Inside Out is an amazing movie that really makes its audience think while still holding true to the classic Pixar fun-loving theme. The movie follows Riley Anderson’s emotions as she handles scary events in life. The events become harder to handle because Joy and Sadness get lost in her memories. With only Fear, Disgust, and Anger to advise her, Riley is not outwardly okay.


There is nothing I enjoy more than studying and understanding human behavior – including mental disorders. I’m not the only one who recognized disorders in Riley. My friend texted me about few theories he had about Riley’s mental state. He believed Riley had; Schizophrenia (Riley’s emotions are the little voices in her head that schizophrenic patients speak of), Bipolar Disorder (Riley’s intense mood swings that caused random outbursts of anger, happiness, and everything in between), and Depression (because Riley’s numbness towards everything going on around her and her need to run away).


Quickly I dismissed schizophrenia because Riley’s emotions never spoke to her; the emotions used a control panel and Riley essentially didn’t even know they were inputting on her life from her head. Although Riley did exhibit characteristics of bipolar disorder, she’s only 11-years-old throughout the movie – until she turns 12 at the end. Bipolar disorder effects the pre-frontal cortex, which isn’t fully developed until your mid-twenties so diagnosing bipolar disorder in children is difficult and implausible. Riley was most likely depressed throughout the conflict of the movie. I saw Joy as serotonin, the “happy” biological chemical, being unable to attach to Riley’s receptors, which is what depression is chemically. I’m not the only one who had this discussion either, you can read article after article about Riley’s disorders.

school crying

We live in age where everything needs a label. A label is more than an answer, it’s a way to categorize people and yourself. You look for people with the same label or articles that pertain to your label. Every person has hit a point in their lives where they diagnose themselves with depression, bipolar disorder, or maybe an identity disorder. And from there, proceed to look up treatments and cures for themselves. It may be a dysfunctional label you group yourself under but you belong to something now. You gain comfort in believing other people feel the pain you feel.

But what a belittlement that is for people who really are faced with mental disorders. Those who spiraled in self-denial until they destroyed everything around them. They didn’t type their feelings into WebMD and claim the “title” of depressed. What an ugly abuse of a psychological advancement. Depression and other mental disorders have genetic and environmental causes. There is a chemical/biological foundation in disorders and for someone to essentially fake this hardship for sympathy is disgusting.



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