There is a strong emphasis on the seriousness psychological disorders and mental health in the world today. In the entertainment industry, these disorders are often prevalent in the characters depicted in television shows and the movies. One movie in particular is Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, which features complex characters who navigate a variety of personality traits and behaviors typical of psychological disorders. One of the main characters, the Mad Hatter, is obviously dealing with Bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a very difficult disorder because it makes people have mood swings, which means they can be happy and become depressed in a quick manner.
Alice in Wonderland is a fantasy filled with many hallucinations to the audience’s vision. This film is about a teenager named Alice, who visits a magical “underland” that she has no recognition of when she was younger, and reunites with familiar faces: the Mad Hatter, Dormhouse, Cheshire Cat, and Queen of Hearts.
Throughout the movie, there are some scenes where the Mad Hatter shows his bipolar personality. One of the scenes is at the tea party where the Mad Hatter is extremely angry at March Hare for suggesting the use of butter on his watch, but then changes into a calm person and pours tea on the Dormhouse and switches the topic of conversation. Another scene at the tea party shows the Mad Hatter getting mad at Alice because she is asking the Dormhouse too many questions and he feels left out. As a result, he makes them switch places at the table so he can have a conversation with Alice independently. Another important scene in the movie is when the Mad Hatter goes to the Queen of Hearts kingdom. He thinks that it is very funny that she is putting her legs on a pig. He starts laughing out loud but then the queen tells him to stop laughing, and he puts a serious look upon his face. The final scene that features the Mad Hatter’s disorder is when the Cheshire Cat said to the Matt Hatter that he used to be the life of the party. As a result of Cheshire Cat’s comment, the Mad Hatter starts yelling at him, but Dormhouse tells the Mad Hatter to stop yelling, where he changes into a calm state of mind.
Bipolar disorder is “periods of mood that may range from normal to manic, with or without episodes of depression”(Elmhorst, 2016, 424). There are two divisions of this disorder, which are Bipolar I and Bipolar II. “Bipolar I is when an individual may experience mood swings that go from normal to a depressive state. Bipolar II is when spans of normal mood are interspersed with episodes of hypomania for which the American Psychological Association, 2013, defines this as a level of mood that is elevated but at a level below or less severe than full mania”(Elmhorst, 2016, p. 424-425). This symptom was first documented by French psychiatrist, Jean-Pierre Falret. Falret published an article describing circular insanity, which talked about people changing from major depression to excitement. He is also known for distinguishing the “genetic connection in bipolar disorder”, which is something that professionals in health are still in agreement of in today’s society. (Healthline.com).
There was a longitudinal study completed at the University of Michigan in the United States to determine the total amount of people that have bipolar. The team at the school came up with a conclusion that “730 people had bipolar disorder, and 277 people did not, and three-quarters of the people that were a part of the study were active research participants”(Uofmhealth.org). They also came up with characteristics that each of the people had with the disorder which included changes in their thinking, psychological dimensions including personality, patterns of sleep, and circadian rhythms. (Uofmhealth.org). In today’s society, there is no cure for bipolar disorder, however, there are many types of therapy to help regulate this disorder, which include regular therapy, interpersonal, and electroconvulsive. Regular therapy prevents injury to oneself and works for people to enjoy an effective life at home, work, and school, especially college and high school. Interpersonal helps with boosting people’s relationships with other peers and managing their regular routines that they complete everyday. Electroconvulsive therapy helps people who are dealing with major symptoms that are associated with bipolar disorder. (Psychguides.com).
Disney’s Alice in Wonderland is a motion picture for people of all ages to watch. Young children will find the movie very entertaining with the characters quirky personalities, where an older audience will have an understanding of the deeper meanings in the movie and its portrayal of a manic depression in the Mad Hatter character. In the film, Johnny Depp did an excellent job acting out the many personality variations a person with Bipolar disorder may experience. Bipolar is a mental health disorder that is hard to overcome. There are some treatments available to people to improve the symptoms and make it easier to control. With more awareness and a stronger emphasis on mental health in this country, hopefully more treatments will be available in the future.