Contributed by Chance W.
While watching a Donald Duck cartoon from 1935, The Band Concert and some others, I noticed he did not have quite such an explosive temper as in later cartoons. With a little research on Wikipedia I found out Donald had served as a paratrooper and commando in World War II who saw fairly intense combat. This made me wonder if perhaps Donald suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related to his wartime service. Let’s compare the symptoms of PTSD with Donald:
- Exposure to a traumatic event: He had several traumatic experiences in training and near death experiences behind enemy lines.
- Persistent reexperience (e.g. flashbacks, nightmares): This appears to happen in many cartoons.
- Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma (e.g. inability to talk about things even related to the experience, avoidance of things and discussions that trigger flashbacks and reexperiencing symptoms fear of losing control): I’ve never heard him discuss these events in any other cartoon.
- Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (e.g. difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger and hypervigilance): Yep.
- Duration of symptoms more than 1 month: 60+ years at this point.
- Significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (e.g. problems with work and relationships.): That describes Donald to a T.
Of course, it could just be that Disney thinks explosive tempers are funny, but I think I may be onto something here.