What psychological issues could Disney princesses have?

Disney princesses, like many other cartoon characters, are often presented in an idealized light. Kind, beautiful, and intelligent girls who overcome difficulties, and find happiness and love. That is what many of us wanted to become, imagining our future in childhood.

But, if we take a closer look, we can see that even the princesses cannot avoid serious psychological problems. In this article, we will look at the features of their behavior from the point of view of psychology and we will try to suggest what disorders they could have and figure out whether it was worth modeling ourselves after them.

Snow White - Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)

Symptoms of many disorders can be seen in Snow White's behavior, but narcissistic personality disorder is the most pronounced.

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition characterized by a predominant grandiosity pattern, lack of empathy toward others, and need for recognition. People with NPD often have an inflated sense of self-importance, an excessive need to be the center of attention, and may ignore others' feelings.

Snow White is extremely concerned about her appearance, she really believes she is the fairest of them all, and constantly needs attention and admiration from others.

Snow White's vanity and selfishness are shown in many scenes, for example, when she sings about her desire for the prince to come and take her away. In addition, Snow White shows a lack of empathy toward others when commanding dwarfs and caring little about their feelings or well-being.

Here you can find a free narcissism test

Cinderella - Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD)

Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD) is a mental health condition in which the person has difficulty making decisions and needs excessive comfort and support from others. Cinderella, depicted in the classic fairy tale, shows several symptoms of DPD.

It is hard for her to make decisions without the participation and support of others. She is constantly seeking approval from her fairy godmother, her animal friends, and even her sisters and stepmother.

Cinderella also has low self-esteem and feels helpless and unable to take control of her life. In addition, Cinderella experiences anxiety, and fear of being rejected or lonely, which is evidenced by her fear of being left behind when her stepmother and stepsisters leave for the ball.

She believes she is powerless to change circumstances, and although the fairy tale ends happily, she herself puts a minimum of effort into this. She just goes with the flow; other people miraculously solve all her problems.

Aurora - Major Depressive Disorder

Aurora, also known as Sleeping Beauty, is portrayed as a happy and carefree princess but there are several points in her story that can be interpreted as symptoms of a depressive disorder.

Depressive disorder is a mental health condition characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest in everyday life activities. Symptoms of major depressive disorder may also include a lack of interest in activities that previously brought pleasure. That is exactly what we see in Aurora's behavior when she finds out she's engaged to Prince Philip, whom she had never met.

If we consider her dream metaphorically, then immobility, lack of emotions, and silence can also be considered symptoms of major depression.

Here you can find a free depression test

Anna - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Anna, one of the main characters in Disney's Frozen, shows behaviors that may indicate attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Anna often acts emotionally and impulsively without paying attention to detail or thinking through the consequences of her actions. For example, when she first meets Prince Hans, she immediately falls in love with him and wants to marry him, despite having known him for a short time. She also tries to find her sister Elsa without a clear plan, which puts her in danger.

It is hard for Anna to focus on one thing - in a conversation, she constantly jumps from one topic to another.

Anna shows symptoms of hyperactivity - she finds it hard to sit still and focus on tasks for long periods of time; she is too impatient and easily distracted.

Here you can find a free ADHD test

Elsa - Avoidant Personality Disorder

Avoidant Personality Disorder is a mental health condition characterized by difficulties with social contacts, feelings of inferiority, and increased sensitivity to criticism. People with AvPD often avoid social situations and feel extremely uncomfortable in the spotlight. They may be overly preoccupied with negative evaluations from others, which certainly provokes a decrease in self-esteem and the desire to distance themselves from others as much as possible.

In the case of Elsa, we see that she tends to isolate herself and avoid social situations. She is uncomfortable around other people, and she avoids communication even with her sister. She also feels ashamed of her abilities, which she perceives as a threat to others. That causes her to distance herself even more from those around her in order to protect them from a perceived threat.

Her hypersensitivity to criticism and rejection is also evident when she runs away after everyone finds out about her abilities. This behavior meets the diagnostic criteria of avoidant personality disorder.

Merida: Antisocial Personality Disorder (Conduct disorder)

Anti-social personality disorder ("conduct disorder" for people under 18) is a psychological disorder characterized by selfishness and disregard for others’ rights. People with this disorder rarely think about the consequences and repent of their deeds.

Merida is stubborn, independent, and rebellious, throughout the whole story she acts impulsively and pays little attention to the consequences of her actions. Her behavior is largely motivated by the desire to confront the social rules and expectations placed on her as a traditional princess. She studiously avoids meetings with candidates for grooms and prefers to listen to her desires and not the rules dictated by family and society.

Merida deceives without remorse, can use her charms to manipulate others, and can be callous and cynical to achieve her goals. She does not limit herself to playing by the rules and easily crosses a line that most people cannot step over.

In the example of her relationship with her mother, we see how difficult it is for Merida to understand the desires and feelings of other people, even those close to her. At the same time, she absolutely does not think about her share of guilt in what is happening, shifting the responsibility entirely to others.

Here you can find a free psychopathy test

Pocahontas: Histrionic Personality Disorder

HPD is a personality disorder characterized by attention-seeking behavior, excessive emotionality, and the need for approval and comfort. People with HPD can be uncomfortable when they are not the center of attention. They can use seductive behavior to get attention or manipulate others. They may also exhibit dramatic and exaggerated emotional responses to achieve their goals.

Pocahontas' behavior may meet specific HPD criteria. She definitely craves attention and approval since her behavior is largely focused on collaboration with John Smith. She seems to be drawn to him from the moment they meet; she demonstrates seductive behavior toward him. People with this disorder often get into a love triangle, which we will also see in the Pocahontas story.

She also shows huge emotionality, drama, and uses general words instead of descriptions of details. Pocahontas emphasizes her hypersensitivity, especially in her connections with nature and spirits. Along with the desire for manipulation through demonstrating attractiveness and emotionality, her behavior is consistent with the symptoms of histrionic personality disorder.

Ariel: Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a condition in which a person is overly preoccupied with a perceived flaw or defect in one's appearance, often to the point that it interferes with their daily life.

The Little Mermaid is about sixteen years old. Like many teenagers, she goes through a stage of misunderstanding in her relationship with her parents and is dissatisfied with her life underwater.

But besides that, she wants to replace her tail with a pair of human legs; for this purpose, she even ends up signing an agreement with a witch and resorts to black magic.

Usually, people with this syndrome experience negative emotions due to an existing or imaginary defect in their appearance. In the case of the Little Mermaid, we do not see this - she does not experience negative emotions because of her tail but wants to have legs only to satisfy her curiosity about the human world.

However, such an extreme transformation of one's body may indicate the seriousness of her fixation on this idea and be interpreted as a manifestation of BDD.

Here you can find a free body dysmorphic disorder test

Rapunzel: Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that involves mood swings cycles, which may include episodes of depression, euphoria, and episodes of mania. During depressive episodes, people may experience feelings of sadness, hopelessness, low energy, and loss of interest in activities they once enjoyed. During manic episodes, people may experience elated moods, increased energy levels, and activeness.

Rapunzel lives in isolation and is subjected to constant passive aggression from her "mother". These factors probably played a direct role in the development of the bipolar disorder.

Throughout the whole story, the character experiences extreme mood swings. At first, she seems depressed and isolated because of having spent years locked up and had little contact with others.

As soon as she escapes, she experiences a surge of manic energy. She is reckless and ready to trust a complete stranger. And her journey to the city and entry into the palace are accompanied by many dangers. At the same time, her impulsivity alternates with depression regularly.

Here you can find a free bipolar disorder test

Belle: Schizoid Personality Disorder (SPD)

Belle from Beauty and the Beast exhibits traits of schizoid personality disorder. Schizoid personality disorder is a mental disorder characterized by a lack of interest in social relationships, a tendency to introversion, and a limited range of expressing emotions.

Belle is an introvert who prefers to spend time alone with her books rather than communicate with people. She does not show much interest in the people living in her village, preferring to stand apart; because of this, others consider her "weird". People with schizoid personality disorder are characterized by choosing solitary activities and hobbies, the lack of friends, and limiting the circle of communication only to close relatives. That is exactly what we see in the character's life.

Even though Belle lives in her own world, she, like most schizoids, is intelligent and talented. We see it in her approach to day-to-day tasks and responsibilities.

From her attitude towards Gaston, it is clear that she is not very interested in the sexual experience, which is also one of the symptoms of schizoid disorder. Although she develops a close relationship with the Beast over time, initially it is based more on common interests and rapport than on sexual attraction. Establishing an intelligence-based connection is characteristic of schizoids.

Here you can find a free schizoid personality disorder test

Life-changing therapy with 20% discount: