Mental Disorders At the Office

It seems to me that almost every one of the characters in NBC’s TV series “The Office” has a clinical or
slightly subclinical psychological disorder. Each character has a flaw that causes them to consistently make
the same type of misconstrual, misapprehension or misjudgment.  Often these mistakes lead the character to
commit a serious social or occupational blunder making my favorite show on television a madhouse confined
within the four walls of a second story, Scranton, Pennsylvania office space.  In my opinion the writers either
intentionally modeled their characters after common psychiatric or psychological disorders or else at least a
few of them have an uncanny sense of how and where everyday people can go wrong. What follows is a list
of the characters and the psychological disorders that I think they are supposed to represent.

Few of the characters deserve a full blown diagnosis, most have tendencies or habits that are characteristic
of a specific disorder. Further, some of the characters patterns of behavior don’t map onto a true disorder
but to a personality trait. A person usually only receives a diagnosis by a psychologist or psychiatrist if their
disorder consistently and adversely affects their well being, their social life, their economic status or the
people around them. On this criterion, you be the judge. Characters are listed in an order that reflects their
severity of disorder, with the first being the most severe.  

Michael Scott: ADD: Inattentive, impulsive, inattention to detail, careless mistakes, does not follow through,
difficulty organizing tasks and activities, forgetful, easily distracted by extraneous stimuli

Dwight Schrute: Aspergers Syndrome: Impaired social and emotional interaction, impaired empathy and
sympathy, forced to compensate for deficit of empathy by memorizing social patterns, idiosyncratic
communication, make-believe inappropriate to developmental level, intense asocial preoccupations,
obsessed with details that have no social consequences, other symptoms of autism

Creed Bratton: Schizophrenia or Schizotypy: Disturbance of consciousness, poor clarity of awareness of
the environment, reduced ability to sustain or shift attention, disorientation, memory impairment, frequent
derailment of thought, incoherent, odd, eccentric or peculiar, Schizoid: neither desires nor enjoys close
relationships, appears indifferent to praise or criticism, detached Cannabis-Caused Psychotic Disorder with

Angela Martin : OCD: recurrent and persistent thoughts about maintaining structure and order despite
anxiety and stress that they may cause, preoccupied with lists, details and organization, feels driven to
behaviors that are subject to rigid rules, overconscientious, scrupulous and inflexible about matters of
morality, ethics or values.
Hyperfrontality: habits pertaining to hygiene or social conventions are clearly

Ryan Howard : Narcissism: grandiose sense of self and inflated ego, arrogant and egoistic, is
interpersonally exploitative and opportunistic, takes advantage of others, exaggerates achievements and
talents, preoccupied with fantasies of success and power, has a sense of entitlement, lacks empathy

Erin Hannon: Avoidant: avoids interpersonal activities that involve social contact in an effort to avoid
criticism, disapproval or rejection, unwilling to become involved unless certain of being liked, shows restraint
within intimate relationships for fear of shame, ridicule, inadequacy or embarrassment

Kevin Malone :Mental Retardation: Does not meet the standards of his age group for pragmatics,
communication, or self direction.

Kelly Kapoor: Dependent Personality Disorder: pervasive and excessive fear of separation leading to
clinging behavior, necessitates advice and reassurance from others, false veil of openness, extraversion and
Mania: inflated self-esteem or grandiosity, talkative or pressure to keep talking, flight of ideas,
racing thoughts

Mr. Mifflin: Alzheimer’s Disease: Significant memory impairment and advanced cognitive deficit,
forgetfulness, disorientation

Toby Flenderson: Depression: depressed mood throughout the day, feels sad or empty, low self esteem,
feelings of hopelessness or melancholy, diminished interest or pleasure in most activities

Meredith Palmer: Alcohol Dependence, Substance Abuse, Addictive Personality, Hyperactive sexual

Stanley Hudson: Antisocial / Psychoticism: failure to be apprehensive of aggressive acts, irritability, lack
of remorse, indifference

Andy Bernard: Intermittent Explosive Disorder: several episodes of failure to resist aggressive impulses
that result in harm or destruction of property. Degree of aggressiveness is out of proportion to the
precipitating psychosocial stressor, age inappropriate displays of anger

Jo Bennett: Histrionic: uncomfortable in situations in which she is not the center of attention, uses physical
appearance to draw attention, inflated ego, has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic

Phyllis Lapin-Vance: Eating Disorder. Timid

Jan Levinson: Neurotic: Impelled by distressed, anxious or angry energy

Oscar Martinez: Conscientiousness, Homosexuality: no longer classified as a psychological disorder

Jim Halpert: Procrastination, Sarcasm, Competitiveness

Pam Halpert: Low Self-esteem

Darryl Philbin: Surgency

Holly Flax: She is just a bit nerdy
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