Cuddly or Crazy or Both?Madeline Holler
Now here’s something for the kids: stuffed animals with mental illnesses.
Stick with me. They’re cuddly and vulnerable and, like Dub the turtle, really, really sad. The might make a nice toy for a child whose parent suffers from depression, bipolar disorders (Dub the sheep/wolf) or terrifying hallucinations (that’s Sly the snake). Perhaps snuggly up to an obsessive-compulsive Hippo will help a child relate better to his world, feel normal, feel loved.
These dolls are the idea of German Martin Kittsteiner. His girlfriend loved stuffed animals so much and had so many that, perhaps he thought she was mentally ill? Not sure, but they started joking around about stuffed animals with psychiatric disorders. And Paraplush was born. But rather than offering kids comfort, these mentally ill dolls are intended to bring joy to their young (and adult!) owners alike.
Kittsteiner tells The Sun that people enjoy coming to the aide of vulnerable things and these dolls give them just that opportunity. Paraplush is kind of a Cabbage Patch Dolls-meets-psychotherapy arrangement. The dolls come with their own medical history, referral letter and treatment plan.
No word on whether Kittsteiner will eventually offer refillable plush prescription bottles.
Cute? Tacky? The next Big Thing?