Essay Sample on Diagnosis of a Childhood Character: Bart Simpson from "The Simpsons"

Published: 2022-11-02
Essay Sample on Diagnosis of a Childhood Character: Bart Simpson from "The Simpsons"
Type of paper:  Case study
Categories:  Child abuse Psychological disorder
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1156 words
10 min read

The first case involves Bart Simpson from "The Simpsons" who shows signs of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The child, "Bart" is 8 years old, and has a history of coherent and relevant trouble making. There is also report on frustration with intolerant people from his home town who judge him for his problematic actions. Bart's academic performance is below other fourth-graders. With a record of consistent and repetitive trouble making in class. Similarly, the relationship with the father is precarious and dysfunctional ("Bart Simpson - A Case Study in ADHD", 2012). One moment he is scolded and another minute he is next to the father bonding over a collaborative joke. From this, it can be said that Bart shows numerous symptoms that can be linked to mental health disorders; showing consistent signs of ADHD. The National Institute of Mental Health indicates that the disorder makes it hard for a victim to pay attention and manage his/her impulsive actions. The patient reacts restless and is constantly active, shifting from one activity to the next.

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The indication of many symptoms links Bart to ADHD as there are numerous issues arising from his distraction. In numerous cases, he misses fundamental family meetings as a result of his dedication to his video games. At the same time, he is distracted by the television to the point that he cannot study for a test. Even at school, Bart cannot stop day dreaming about incidences he saw on the television at home. He finally failed the test, getting an F. As a result to avoid being held back and repeat the fourth grade, Bart tries to change to study and perform better but the distraction continues.

DSM-5 criteria for ADHD

Bart's signs fits into Inattentive Type of ADHD since he has many issues related to attention and distractibility. The symptoms are not enough to satisfy this type of ADHD as Inattentive Type. Nevertheless, there are some dominant signs of Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). The symptoms if ADHD changes drastically overtime making it difficult to render a diagnosis. Children with the condition often show a persistent form of inattentive/hyperactive impulse that affects the normal development:

Inattentive: At least six symptoms of inattentiveness have been present for 6 months to the point that they affects the development. The DSM-5 criteria include the following: Show little of no attention to details; Lack of attention or prone to mistakes at school, work or other activities assigned; Problem holding attention on activities; Often fails to follow instructions and fails to finish their homework or chores assigned; Has a problem organizing personal tasks or activities; Avoid activities that engages the mind for a longer time such as tests; Often loses items needed to perform specific activities like pencils, books; Tend to avoid or reluctant to accomplish tasks and activities assigned; Easily distracted; Forgets easily during the day-to-day activities.

Hyperactivity and impulsivity: At least six symptoms have been seen for six months to the level that it is disruptive and inappropriate for the victim's development. DSM-5 criteria symptoms includes: Frequently fidgets hands, taps foot or hands; Leaves seat when he is expected to remain seated; Frequently runs around or climbs in scenarios he/she is not expected to; Have difficulty engaging in leisure activity quietly; Often "on the go" as if "propelled by a motor."; Talks uncontrollably; Often utters an answer to a question even before it is complete; Impatient; Interrupts or intrudes other people when playing or when conversing

Other than the above symptoms, the following merit should be met: Different symptoms have been seen in two or more situations (home, school or with friends); There is an indication that the symptoms interfere with, or influence the quality of socialization and functioning; The symptoms do not appear only during another psychotic disorder that the patient has like schizophrenia ("Online Assessment Measures," 2018).

Accuracy of diagnosis

Bart has numerous accurate signs of ADHD but there are some coinciding symptoms of ODD and CD. The issue with attention falls as part of the symptoms are shown in different instances. There are also numerous instances of deceit, violation of rules that deliberately annoys other people. These symptoms are however found in people with ODD and CD. This means that Bart Simpson fails to show ADHD with utmost accuracy. This means that there are some inconsistencies in Bart's condition but a significant proportion of the symptoms are linked to ADHD.


Bart's treatment will start structured and semi-structured interviewing approach where we will discuss the family history, the ADHD symptoms and other related symptoms. Through the process, intelligence assessment, school performance report and reports from parents, teachers and peers will be used to understand the condition. There is also a need to introduce non-allergic nutrition to manage the allergens attached to ADHD symptoms. A restricted diet is a better method of assessing ADHD is caused by food. This diet should be closely monitored while at the same time putting into consideration his symptoms for a period of five weeks. The treatment will also include both behavior therapy and medication. Since he is 8 years old, the therapist will apply behavioral therapy as the initial line of treatment before medicines are introduced. There will be close monitoring of how the treatment approach used helps the Bart's behavior and making changes if necessary in the process of treatment. In case the behavior and diet monitoring fail to help achieve success, the diet will be stopped and medication introduced. The medication should focus on Bart's primary ADHD symptoms. The nervous system stimulants shows a good success rate for ADHD treatment. Ritalin, a stimulant will be introduced but applied in low dosage. This will be taken twice every day in the morning before breakfast and another before dinner. The initial dose should be 5mg each day them progressively increase to 10mg then 20mg deepening on how he reacts.

The behavior therapy will also involve training of his parents since ADHD also affects how the children related with their families and other children and parents can play a fundamental role in understanding and controlling these behaviors ("Effective Child Therapy - By the Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology," 2018). In training, parents acquire new skills that enhance the existing skills and assist the child manage his/her behavior. For the behavior therapy with the child, new behaviors will be taught to replace the previous one that causes problems. As a therapist also, I will be able to teach the child how to express his feelings in a manner that will not be perceived offensive by other children in class, at home or when playing.


Bart Simpson - A Case Study in ADHD. (2012). Retrieved from

Effective Child Therapy - By the Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology. (2018). Retrieved from

Online Assessment Measures. (2018). Retrieved from

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Essay Sample on Diagnosis of a Childhood Character: Bart Simpson from "The Simpsons". (2022, Nov 02). Retrieved from

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