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The Psychology of Walter Mitty

The Psychology of Walter Mitty

Many people will know the name Walter Mitty or even the film, but what is the psychology behind Walter Mitty? The name refers to a character who is nothing special but in his mind sees himself as a great hero. In the original story he say himself as a fighter pilot, an assassin and a great surgeon. You might be wondering why I am bringing up this character today.

Well, in Parliament a private member’s bill has been smiled on by the government which would make it a criminal offence for people to wear military medals and decorations that they did not earn. You would think that this is not a common practice, but apparently it is far more widespread than one would think. With companies like ebay it is far easier for these individuals to purchase decorations and use them as their own.

Whilst, of course, this is a slap in the face for those who legitimately have been recognised for heroism there is another factor. Are these people who are doing this suffering from some sort of mental health issue. Some of these people will be attempting to defraud in some way, but there are others who do this because they have a very low self-esteem and they feel this will bolster it. I am pleased that there will be some discretion in procesution, in that those who are doing this because of some mental health disorder will be spared whilst those who use these medals for outright fraud will be punished.

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