Psychological disorders in The Little Mermaid In Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid, various characters acquire many different psychological disorders. A psychological disorder, also known as a mental disorder, is a pattern of behavioral or psychological symptoms that affect multiple life areas and/or create distress for the person experiencing these symptoms. These symptoms become clear throughout the duration of the movie. First, Flounder is discovered to suffer from panic attacks.
Panic attacks are sudden feelings of terror that strike without warning. Flounder usually becomes suddenly panicked whenever Ariel decides to do daring things. Panic attacks can occur at any given time, even during sleep. Typically, a person experiencing a panic attack might believe that he or she is having a heart attack. The fear and terror that a person experiences during a panic attack are not in proportion to the true situation and may be unrelated to what is happening around them.
Many symptoms of a panic attack include: racing heart, feeling weak, faint, or dizzy, tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers, sense of terror/impending doom or death, feeling sweaty or having chills, chest pains, breathing difficulties, or feeling a loss of control. Like Flounder has a form of an anxiety disorder, King Triton, Ariel’s father, has a form of an anxiety disorder, Separation Anxiety. Separation anxiety is a feeling of needing to be attached to a person at all times. Those suffering from Separation Anxiety may worry about losing their child.
They often refuse to go to certain places because of fears of separation, or become extremely fearful when they are left alone. King Triton possesses Separation Anxiety Disorder because he is completely attached to his daughter, Ariel. He always has to be watching her every move and must be close to her at all times. Lastly, Sebastian portrays the disorder of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, also known as OCD. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder in which people have unwanted and repeated thoughts, feelings, ideas, obsessions, or behaviors that make them feel driven to do something.
Often the person carries out the behaviors to get rid of the obsessive thoughts, but this only provides temporary relief. Sebastian becomes “obsessed” with looking out for Ariel or getting the King’s approval. The characters within the movie illustrate good examples of the many disorders in the world. Many people are forced to deal with the disorders that are out of their control, and it is interesting to see that even disney characters must deal with the difficult disorders of their own.