How J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series deftly explores sensitive issues of mental health 

While British author J.K. Rowling’s recent spew of homophobia has invited much debate, her “Harry Potter” series is still 

considered one of the most important works in children’s literature that deals with sensitive issues like bullying, racism, disability, mental illness, etc. 

The central character, Harry Potter, appears to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and, from time to time, grief and depressive symptoms. 

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His best friends, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, display similar mental health symptoms. 

Ron displays arachnophobia as well as the “middle child syndrome”—-taking to unhealthy eating habits as a coping mechanism; Hermione on the other hand appears to suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The depictions of mental health run throughout the series and are not restricted to simply the main characters. 

The Potterverse supernatural beings Dementors who make their appearance in the third installment of the series symbolize clinical depression.  

Boggarts or shape-shifting apparitions represent the different phobias. Dobby the house elf suffers from excessive guilt, poor self-esteem, and self-punishment. 

Click below to Understand the Psychology Of Guilt!

Professor Dumbledore experiences survivor’s guilt and self-directed homophobia, whereas Lord Voldemort displays chronic signs of psychopathy. 

However, the greatest message put out by the Potterverse is that of love and empathy. The series reclaims the power of love, hope, happiness, and kindness. 

It is as Albus Dumbledore puts it in “Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban”: 

“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

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