For decades, Disney princesses have been iconic figures in popular culture. These characters often reflect society’s changing attitudes and values, captivating the hearts and imaginations of children and adults alike.
However, underneath the fairy tale veneer, one could hypothesize potential mental disorders that could arise from the hardships and circumstances each princess faces.
This article aims to examine, purely from a fictional standpoint, the different mental disorders of Disney princesses might exhibit based on their stories and traits.
Cinderella: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Cinderella had it super tough, you know? She did all the work at home and her stepmom and stepsisters were really mean to her. A lot of yelling and making her feel small. That kind of bad stuff happening all the time can mess with a person’s head.
Even when she got away from that and went to the ball and stuff, those bad memories can stick around like gum on a shoe. That means she might get scared or sad a lot even when there’s no reason, just because her past was really rough.
That’s what PTSD can be like. It’s like her brain keeps playing the scary parts of her life over and over.
Ariel (The Little Mermaid): Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
Ariel was super obsessed with being a human, you know? She was never happy with her mermaid looks and always dreamt about having two legs instead of her fishy tail. This kind of thing where someone can’t stop thinking that a part of their body is not right, even if everyone else says they look fine, can be a sign of BDD, or Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
It’s like when a person looks in the mirror and all they see is this one thing they want to change, even though to everyone else, they look totally normal. For Ariel, that feeling was super strong.
It made her go to the sea witch and she even traded away her voice just to have legs. That’s some intense stuff – giving up something big for the thing you think will make you look better.
Belle (Beauty and the Beast): Stockholm Syndrome
Belle, the book-smart gal from “Beauty and the Beast,” ended up kind of cozy with the Beast after he locked her up in his huge, scary castle. At first, she wasn’t having any of it, but then things switched up. She starts to think Beast isn’t so bad, even though he’s got a pretty nasty temper and he practically kidnapped her.
This might have been a case of Stockholm Syndrome, where hostages get all warm and friendly with their captors. It’s like when someone catches you, and instead of fighting back all the time, you start thinking “Maybe they aren’t as horrible as I thought.” It messes up how you see what’s right and wrong in that sitch.
Jasmine (Aladdin): Agoraphobia
Jasmine had it kind of weird, being cooped up in that palace all the time. She was like, really freaked out about the idea of stepping out into the big, wide world-like, what if something bad happened? Imagine feeling trapped ’cause you’re just way too scared to step outside.
That’s agoraphobia. It’s a type of anxiety disorder where you’re super scared of places or situations that might make you feel panicked, trapped, helpless, or super embarrassed.
So, for Jasmine, the thought of leaving her safe palace probably made her heart race like she was on a wild magic carpet ride, even without the magic carpet.
Mulan: Gender Dysphoria
Mulan was like this kick-butt girl who did a really big swap – she pretended to be a guy to fight in the army instead of her dad. Now, that’s not the usual thing someone does every day, right? So, it kind of makes you think about this big word called Gender Dysphoria.
That’s when a person feels like their body doesn’t match who they really are inside. Like when you put on clothes and they just feel weird, like they don’t fit who you are. Mulan might’ve felt more at home being seen as a soldier dude than the lady everyone expected her to be.
When you feel like your body’s like an itchy costume that doesn’t fit, that can mess with your head in a big way.
Rapunzel (Tangled): Learned Helplessness
Rapunzel was stuck in that tower for, like, forever, with no real way to leave, which was super unfair. She had this witch, Mother Gothel, who kept her up there “safe,” but also kind of scared and alone. Overall that time, Rapunzel starts to think she can’t do anything about her sitch-even when she gets the chance to, she’s all hesitant.
This is what peeps call Learned Helplessness. It’s when you think you got no power to change the bad stuff happening to you, even if maybe you do.
So, you just kind of stop trying to bounce and get all down on yourself, figuring “Why bother?” ’cause you think it won’t matter. That’s a tough way to live, feeling like you got no control and stuff.
Elsa (Frozen): Social Anxiety Disorder
Remember Queen Elsa from “Frozen”? She was really scared about what people thought of her and her ice powers. Like, so scared that she hid herself away in a big ice castle. That kind of fear of being around people and worrying about getting judged all the time is what Social Anxiety Disorder is like.
When Elsa sings “Let It Go,” that’s kind of like her saying she doesn’t want to worry about what other people think anymore. But those worries don’t just go away easy, you know?
Sometimes, people with this kind of anxiety get help through something called CBT Therapy, which stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It’s a way to learn how to stop being so afraid of other folks by changing the way you think and act.
Learn All About Mental Disorders of Disney Princesses
In a nutshell, looking at mental disorders of Disney princesses through the lens of mental health is pretty wild. We took a fun, sort of sideways glance at the stuff these gals could be going through in their heads, based on the cray-cray stuff they deal with.
Just remember, this isn’t the real world-it’s all just make-believe. But it does make you wonder about the characters we grow up loving and what’s really going on in their stories.
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