Why Did The Grinch Steal Christmas? Rutgers Psychology Professor on Using Holiday Stories to Understand Holiday Depression
Anthony Tobia examines the characters of Scrooge and the Grinch to understand symptoms of mental illness
New Brunswick, N.J. (Dec. 20, 2018) – “The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason,” Dr. Seuss wrote.
But Anthony Tobia – a psychiatrist at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, disagrees: We should ask why the Grinch stole Christmas.
Examining the motivations of the Grinch and Ebenezer Scrooge can help us better understand and remove the stigma from feelings of depression and isolation that can make people feel lonely and disinterested during the holiday season, Tobia said. It’s an important lesson for people who struggle with depression, as well as for their loved ones and mental health providers.
“The Grinch isolates himself and escapes to the peak of Mount Crumpit, and this is an important fact in the narrative. People who are depressed tend to isolate and that’s one of the telltale warning signs for family and friends. He has difficulty forming relationships and he ruminates, and develops this idea to steal happiness from others,” he said.
Tobia discusses the Grinch, Scrooge other fictional characters in courses that encourage students to analyze mental health issues through popular culture, and on his Psychology Today blog.
Read more on Rutgers Today.
Tobia is available for comment on holiday depression. Please contact Cynthia Medina to schedule an interview.
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