant, low-level feeling of hopelessness and inadequacy that characterizes Dysthymia. It is important to understand that this is not the same as having Depression. This is a different disorder, though they are sometimes found together. The sad thing about Eeyore’ s condition is that it is surprisingly rare. Nearly 6% of all Americans will have bouts of Dysthymia (Dysthymia 2013). If you think about it, that is millions of years spent in a Dysthymic state by the American people over any one year. Many of these people, including Eeyore will probably go undiagnosed. They may see their family doctor, or talk to a good friend like Christopher Robbin, but this disorder is easy to excuse as simply having a gloomy outlook on life. There is a very good chance that Eeyore will live his entire literary life as a donkey with undiagnosed Dysthymia. The causes and treatments for Dysthymia are fairly well known. There appears to be a strong genetic component to this disorder. Nearly 50% of the people (and donkeys) that suffer from Dysthymia had parents that suffered from the disorder. This calls into question the whole nature v.
nurture causality because there are no genetic markers yet identified for Dysthymia. It could be that instead of a genetic component, the parenting style or environment in the home may encourage the development of this mood disorder.
Another observed condition that often accompanies Dysthymia that may be considered a cause is the presence of some sort of other physical disability. The physical discomfort and pain or perhaps the societal prejudices against the disability may create a pervasive and depressive atmosphere for the afflicted individual. Because Eeyore has a physically damaged tail that occasionally falls off and gets lost makes him a strong candidate for Dysthymia. Regardless of the source of Dysthymia, the treatment almost always involves the use of modern psychoactive medications. SNRI’ s are one class of drug that successfully treats individuals suffering from Dysthymia and other depressive mood disorders. SNRIs block the reuptake of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
They also affect certain other neurotransmitters. Changing the balance of these chemicals helps brain cells send and receive messages, which in turn boosts mood. Medications in this group of antidepressants are sometimes called dual reuptake inhibitors because they work with both of these neurotransmitters. Familiar names of SNRI drugs are Cymbalta, Effexor, and Pristiq. Another class of drugs that can work for Dysthymia is SSRI’ s. These drugs work on much the same principle as SNRI’ s in that they seek to alter the brain chemistry by manipulating the levels of serotonin absorbed between synapses. The difference is that SSRI’ s only block serotonin, not other neurotransmitters. Common names for SSRIs are Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac. There are some reasons that many psychologists might prefer to subscribe to SNRI’ s over SSRI’ s. The main reason is that there appear to be fewer side effects from using SNRI’ s. The side effects of both classes of drugs are substantial. Everything from having a pervasive dry mouth to sexual dysfunction can occur. Many patients that use these drugs stop taking them because there are so many bad side effects. Doctors now consider this. Giving drugs that patients will not use is not good practice. Eeyore’ s doctor will work with him, offering a variety of drug choices until they find one that relieves the Dysthymia and produces a few side effects as possible. Coupled with the drug therapy will be cognitive or psychotherapy that can teach Eeyore decision-making skills and give him the chance to explore his relationship with his parents that may be adding to his current mood disorder. Eeyore is one sick donkey. He suffers from a mood disorder that is difficult to diagnose and treat. He does have some things working in his favor. He is surrounded by supportive friends and has access to socialized medicine because he is British. He will not have to worry about getting access to the medicine and healthcare professionals he needs to get well. Looking forward, Eeyore will have an uphill battle. Because Dysthymia cannot be diagnosed until the patient has had it for two years. By then, the patient has become accustomed to feeling a certain way. They may not be able to escape from their feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness easily. Medication and other therapies can help, but nearly 70% of the people that are treated for Dysthymia relapse into this mood disorder again (Depression, 2012). Eeyore will need the help of medical professionals to overcome his Dysthymia. If he were in America, he would need to seek out his family doctor who could then make recommendations to specialists. If Eeyore is going to be treated in Britain, he could just go to a public clinic for an evaluation. A good thing for Eeyore to do would be to learn about his disorder by reading reputable literature about Dysthymia. These can be found on the internet, often attached to medical research universities such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins. Using these resources will give Eeyore the best chance or conquering his Dysthymia.
Depression (major depression). (2012) Retrieved April 7, 2013 from http://
Dysthymia. (2013) Retrieved April 7, 2013 from http://www.health. harvard.edu/newsweek/Dysthymia.htm
Dysthymia Symptoms. (2013) Retrieved April 7, 2013 from http:// www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000918.htm