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Old Jun 12, 2007, 11:20 PM   #1
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Default Hal Mentally Ill?

I was just checking up on Malcolm in the Middle related wikipedia articles (as I do...) and I can across this latest edition to to the "Hal" page.

Throughout the series there have been various occurrences to suggest that Hal is mentaly ill. This is confirmed in the episode "[[Chad's Sleepover]]" when Hal sympathizes with Dewey's friend Chad, who has mental issues, and Hal reveals that he spends his free time filling in missing letters, circles, and percent signs into an encyclopedia.
Link to page.

On first reading I was like - rubbish and was about to undo the new addition, but the person sort of had a point about Chad's Sleepover. But various occasions throughout the series? Has this ever dawned on anyone else? Does this have any basis? Filling in circles could be considered OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) but as a one off I think saying he is mentally ill is a little extreme. However if there are other examples then....I dunno...?
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Old Jun 12, 2007, 11:58 PM   #2
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Well, he's crazy. I mean, that much is obvious. And it's confirmed a few times. But I'm not sure he can be classified as mentally ill. He functions well, he has excellent social skills (most of the time), he's able to keep relationships going, hold down a job and raise five children.

I know, mentally ill people can do this, but Hal is just crazy--there's a fine line, sure, but I don't think Hal ever crosses it. It's a special kind of crazy a "man building a rocket in his brain as everything goes on around him." Or however Linwood Boomer described him on the Season 1 DVD.
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 01:38 AM   #3
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Obessive-compulsive is exactly how I would describe Hal. However, this doesnt mean he technically has the mental disorder.

wikipedia says:
The thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems
If he is obsessed with real life problems, and enganges in compulsive activities to avoid these problems, then it seems he is disqualified from having the actual disorder. He would need to be obsessed about imaginary problems or things that don't really affect him in order to be "mentally ill" and have OCD. The character Monk comes to mind, if you have seen that show.
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Old Jun 13, 2007, 06:49 AM   #4
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Whatever mental health problem Hal's suffering from, he seems to suppress it well, for the most part.
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Old Jun 14, 2007, 09:26 PM   #5
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No, Hal is definitely not mentally ill. Yes, he definitely is OCD. Filling in the circles is his long-time OCD problem. But in individual eps he has short-term OCD all the time. Dancing, painting, making a pitching machine come to mind off the top of my head. It's his way of removing himself from the stress of a job he hates and 5 reckless children. He is perfectly healthy mentally and physically.
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Old Jun 18, 2007, 12:28 AM   #6
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He even has good OCD-ness! His devotion to Lois, for example. I think that is a worthy goal for any husband.

...but then, my wife already thinks I have some OCD in me...
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Old Jun 18, 2007, 09:02 AM   #7
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Mentaly ill or not, Hal is just freakin FUNNY!!!
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