Playing Doctor: Mixing Psychiatry and Anime

The doctor wishes to see you now…

Well, well, hello there. It’s nice to meet you. Please, take a seat. No, not in the patient’s chair, you’re going to be my assistant today. I have no real formal training, but I am a Neuroscience and Psychology double major student in university, so I’ve taken my fair share of courses about how the brain works.  Before we begin, I hope you understand that this all for good fun, so don’t take any of my diagnoses too seriously. I doubt you will though, seeing as all of today’s patients are anime characters. Be sure to write down everything I say in NEAT writing so that I can review it later. Now, go fetch me a cup of tea and we shall begin…

Patient: Nanami
Series: Katanagatari
Diagnosis: Conduct Disorder
Slight spoilers about Nanami’s character, as she’s not quite what she seems like in episode 1…

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Patient: Mihashi Ren
Series: Ookiku Furikabutte
Diagnosis: Social Anxiety Disorder

Mihashi is the pitcher for his school baseball team. Although it is great that he plays a team sport and is surrounded by supportive teammates, he is still a long way from overcoming his anxiety. Mihashi has a very low self-esteem and constantly judges his self-worth, a habit that he partly adopted because of his former teammates’ dissatisfaction with his performance as a pitcher. When being spoken to or merely looked at, he has trouble making eye contact, blushes, sweats, fidgets, trembles and and stutters significantly if he even talks at all. These are all tell-tale signs of someone with Social Anxiety Disorder – he is practically the poster boy for this disorder.  This extreme lack of social skills occurs because he constantly over-monitors himself, trying to act in a way that will please everyone else. He may even be suffering from mini panic attacks here and there from being so worried about what his teammates think of him.

Suggested Treatment: Mihashi’s level of impairment is actually not very high in the grand scheme of things, so he may not qualify for treatment. He still manages to function in every day life and participate in a team sport, and his grades don’t appear to be suffering either. If he ever feels his lack of communication skills causes great discomfort, he can come in and speak to our resident cognitive-behavioural therapist to have him question his irrational beliefs about trying so hard to please and to slowly desensitize him to talking to people. Medication isn’t suggested, as the side effects may interfere with his baseball training.

Patient: Panty Anarchy
Series: Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
Diagnosis: Sex Addiction Disorder

Is sex obsession really a disorder? It’s a bit of a controversial issue if this has some sort of psychological and/or biological basis, or if it’s purely a moral failing on the individual’s part. It’s currently not an official diagnosis, but regardless of this, it’s quite clear that Panty has a problem. She has sex with guys literally every single day of her life, and spends most of her time working around this addiction. Almost everything she does is to obtain sex. While she doesn’t see the harm in it personally, it’s interfered in her job as an angel to the point where she will drop a mission and bed a guy if they look satisfying enough. (The following is a spoiler of the second last episode!) Show ▼

Suggested Treatment: Based on the severity of the addiction and the patient’s unwillingness to change, an intervention is suggested. Panty should go through abstinence, and be monitored daily to make sure her sex withdrawal symptoms are not too severe. Therapy will be available to help her through the issue.

Patient: Moeka
Series:
Steins;Gate
Diagnosis: Schizoaffective Disorder
Spoilers if you haven’t seen up to episode 20 of Steins;Gate.

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Patient: Nanamine
Series:
Bakuman
Diagnosis: Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Slight spoilers if you haven’t read around chapter 140 of Bakuman

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Thank You For Today’s Session!

Yes, indeed, thank you! I hope you don’t expect to be paid for this, my dear assistant.  I’m not even a real doctor and I’m sure they’ll have to visit someone official to be properly diagnosed anyways! However, I truly am curious to hear what you thought of today’s clients. Do you think I gave fairly accurate diagnoses? Do you think therapy or medication would actually work on any of them? Scientific inquiries? Speak up about whatever you find pertinent~

Lastly, I actually made a master list of characters I wanted to diagnose, and these are only a few of them. Otherwise, the post would get WAY too long. So, I was thinking I might do a part 2 if people like it enough. Would you like that? If not, don’t worry, I have like 4 other editorial themes lined up. Also, feel free to recommend any anime characters you think are a bit nutty to my clinic and maybe I’ll diagnose them in a second session of “Playing Doctor”!

Bonus Doctors and Doctor-type Characters From Anime Artspam:Show ▼

About

A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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33 Responses to “Playing Doctor: Mixing Psychiatry and Anime”

  1. Joojoobees says:

    I won’t comment on your particular assessments or treatment plans, since I lack any qualifications, but on the notion of psychological disorders in general: I think the clinical perspective of viewing people tends to over diagnose psychological ailments, not just in terms of labeling too many people with a disorder, but in creating too many disorder categories to begin with. You touched on the latter point with your comments on Panty, and to some extent the former with your treatment plan for Mihashi.

    Obviously some treatment of people for psychological disorders is necessary (and Moeka might be the perfect example), and categorization is a useful tool towards that, but I think the clinical framework itself leads one towards categorization of human behavior which can sometimes prevent acceptance of the individual (in favor of the learned types).

    In ages past humans were categorized into various groups, such as the four groups of Humorism that had no real basis in fact, but because they were an important part of the conceptual apparatus at the time, they had real effects on the way others responded to them, including medical treatments, such as blood-letting and emetics. Thinking about that, I wonder if we haven’t created a much more complicated, but similarly over-reaching perspective that medically categorizes human behavior, instead of letting it be.

    • Overcooled says:

      …I really don’t have very sound qualifications for these diagnoses either. Anyways, despite going out of my way to try and diagnose people, I do think that society is prone to overmedicalization. Pharmacy companies push to broaden the range of symptoms so more people classify for disorders and then they can sell more drugs. Most of the time, it’s just covering up some underlying problem that will continue to exist unless something other than medicine is used to cure it. You should really only be seeking that sort of treatment if the disorder is interfering in your life and causing SIGNIFICANT discomfort :B

      Categorization is pretty important so that people can have a common language used to refer to their patients so different psychiatrists and such know what they’re dealing with. So we can’t really just get rid of it. But your main focus is the stigma people put on others for being given the label of, say, schizophrenic, right? The categorization does make it worse, but society will negatively lash out at anything that seems different. Even without the label, the individual’s actions would often be enough to warrant cold behaviour from other people.

      • Joojoobees says:

        I wasn’t really thinking of Schizophrenia, though that works, too. Historically a lot of women were diagnosed as “hysterical”, meaning their lady parts were acting up. Instead of dismissing a woman’s emotional state as a medical condition, someone might have made an effort, and found out that there were serious problems in her life that could have been remediated — maybe she was routinely subject to abuse, for example.

        I agree with you that communities of practice need a shared vocabulary to communicate, but when one looks at people through the prism of the DSM, one is inclined to see people with mental disorders. I just think it is best for people who are thoroughly enmeshed in some sort of professional outlook to take those “goggles” off at times, else they can’t see people as they really are, they can only see the types that their professional vocabulary supports.

        • Overcooled says:

          Ah, I see, I was thinking of more recent examples. I know what you mean about how they used to treat women, saying they had a wandering uterus and all that. It’s a shame how people were treated back then just because people didn’t know any better, but we’ve come a long way since then.

          Seeing the person underneath is definitely what’s most important, and I don’t like the idea of psychiatrists and doctors seeing them as just “a person with x disorder” as opposed to…a person. It’s (almost) the same as judging someone by their race, age or gender.

  2. Kitty says:

    I enjoyed the wittiness of this post, alas I don’t know most of these characters or its spoilers I don’t wanna read! BUT I really liked the idea, I hope you do another one in the future ^_^

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m glad you liked it! Sadly, I couldn’t give a full diagnosis without a few spoilers here and there, so I was extra careful to use spoiler tags :/ I’m still undecided if I’ll do a second one since it takes quite a bit of flipping through my notes and textbook compared to other editorials XD

      • Kitty says:

        Think of it as a good way of studying! If you still in school that is. I used to do that with Japanese, I remembered Kanji by spelling out my favorite characters XD Oh us geeks.

        • Overcooled says:

          It actually was a good way to study. I had a term test after I had finished writing it, and I did better on that one that the first one XD Reading doujinshi helps improve Japanese too! Even if a lot of it is slang…It works though, right?!

  3. Junko says:

    Remember that pigeon dating sim everyone was on about for a while? Hatoful Boyfriend? Turns out that there’s no good end to the school doctor route, just a bad ending where a the pigeon cuts your HEAD OFF AND KEEPS IT IN A JAR.

    SERIOUSLY.

    • Karakuri says:

      And now said game is getting a drama CD. My life is complete.

      …Though to be fair, HATOFUL boyfriend sounds like HURTFUL boyfriend romanized.

      • Overcooled says:

        People are STILL on about that game. o_o It’s everywhere. And now there’s gonna be a drama CD? Oh God…

        The human forms are so good-looking too….WHY RUIN IT WITH PIGEONS?!

  4. BlackBriar says:

    I really like this post. Nice idea using Toshio Ozaki for the front screenshot. He’s the posterboy for this sort of thing.

    It’s an even greater job diagnosing everyone’s personality disorders. As a precaution, we need to check out the doctors these days. They’ve expanded past their medical offices. There’s Toshio (We all know why I brought that up. That experiment was and still is disturbing), that sadistic doctor that yanked out Crow’s eye in Deadman Wonderland and even smooth talking Information Brokers (Izaya).

    I haven’t seen Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt but just by your description, Panty does seem to be really obsessed with having sex. Those with that kind of addiction are usually called nymphomaniacs or commonly known as sex addicts. LOL. If she goes through abstinence, it’s a safe bet she’ll mentally break long before her body even comes close to calming down. Her picture is sheer proof.

    • Overcooled says:

      The more Shiki I can sneak into my editorials, the better! There are a lot of shifty doctors out there…I think that’s more of an issue in anime than real life though, thankfully.

      Yeah, the withdrawal symptoms will be..severe…as they are for any addict of just about anything XD I think she had sex with 999 guys in the anime. (or 99. whatever the case, IT WAS A LOT). It’s funny because all of the pictures of her are pretty much like that too, heh.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Then I hereby support you whenever you’re sneaking Shiki photos into your editorials. That’s true that there are shifty doctors all around in anime. So you gotta watch your back.

        999 guys?! Is she trying to set a record or something or is she having sex for the sake of having sex? She’s a true nymphomaniac, a pervert. I think I know a character who could give her a run for her money once she ceases being a virgin. Her is Rika from Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai. The first time she met the main character, she immediately asked if he wants to have sex with her. To show how much of a pervert she is, she’s even into Yuri.

        • anaaga says:

          REMEMBER THAT ROBOT PORN SHE READS

          • Overcooled says:

            Goddammit….we need to have a new ANTM season with just sluts trying to out-sexy each other. Actually, no, let’s not do this.

            Robot porn and girls who will have sex with anything…Oh, anime. XD

  5. Hime says:

    OC, this was awesome. It was a great idea for a post. It is horrendous fun diagnosing anime characters with mental disorders (I’m very guilty of doing this, too), and I agree with all of them. Except maybe Bakuman and Steins;Gate because I haven’t seen them, though Moeka does sound really interesting. I might have to check out her episodes.

    Garterbelt is such a nympho. That picture is proof! heterosexuality is being challenged and Mihashi and Nanami are bang on. I always thought it was kind of weird for Mihashi to be into team sports when his social anxiety seemed so severe. That being said Abe-kun acts as a pretty strong support net holding definately cures mental illness so maybe that lessened it a bit.

    Bonus Doctors and Doctor-type Characters From Anime Artspam

    What, no Black Jack?

    • Bob from Accounting says:

      WATCH STEINS;GATE YOU FOOL IT IS GLORIOUS.

      Ahem, on the topic of the post, the idea of trying to diagnose anime characters is a rather inspired one. The only real thing I have to say is that I don’t think that any treatment will work on Nanimine, or maybe that’s just the bitterness talking (I WILL NEVER FORGIVE THAT BASTARD FOR DERAILING ONE OF MY FAVOURITE MANGA INTO UTTER SHITE FOR TWO SOLID ARCS).

      • Hime says:

        I hated the first few episodes with a violent passion. It’s not going to happen.

      • Overcooled says:

        @Hime: Why thank you~ I think you’d just be a bit lost if you watched it only to see her episode, so the full range of her craziness would be a bit harder to see. :/ But Bakuman is something you should definitely catch up to (the manga is better. Way better)!

        I can’t imagine how hard it must’ve been for Mihashi to START doing baseball. Er, I guess his self-esteem kind of dropped after he joined his first team though because of how the team dynamics were though. Ah well, at least he kept going! The more time he spends being gay with Abe, the better he gets at communicating ehehehe~

        Also, no Black Jack because I haven’t seen that yet XD

        @Bob: No, I’m really skeptical of him changing too lol. I mean, he’s pretty damned obsessed. It would take a hell of a skilled psychiatrist to patch him up, especially since he’s not willing to change. <_< As for the manga arc, he had the potential to be such a badass villain but then he started to suck realllll fast. Eiji will always be the best rival~

  6. anaaga says:

    Good god, psychology. *run away*
    ‘T was a good post though. But no diagnosis on that doctor in Shiki? C’mon, he’s the poster boy! :<

    • anaaga says:

      I think Panty… Or is she Stocking? Anyhow, I think she just lacks abstinence to wait for a couple of week/month for a new round of sex
      Heck, since when addiction is a disorder? I never knew that. And really? It’s a disorder?

    • BlackBriar says:

      YES!!! I agree!! Toshio definitely needs to be diagnosed from all that madness he succumed to while trying to accomplish his goals. He needs a straight jacket.

      • Overcooled says:

        NO, ANAAGA, COME BACK! LET ME TEACH YOU THINGS!

        As said in my post, sex addiction is NOT an official disorder, as stated by the DSM. However, this is a controversial issue and under debate. The reasoning is that if drug addiction can be a disorder, why not…sex addiction?

        Hehe, if I diagnosed Toshio I think you’d be surprised with my verdict. If I do a second version of this, I’ll be sure to include him since you two asked for him though :3

  7. Yippy says:

    Great post, I enjoyed your analyses, especially Moeka’s. Honestly, I just thought she was just lonely or socially-awkward and not really experiencing any mental issues. Your post really gave me something to chew on. Keep it up, I’m really looking forward to more! =)

    • Overcooled says:

      When she was first introduced, I figured the same. But when they revealed her history and how she obsesses over FB…I started to suspect she had a little something more wrong with her.

      I’m so happy that people enjoyed this~

  8. Namika says:

    Wow, this is really impressive, OC. I love the idea of this editorial !! You can do it again sometime, because, you know, there are a lot of interesting characters :3 LOVE LOVE LOVE Prof. Stein’s artwork. I love him so muuuuuch~

    • Overcooled says:

      Thanks! It looks like I just might do a second one now, teehee. It’ll be a good way to study for exams XD *starts marking pages in her textbook*

  9. Foshizzel says:

    Wow! This is a great post OC! I like the different characters you choose ahaha I was surprised Stocking wasn’t up on this list due to her addiction to sweets xD

    Stein and Chopper! Damn those are some great doctors, well Stein is crazy while chopper is fluffy <3

    • Overcooled says:

      >w< I did my best researching for this post…and not using wiki!

      I think I’d really be pushing it if I tried to diagnose people with sweets addiction. Plus, she seems to be fine with her sweet tooth, it’s not like she needs dentures form the amount of sugar she consumes or anything. She’s fiiiineeee, let her eat all that cake~

      I think Chopper is like the only doctor on my list that isn’t crazy…AND HE’S A REINDEER. <_< (Okay, I guess Leorio counts too as being sane)

  10. Jrow says:

    I really like you assessment of Mihashi. I also think he needs a catcher that isn’t such a pushy ass or a coach with a great ass who orgasms at the mere thought of teamwork.

    • Overcooled says:

      Arigatou na, Jrow~ The coach is a bit…oddly enthused most of the time, but I think Mihashi is in good hands with Abe. At this point, I would’ve yelled at Mihashi so many times…

  11. […] good to see that you’ve come back after last month’s lengthy session of diagnosing. I was beginning to get lonely. Make yourself comfortable, and this time I’ll […]

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