The Muppets Go Mental
A deeper look into the psyches of the beloved residents of Sesame Street
Jack Freedman
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Almost all of the Muppets have some place in the DSM-IV. Look at The Count. This is a classic example of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He just goes around and has to count everything in sight. Do we really want to teach our children such ritualistic behavior? Next is Elmo. He clearly has a severe case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. He’s always hyper and he encourages children to touch him all over his body like he’s some kind of nymphomaniac. I also don’t think it’s safe to have children speak in third person. This could be a case of Aspberger’s Disorder. How about Cookie Monster? Now, before this sudden need for “Sesame Street” to promote nutrition, he would have been the perfect candidate for representing somebody with a marijuana dependency. After all, he had to be on something to be constantly eating like that. Grover has delusions of grandeur because he thinks he’s a superhero half the time. Big Bird was suspected of having schizophrenia before Snuffleupagus was found out by the other residents of Sesame Street, and not simply a figment of his avian imagination. And with a nickname like Snuffy, it looks like we have yet another drug abuser on our hands. I also suspect a case of depression on his chart. Bert and Ernie narrowly escaped being on the DSM-IV. After all, homosexuality is no longer a mental illness, though some beg to differ. Telly Monster has Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Nobody should worry that much, especially when it comes to crayons not being used in an art project. Oscar the Grouch clearly has Antisocial Personality Disorder. His Activities of Daily Living skills aren’t that great either, considering that he lives in a trash can. Kermit the Frog has bipolar disorder, because one moment he’s singing about how it’s not easy being green, and the next minute, he’s hopping and waving his arms around. Maybe he needs his own brand of amphibian mood stabilizers, like Depa-Croak or Abili-Fly.

Is “Sesame Street” a children’s show or public broadcasting’s answer to the Arkham Asylum from the Batman comics? You decide!
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