One of the most beloved characters in the world of Winnie the Pooh is the grey colored donkey named Eeyore. He’s typically characterized by his gloomy and pessimistic personality, yet carries a strong and lovable heart by his determination to help his friends as best he could. Personally, he’s one of my favorite characters.
A few months ago, it occurred to me while I was having coffee one morning, that the cute and huggable mule likely suffers from depression. Although that may not have been the intent of the author A.A. Milne, it can come across that way with his excessive negative thoughts and unenthusiastic personality. Despite how much his friends try to “cheer him up”, he always reverts back to his passive and futile state.
I suspect Eeyore might even suffer from something called dysthymia which is a more persistent state of depression. Regardless, Eeyore still finds some comfort being with his friends Pooh Bear, Piglet and Tigger who never cease to love him. Their attempts to build him a new house, throw surprise parties for him and offer words of encouragement demonstrates how much they love their friend. And despite Eeyore’s depression, deep down, he always does his best to show his gratitude.
People who suffer from depression still like to be remembered and acknowledged. Although they have many painful desires to isolate themselves, there’s a deep down feeling inside that they too want to be a part of something good and that they belong. And not to be reminded that they have depression, but as an individual for all the other great qualities they carry such as compassion, love, thoughtfulness, humour, authenticity, ability to have fun, strength and intelligence. Most of all for their beauty that we sometimes can’t quite capture in words. All we know is that we just want to be around them and hug them like Eeyore.