Sunday, January 15, 2006

Suicidal Mickey

How did Maria find this? A series of strips from 1930, in which Mickey Mouse believes he's lost Minnie, and tries to end it all.

He tries shooting, drowning, gas, and hanging. His ambivalence is clear, as he rejects or is thwarted in one attempt after another. He does not attempt to be rescued, though (unless you consider that leap onto a boat a "cry for help"). Squirrels finally persuade him to live.

Such torment, Mickey! I had no idea!

18 Comments:

Blogger Greg P said...

Hmm. Seems like a personality disorder.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Fallen Angels said...

Not sure how the particular strip in question indicates a personality disorder, but okay. Just about every one of the characters in the Mickey Mouse comic strips could probably be diagnosed with some sort of personality disorder. The exception is Pluto of course. But then again, maybe not...can anyone explain to me why goofy walks on two legs, talks, wears clothes, drives etc, and Pluto is merely a dog? I have never been able to get that. lol

9:27 PM  
Blogger Dr Dork said...

I wouldn't label Mickey with the pejorative term of a "personality disorder" either.

Seems to me he's just ambivalent about his suicidal intent...

And, in all honesty, I think "pet therapy" is a great thing on psychiatric wards...albeit dogs are probably more common than squirrels!

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

Hi Shrinkette. :)Thanks for the link...

... and I stumbled across the set of strips while perusing del.icio.us tags. Except none of the tags were "Mickey Mouse", "suicide", or other psych-related things...

... in fact, I think I had typed in "wit" or something. ;)

11:38 AM  
Blogger Joel said...

God, I'd call that depression or black mania!

For pet therapy, I'd prefer cats. (I have three at home and often stop to talk to a cat that I meet on the street.) They're wonderful psychologists and know precisely when to apply their therapies, especially for depression.

Of course, they are nowhere to be found when I am in a rampant mania. :)

12:32 PM  
Blogger Fallen Angels said...

Joel...my kitties are great therapy and they absolutely do know when my mood has taken a down turn. Of course, one of them also takes the sigh of frustration when studying Chem to be depression...and acts accordingly. That is when she MUST sit on my book, purring like an outboard motor and rub her head on my hand...the one I'm trying to write with of course! :P

5:32 PM  
Blogger Dr Dork said...

Hmmm...I have to go against the grain here and say that the canine counsellor is better...more unconditionally positive...I think it depends on whether you're a 'cat' person or a 'dog' person. No offence intended to anyone or their cats ! :)

I have seen dogs used in both psychiatry and palliative care, to good effect. Do you guys know of anywhere other animals, such as cats, have been used on wards ? I'd think some birds might also be good...one nursing home in my area has a Weero!

6:36 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

Nope, don't see a personality disorder either, just the ambivalence that Dr. Dork mentioned.

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Difficult Patient said...

I can't imagine Mickey having a pet cat . . .sounds a little like suicide if you ask me! On the other hand . . .

10:41 PM  
Blogger Raine said...

ok well I dont really consider myself normal and I see things a bit different than others sometimes. I dont find these comic strips funny at all. But I do find that the fact that you are analyzing Mickey Mouse rather humorous

10:44 PM  
Blogger Fallen Angels said...

Ok...so no one knows the deal with Goofy and Pluto. Dang, was hoping to get at least one childhood question answered. Wait...the answer came to me. Pluto is a service animal, a therapy dog! He's been trained to act that way! After the strip ended, Mickey did seek help, and that is how he aquired Pluto. Ok...I'm done now. lol

10:55 PM  
Blogger shrinkette said...

Raine: You should see my analysis of Spongebob:
http://shrinkette.blogspot.com/2004/10/psychology-of-spongebob.html

11:18 PM  
Blogger Fallen Angels said...

Sent Raine an email so she is sure to see this...she will crack up. I was going foflol but think I'll "drop on the deck and flop like a fish instead"!

5:38 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I have the entire Spongebob series released on DVD so far. I literally can watch it for hours, and when the family is gone out for the day that is exactly what I do!

But Patrick is my favorite character!

(flopping like a fish as we speak)

1:11 PM  
Blogger Joel said...

Difficult patient: I suppose you are right. :)

You know, I always wondered if Goofy was schizophrenic....Or maybe just schizophreniform?

1:22 PM  
Blogger Raine said...

LOLOLOLOL how bout we analyze Shrek next??

5:42 PM  
Blogger Greg P said...

My original comment was meant to be a puzzle - obviously still is.

Put another way, pretty much everything Mickey does in this series (stop focusing on the "suicide" so much) is half-assed. This guy doesn't get much of anything! Perhaps fitting that he's a two-dimensional character.

More food for thought: It may be hard to factor in the mindset of the 1930s, but what does all this say about Walt Disney?

9:17 PM  
Blogger shrinkette said...

Good thoughts, everyone! We can only guess at the mindset of Mickey's audience. The suicide rate did increase after the catastrophic stock market crash of 1929. The thirties were a time of hardship and high unemployment, and no "safety nets" like social security, etc.

I'd like to ask some 80 or 90-year-olds what they recall of those times, and these strips. Disney's characters have become so sanitized that these images are shocking now. (Can't have this behavior in the Magic Kingdom!)

I'm glad that Walt didn't add a psychiatrist to the strip...I think I might have become a little defensive...

9:53 PM  

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