Does Cruella have bipolar disorder? (+3 Causal factors)

In this detailed article, we will be discussing if Cruella has bipolar disorder. We will also be listing out the various signs and symptoms of Cruella’s mental health issues. Furthermore, we will be trying to explain what the causes of her mental health issues might be.

Does Cruella have bipolar disorder?

Yes, Cruella has bipolar disorder. However, this is not confirmed in the ‘Cruella’ movie, or in ‘101 Dalmatians’. In the movie, Cruella can be seen going in to a manic phase which actually pushes her towards villainous acts.

In the movie, Cruella is a fashion enthusiast and designer, who is obsessed about making a fur coat out of Dalmatian skin. For this, she seeks Dalmatian puppies to murder and skin in order to create the special coat.

It is overtly seen that Cruella indeed suffers from some mental health issue, most likely bipolar disorder, but viewers have come up with alternate theories. A few alternate mental illnesses that Cruella seems to be actually suffering from are:

  • Narcissistic personality disorder: Cruella might also be suffering from an underlying narcissistic personality disorder. As a result, she is only interested in her own self and her needs and desires and does not care about anyone else.

While she indeed works to put together costumes for the thieves in the movie, this was all part of her main plan to start working for the Baroness. After she sets her eyes on making the Dalmatian fur-coat, Cruella shows even more narcissism and self-obsessiveness.

  • Split personality disorder: Some viewers and mental health experts who have closely studied the movie ‘Cruella’ and the main character feel that she may be suffering from split personality disorder or multiple personality disorder.

This is mainly because the character has a distinct real personality and an alter personality in the story. The main character refers to Estella, who then turns into Cruella when she learns about the Baroness’ damage to her life.

  • Abandonment issues: While this is not a clinical diagnosis, Cruella clearly shows some abandonment issues in the movie. She feels abandoned by her own parents as she was raised by someone else.

This only increases when she splits away from the Baroness after she realizes that the Baroness was the one who actually pushed Estella’s mother to death. She highly esteemed the Baroness before this and feels abandoned when she learns the truth.

  • Psychopathy: Cruella is definitely a psychopath. She yearns to murder many Dalmatian puppies with her own hands and skin them in order to make the fur-coat of her dreams. Her psychopathic tendencies are peppered throughout the movie.

Signs of Cruella’s mental health issues

Cruella’s mental health issues are depicted throughout the movie and the stories through a number of signs and symptoms. Some signs and symptoms of the mental health issues that Cruella goes through in the movie have been described as follows.

She shows dissociation

In the movie ‘Cruella’, the main character can be seen dissociating clearly. There is an indicated good side, which is Estella, and a bad side, which is Cruella in the main character. In fact, this is understood and known by those who are near to her.

This dissociation is the main reason why many viewers speculate that Cruella might be indeed suffering from a multiple personality disorder. Multiple personality disorder is characterized by the presence of more than one identity, including an alter ego.

In Cruella’s case, towards the end, she completely sheds off her Estella personality and permanently gives the reins of her life to her alter ego. This sort of disproves the multiple personality disorder theory since this incidence rarely happens.

Whatever the mental illness might be, dissociating can actually be an important sign of some mental health issue. Dissociation is also common in other mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and even borderline personality disorder.

She takes part in illegal activities

Cruella can also be seen taking part in illegal activities. After her mother is killed by the Dalmatians, she turns to two thieves, Jasper and Horace Badun and becomes their accomplice. She basically creates costumes for them to help with their heists.

Although she does not directly participate in their crimes, until towards the end when she tries to steal the puppies, she is definitely an accomplice and an ally in their thievery. Taking part in dangerous and illegal activities is a sign of a mental health issue.

She has a vengeful side

Cruella has also depicted that she can be quite vengeful. In the movie, Estella/Cruella has the main aim of ruining the Baroness’ reputation and stealing the necklace. She goes to great lengths to do so, and even uses her talents for fashion and style for the vengeful cause.

She does not have any healthy relationships

Estella, in the movie ‘Cruella’, does not have any healthy relationships with others. Throughout the movie, those who are close to her are the thieves, Jasper and Horace. But, they are clearly not her friends and just her accomplices.

Having healthy relationships and friendships is important for a person’s mental health. And a lack of healthy relationships can lead to mental health issues and can also indicate some type of mental illness.

She is cruel to others

Cruella is definitely rude and brash when it comes to others. She is often rude, even to her own accomplices, and arrogant when she is dealing with other people in her field. Being constantly rude to others also indicates some type of mental health issue.

She takes part in reckless activities

In the story, Cruella can also be seen taking part in many reckless and dangerous activities, without giving a thought for safety. She also shows sudden violent outbursts. For example, when she is chasing the puppies she can be seen being excessively ecstatic and outrageous about it.

She has anger issues

Cruella definitely suffers from anger issues and rage issues, which is the main source of her violent behaviors and actions. Her anger towards the Baroness actually fuels her ideas. For example, she creates the beaded dress just to destroy the other costumes of the Baroness.

Causes of Cruella’s bipolar

Cruella’s mental health issues, including her bipolar disorder, can be blamed on a number of factors. These have been elaborated on in the following points of this section in the post.

  • Her mother’s death: At a young age, Estella sees her mother fall to her death when she is chased by the Baroness’ dogs. This traumatized Estella and immediately orphaned her which led to very sad circumstances later.
  • Her life afterward: After the death of her mother, Estella has no place to go to and so she seeks the company of two street-urchins, Jasper and Horace. This is a very different lifestyle from what she is used to.

While she definitely makes the best out of her situation, this definitely could have endangered her well-being and her mental health. The movie has not shown in detail the various struggles Estella has been through, but it can be speculated by looking at her circumstances.

  • Her learning about her true mother: Towards the end of the story, Estella understands the truth that the Baroness is actually her biological mother, who decided to kill her in order to keep the inheritance.

Fortunately, the Baroness’ plan was a failure since the child was handed off to one of the maids. This could have also severely traumatized Estella, and is the main reason why she sheds off this personality and assumes the personality of Cruella permanently.


In this detailed article, we have discussed if Cruella has bipolar disorder. We have also listed out the various signs and symptoms of Cruella’s mental health issues. Furthermore, we have tried to explain what the causes of her mental health issues might be.

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