Diagnosis: Donald Duck Suffers from PTSD


Contributed by Chance W.

bandconcert2While 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:

  1. Exposure to a traumatic event:  He had several traumatic experiences in training and near death experiences behind enemy lines.
  2. Persistent reexperience (e.g. flashbacks, nightmares):  This appears to happen in many cartoons.
  3. 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.
  4. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (e.g. difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger and hypervigilance):  Yep.
  5. Duration of symptoms more than 1 month: 60+ years at this point.
  6. 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.

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16 Responses to Diagnosis: Donald Duck Suffers from PTSD

  1. [...] The Journal of Cartoon Over-analyzations which ponders many soul-rending questions such as: Does Donald Duck suffer from PTSD?, What happens when Dr. Seuss meets Wordle?, and What’s really going on in Pokemon? Is it all [...]

  2. Classified infoRMation says:

    on to something… no, everything on this site is just the viewers thoughts about how things happen.

    wiki is also a source of created information (mostly ones that do not effect the episodes created)


    i read on wiki’s code geass page that Lelouch was born “December 5 1999″ but Ive seen all episodes read the manga and read many posts about it and it never mentions the exact day or month to which he was born

  3. PTSD is not something one can get over in one day or even in one month. It is a very debilitating disorder and she really needs some sort of therapy. From what you have included in your post, it seems like she is maybe suffering from severe anxiety. Unfortunately, if she is not yet ready and willing to accept help, then there is nothing you can do but show her love. Keep encouraging her to take on hobbies she enjoys, visiting friends and other positive activities. Try to suggest her to visit other counselors and therapists. She probably doesn’t trust them because she hasn’t found someone that she can truly connect and open up with. Good luck!

  4. Kylee Merganthaler says:

    PTSD can take a very long time to heal. You will need some professional help to manage it. ‘,`*:

    Most current short article on our very own internet site

  5. [...] military service. Now, it is important to note that it is indeed within canon that Donald Duck served as a paratrooper and commando in World War II. It is also important to note that Donald Duck is a fucking cartoon character. Those crazy things [...]

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  7. […] The Journal of Cartoon Overanalyzations comes this diagnosis for Donald Duck’s erratic behavior (though not for his epidemic of […]

  8. T.Jessup says:

    This TOTALLY makes sense, and makes me wonder why the VA didn’t get permission to make Donald their mascot long ago. It would improve the public’s perception of veterans IMMENSELY to associate them with Mickey’s sidekick rather than mentally ill homeless people, which, sadly, too many are.

  9. […] From The Journal of Cartoon Overanalyzations comes this diagnosis for Donald Duck’s erratic behavior (though not for his epidemic of pantslessness): he has Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, induced when he was a paratrooper in WWII. As the theorist notes, he seems to have fairly regular flashbacks, difficulty responding normally to social stimuli, and “persistent symptoms of increased arousal (e.g. difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger and hypervigilance)” — not to mention a total disinterest in talking about his wartime experiences. […]

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  13. Abduckter says:

    If Donald Duck was a real person, I would say he had Borderline Personality Disorder.

  14. […] this point I decided to dive in with the idea that Donald is suffering from PTSD (click here or here or Google). I jumped a Beagle Boy with a pesticide syringe an shovelled it down his […]

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  16. […]  5. Paperino soffre di disturbo post-traumatico da stress! […]

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