Peter Rabbit Had Acute Stress Disorder

Peter Rabbit: One of my most cherished childhood books. Great post by Peter Galen Massey. I have always enjoyed the dark side of fiction. 

Peter Galen Massey

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix PotterBefore Beatrix Potter became the author of children’s books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1902), she was a gifted natural historian and scientist.

So it’s not a surprise that Ms. Potter’s illustrations closely resemble the animals on which her characters are based or that she writes unsentimental stories that display a strong understanding of human (rather than animal) psychology.

This is certainly the case with Beatrix Potter’s most famous character, Peter Rabbit, whose trauma in Mr. McGregor’s garden is so realistically portrayed that cheeky amateurs with access to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) could diagnose him with Acute Stress Disorder if they liked.

In The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Peter’s mother tells him not to go into Mr. McGregor’s garden because “your father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.”

This does not deter Peter, who…

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