The Connection Between the Little Mermaid and Hoarding Essays

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The Little Mermaid and her Connection with Hoarding

Melissa Legault
Abnormal Psychology
Anthony Smith
April 30, 2013

Most children grow up watching Disney movies. It might be shocking to hear that a Disney princess may suffer from a psychological disorder. In Walt Disney’s movie The Little Mermaid, I think the main character Ariel suffers from disposophbia, also known as hoarding. Obsessive-compulsive disorder/hoarding has always interested me. These people take collecting to an unhealthy level. Ariel is the perfect example of a Hoarder.
Hoarding is not currently considered an illness on its own right. Compulsive hoarding has been treated as symptom or subtype of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Cluttergone).
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"This box is where I keep my toenail clippings and hairballs." This quote from the movie supports my reasoning for her unnecessary collection of useless things. As the movie goes on you can see her huge collection of useless gadgets and other random things. She clearly has no intent in getting rid of any of it. In a few years she collects a huge amount of junk and stores it where nobody else can find it. In the book Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things, the difference between just collecting and hoarding is that, "When people collect things, they typically want to display them to other people.... Hoarders want to keep things hidden because of the shame they have (Frost).” She creates an emotional attachment to every object she finds, which is another common problem among hoarders. They will find sentimentality in random, worthless items. Ariel’s hoarding also interferes with her normal life. She ditches her father by hunting for trash instead of going to a concert she promised to attend. One of the main side effects of disposophobia is obsessing over the collection at the expense of daily obligations.
The word hoarding was originally used to describe the behavior of animals storing food for future use, and then moved into use as a descriptor of human behavior. There are also different types of hoarders. These include Clinical compulsive hoarding, OCD or perfectionist hoarding, animal

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