Subject Material

My Teddy is Depressed

Published: 05.10.2010, Updated: 04.03.2017
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So you thought your old rag doll was all right? Or your old teddy on the shelf was just an old cuddly toy? You’d better think again. For all you know they may be suffering from severe mental disorder and be in need of treatment and medication.

Teddy bearTeddy bearToys are not what they used to be. We remember the little electronic pets which were programmed to express their needs; the little dog giving a beep to let you know that it wanted you to take it for a walk, or the little doll who cried when it needed a nappy change. Now this has been taken further.

This week a German toy producer introduced the latest trend in soft toys for children.  The general idea is, according to the producer, that children like to care for and look after someone in trouble. Children take comfort in giving love and affection to vulnerable animals, for example.

They are already in the shops: Small soft animal toys with special needs. They come with some sort of diagnosis and a medical history. Plans for medication and further treatment are also included.  They all suffer from some kind of mental disorder, like depression, hallucinations or schizophrenia.

The children are then supposed to take the “patients” into care and be their therapist. It will probably take some psychiatric proficiency to cure these patients, and the progress may be difficult to monitor. But that will be for the little doctors to tell after some time of treatment and medication.


Check the link below and answer the questions. (teddybear)


Some issues to discuss

  1. Do you think this is a good idea? Why – why not?
  2. Is it true that children in general like vulnerability? If so – why? Can you give examples?
  3. Many children have imaginary friends they talk to and seek their advice in difficult situations. Why do they need such friends? Is this good or bad? Give examples of both.
  4. Why do we call the bears Teddy bear? Search the internet if you don't know.