ByTyler Ourada, writer at
I write whatever is on my mind, no click bait, or fake news, just my complete and honest opinion.
Tyler Ourada

So a while back, I wrote an article about how Riley from Inside Out may secretly be a psychopath. Some of my readers may have been disappointed that, in that article I also went back on my theory, and proved myself wrong.

First I want to briefly explain my previous article, and why I sort of debunked my own theory. I was inspired to write the article after seeing a YouTube video by Honest Trailers, that pointed out how Riley shows signs of Schizophrenia and Bipolar disorder. I wanted to present an idea about a beloved character, and give evidence to both support and debunk, and let the readers decide for themselves. But that theory had more evidence against it, as Riley being psychotic, is about as likely as Jar Jar Binks being a sith lord, or Glenn still being alive in The Walking Dead.

I would like to present a much more plausible theory, about the same character.

Riley suffers from depression

In my Riley is a psycho theory, I pointed out that in Riley's long term memory Anger seems like a prominent emotion (though not nearly as prominent as Joy) after watching the movie a few more times, I watch Inside Out more than a grown man should (and I am not ashamed), I find Sadness is quite prominent too. And sadness has one thing, no other emotion has. She has the power to change the motions of a memory. I see two possibilities to this.

1. Characteristic of the world.

The explanation to why sadness is so powerful, could be as simple as this. In the world of Inside out Sadness Just happens to be a powerful emotion, and it would be this way in anyone's head. We don't see as in depth in anyone else's mind, as we do with Riley, so it's hard to tell if that is the case.

2. it's a metaphor for depression

Sadness being able to change memories, could be a metaphor for the chemical imbalance in Riley's brain causing her to be depressed. Now again I am no expert on this, so I won't go into great detail, but depression is more than just being sad. It has a lot to do with the chemical reactions in your brain, and how your brain processes emotions. For example when memories that used to bring joy, now start to make you sad. When Sadness first changed a memory, the other emotions were thrown off guard by this, and confused. This is evidence that this is not normal, and not just "part of Inside Out's world". Also she does show signs of being depressed. She cuts off her friends, she gives up on her favorite activity (hockey), and she even wears darker clothes.

sure wearing black is not exclusive to those who are depressed, But in Riley's case, before she starts having these feelings, she tends to dress in more brighter colors.This is a change in behavior, and I can't help but feel that the film makers did that on purpose. Granted at the end of the movie she seems to be feeling a lot better. She's playing hockey again, she's making new friends, etc.

However, the closing line of the movie is Joy saying "Riley's 12 now, what could happen?" Possibly hinting that something else to go wrong, and for Riley's depression to come back. Though it's more likely that the line was just a clever way to tie the story back to the beginning when she said "Riley's 11 now, what could happen?" But it is not uncommon for someone who has experienced depression, to become depressed once more.


Is Riley suffering from Depression?

Or maybe my initial theory is right, and she actually a psychopath, and Jar Jar is a Sith Lord.

looking at this picture, I almost wish he was.
looking at this picture, I almost wish he was.

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