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Mental health issues have prevailed in our society for a long time now. However, the discussion is quite new to us. If our progress was to be calculated in a decade, we have come a long way from calling depression a “mere rough patch” to coming out about our experiences with it and talking about the severity of it.
Now that the conversation has finally begun, each step ahead is either a discovery or an epiphany. We notice people around us and step into their shoes to look at life from their perspective. Moreover, we look back at characters from our favorite sitcoms and movies and realize that all this while we were laughing at how weird they were, without realizing what they suffered from.
In this article, we shall be discussing some of the famous movie and sitcom characters that seemed to suffer from some serious mental ailments.
Monica Geller: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Monica Geller, played by Courtney Cox in the widely loved sitcom “FRIENDS”, comes across as a control freak at first. The character has been so well portrayed by Cox that it almost feels real and the different layers to it make you not stop thinking about it.
The backstory given to the character explains a lot about her behavior. She was the younger child of the Geller family and was constantly suffering from body image issues. Being an obese kid and a “second favorite” to her parents, competition was her first reaction to everything.
Also, she has been shown to be a cleanliness freak who notices and is haunted by even the minor changes in her living area. As much as we joke about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, it is much more serious than we think. It often is a result of a person striving for perfection, to constantly prove something and have a “place” for themselves.
Monica Gaztambide: Stockholm Syndrome
Stockholm Syndrome is characterized by the affection and emotional dependency a captive feels towards his/her captors. It is often a result of a deprived emotional relationship or the lack of affection in one’s life. As a result of this, the captive or hostage surrenders emotionally to their captors and refuses to cooperate with the police, or to freedom.
Monica Gaztambide has been shown to have a romantic affair with Arturo Roman who is an already married man and also the boss of Gaztambide at the Mint. Monica gets pregnant with Arturo’s child and when she tells him about it, he is opposed to the idea of keeping the baby and asks her to abort it. She is shattered to hear it from him and feels helpless.
When they are held hostage, she finds comfort and security being around “Denver”, who is one of the captors. He takes care of her and the two form an emotional bond while they are in the mint together.
As much as Stockholm Syndrome sounds like a romantic story for a movie, it is extremely dangerous since it imposes a risk to one’s life. In several cases, children having suffered from child abuse developed an emotional dependency towards their predators.
Micheal Scott: Histrionic Personality Disorder
Micheal Scott has been one of the most idiosyncratic characters on the show “The office”. Played by Steve Carell, Micheal can also be categorized under narcissistic personality disorder. His eager need to be liked by all and be looked up by all often shows his insecurities towards himself.
Psychologists believe that someone who is truly insecure of themselves and thinks very little of themselves often tends to overcompensate for it and try extra hard to hide it from others and for people to like them.
Sheldon Cooper: OCD + Asperger Syndrome
Sheldon Cooper is the “special child” who thinks highly of himself and anything he isn’t good at is basically not good enough for him. Sheldon as portrayed in the show, “The Big Bang Theory” has two layers to his characters. He clearly is someone who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and is too particular about almost everything from “his spot on the couch” to his “meal order”.
The second layer to Sheldon’s character is of a guy who suffers from Asperger Syndrome. Where on one hand he can solve any physics equation and has one of the most impressive IQs, on the other hand, he fails to understand emotions. From sarcasm and satire to comprehending romance, one of the most natural emotions to humankind, Sheldon has an Emotional Quotient of a cat.
However, we must mention here that OCD does seem funnier on Sheldon but in real life, it makes your life anything but easy. The patients with OCD fail to carry with ease even the simplest of tasks. They are never too sure of something and often end up overthinking almost everything.
Sherlock Holmes: Antisocial Personality Disorder
Sherlock Holmes in his own words is not a “psychopath” but a “highly functioning sociopath”. He prefers living inside his house and to meet and greet people is the last thing on earth he’d probably like. He lacks a sense of shame, remorse, or guilt.
One of the most dangerous aspects of his character is that when it comes to accomplishing something, he would take up a way that any human would think ten times about and still refuse. Being around someone who does not experience or practice even the slightest hint of empathy, a person should be anything but wooed. “Scared” is the right emotion one should experience around such people.
We come across various movie and sitcom characters in a day who are “weirdos” and yet most often we tend to fail to address what makes them the “weirdo” they are. In the show FRIENDS, Monica Geller has been shown to be suffering from “OCD”. Similarly, Sheldon Cooper, from the “Big Bang Theory” has been shown to suffer from “Asperger’s Syndrome” and OCD. Sherlock Holmes, played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the show of the same name, has been shown to suffer from “Antisocial Personality Disorder”. Micheal Scott, played by Steve Carell in the show “The Office”, tends to suffer from “Histrionic Personality Disorder”.
This funny portrayal of mental disorders in our favorite sitcom characters has made it more acceptable to people. What many people viewed as a taboo subject is being more talked about, which marks the first step toward the diagnosis and healing of mental disorders.