On television, many cartoon characters are often exploited and given attributes resembling severe mental disorders. This is more commonly found than most people would realize. The extreme and erratic behaviors found in shows like Spongebob Squarepants are what makes cartoons entertaining. When taking a deeper look, however, it is clear that the character Spongebob suffers from not one but multiple disorders that plague him in every episode.
Note: I am not a professional psychologist and mental disorders are NO JOKE! This information is taken purely from a research paper and is not to be used to mock or undermine people who suffer from these disorders.
Remember that episode when Spongebob broke his butt? Spongebob becomes intensely afraid of leaving his house because he thinks he will get more injured. This fear of the outdoors/ public places is called agoraphobia, an anxiety disorder. This causes him some extreme dysfunction when he won’t even leave the house to go to work. And who could forget about him befriending chip, penny, and used napkin?
2. Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality)
If Spongebob were a real person, then Doodle Bob would definitely be one of his alters. An alter is one of the many (or few) personalities that a person with DID may have. These alternate personalities tend to have a different physical appearance, voice, and intelligence level. Doodle Bob was directly created from Spongebob’s mind and is very violent, unintelligent, and differs from him physically. You will frequently find DoodleBob attacking people and screaming gibberish
3. Bipolar I Disorder (Manic Episodes)
Someone with bipolar disorder, otherwise known as manic depression, experiences episodes of extreme highs and then depressive periods of extreme lows. In the episode "Hall Monitor", Spongebob is showing symptoms of a manic state. A manic episode includes high self-esteem, being more talkative, and being extremely goal oriented towards a virtually pointless goal. Spongebob is on top of the world when he becomes hall monitor, but takes the job too seriously and tries to protect Bikini Bottom (pointless goal). They even call him "the maniac", which sounds a lot like maniac.
4. Dissociative Fugue
Spongebob also experiences symptoms of dissociative fugue, in which he drops everything in his life, forgets his past and starts a new life in a new place. In "Nature Pants", Spongebob goes so far as to get buck-naked and join the jellyfish in the wild, thinking that he is now one of them.
5. ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder)
Spongebob is a middle-aged adult (we think) who STILL doesn't have his boating license. This guy has been trying for years, and still can't seem to pass Mrs. Puff's class, which could possibly be from his ADHD. In the episode, "Procrastination", Spongebob spends hours and hours getting distracted and irritable while trying to write his essay. What not to do at a stop light? The world may never know.