Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Psychiatry for Abused Toys??

Have you heard about Parapluesch? They are a German toy company currently marketing stuffed "cuddlytoys" with mental illnesses. Huh? I just heard about them, so I checked out their website. It is very strange. There is a selection of small stuffed animals who are apparently supposed to represent different mental illnesses. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out which one portrayed which illness. One of the toys is a sheep. Do sheep have mental illness? How about a crocodile with a pillow? What do you suppose that represents? I have no idea. It is a very strange website.

The toys are odd. The concept is odd. But the game on their website is offensive. It's called The Asylum--Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddlytoys. What the...? Okay, so all of us with mental illness have been abused? If you were abused you will certainly have a mental illness? All victims of abuse require psychiatry? I don't get it.

I tried the game. It was also very odd. If you are old enough to remember the game Myst, I think this "game" is somewhat like that. I think you have to find your way from somewhere to somewhere by going through therapy with various animals. Or maybe curing them and getting them out of the clinic? It's hard to say. There are no instructions. No directions. No clues as to the premise of the game. On second thought, maybe this isn't offensive at all. Maybe it's just plain stupid.

Can anyone explain this to me?


MyThought said...

I saw the website a few days ago( ) and at first I thought that the animals are kind of cute. Then I saw the game and that is just tasteless. I played it for a while and it's full of stigmas. I think they are approaching mental illness in a wrong way.. It shows people that when you've got a mental illness all you need is drugs and a list of therapeutical measures.
You could also see it like that.. they are comparing people with mental illnesses with cuddly toys that need to be taken care of. I think that can make many people be ashamed of their condition.

Mohican said...

My my. It is odd and weird and strange. The "game" can be played in english, and what you do is enter the clinic and click to perform various tests on the characters representing the plush toys. All you do is watch what happens. I thought it was vaguely amusing. The crocodile is very shy and hypersensitive, the Hippo is obsessed with his wooden game. The tests include "dream analysis", Rorschach test (pretty funny for the crocodile), and other stuff. Overall it is just a marketing ploy to give their plush toys some character, not an attempt to make a statement about abuse or mental illness; at least, that's how I took it. Does that make it offensive? Obviously people have different reactions. The drug administration "test" could be offensive to people as it could be intrepreted as portraying drugs in a kinda 60's psychedelic way.

Anonymous said...

My friend who knows about my depression and eating disorder sent me this link. I was kind of offended. But yeah, I'm with you. Pretty tasteless.

Wishing you well,

Borderline Lil said...

Weird!! Very weird.