Harry Potter and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual: Muggle Disorders in the Wizarding World
AbstractJ.K. Rowling has created a wizarding world almost entirely devoid of mental health issues and treatment. Nonetheless, Harry Potter offers four clear representations of Muggle psychiatric disorders that match the official diagnostic criteria. The most obvious is dementor-induced depression and the ability of both chocolate and the Patronus Charm to neutralize their effects. Rowling shows familiarity with both the published symptoms of clinical depression and its treatment. The Patronus Charm, with its reliance on substituting positive memories for distressing ones, resembles cognitive behavior therapy, a treatment for depression Rowling herself received. The happy memories Harry uses to summon his Patronus are those of successful escapes and his social support network, both factors known to mitigate depression. Additionally, the incapacitation of Frank and Alice Longbottom resembles advanced dementia of Alzheimer’s type; their son Neville shows behavioral traits that might be expected both in the son of an Alzheimer’s patient and in a boy raised by a grandmother. Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody’s name and actions suggest he is a prototype of post-traumatic stress disorder, while Winky the house-elf embodies Stockholm syndrome. The sympathetic portrayal of characters with psychological disorders may enhance moral development and promote understanding of mental illness.
Abramson, L. Y., Seligman, M. E. P., & Teasdale, J. D. (1978). Learned helplessness in humans: Critique and reformulation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 87(1), 48-74. https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-843X.87.1.49
AARP (2010). More Grandparents Raising Grandkids. Retrieved May 15, 2015 from http://www.aarp.org/relationships/grandparenting/info-12-2010/more_grandparents_raising_grandchildren.html
alastor. (n.d.). Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved May 07, 2012, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/alastor.
Alzheimer's Association (2012). Seven stages of Alzheimer's. Retrieved May 08, 2012, from http://www.alz.org/alheimers_disease_stages_of_alzheimers.asp.
Alzheimer's Association (2015). 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures. Retrieved May 15, 2015, from https://www.alz.org/facts/downloads/facts_figures_2015.pdf.
American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (4th ed., text revision) Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Amini, A. (2008). The Minister of Magic: Adeel Amini delves into JK Rowling's chamber of secrets. The Edinburgh Student. Retrieved May 07, 2012, from http://gallery.the-leaky-cauldron.org/default/fullpic/207262.
Anelli, M., & Spartz, E. (2005). The Leaky Cauldron and Mugglenet Interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part III. Retrieved May 07, 2012, from http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2005/0705-tlc_Mugglenet-anelli-3.htm.
Asher-Perrin, E. (2013) Neville Longbottom is the Most Important Person in Harry Potter—And Here's Why. Retrieved May 15, 2015 from http://www.tor.com/2013/11/19/neville-longbottom-is-the-most-important-person-in-harry-potter/.
Associated Press (2008, March 28). Report: Author Rowling considered suicide. USA Today, Retrieved May 07, 2012, from http://www.usatoday.com/life/people/2008-03-23-rowling-report_N.htm.
Beck Institute (n.d.) The History of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Retrieved May 07, 2012, from http://www.beckinstitute.org/history-of-cbt/.
Binnendyk, L., & Schonert-Reichl, K. A. (2002). Harry Potter and moral development in pre-adolescent children. Journal of Moral Education, 31(2), 195-201. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057240220143304
Bloomsbury Publishing (2007) J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat. Retrieved May 09, 2012 from http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2007/0730-bloomsbury-chat.html/.
Bracha, H. S., & Maser, J. D. (2008). Anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder in the context of human brain evolution: A role for theory in DSM‐V? Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 15(1), 91-97. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2850.2008.00113.x
Brown, S., & Patterson, A. (2010). Selling stories: Harry Potter and the marketing plot. Psychology & Marketing, 27(6), 541-556. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.20343
Cantor, C., & Price, J. (2007). Traumatic entrapment, appeasement and complex post-traumatic stress disorder: evolutionary perspectives of hostage reactions, domestic abuse and the Stockholm syndrome. Australasian Psychiatry, 41(5), 377-384. https://doi.org/10.1080/00048670701261178
Chase, M. W., Reveal, J. L., & Fay, M. F. (2009). A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 161(2), 132-136. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00999.x
Conn, J. J. (2002). What can clinical teachers learn from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone? Medical Education, 36(12), 1176-1181. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2923.2002.01376.x
Davidson, A. (2006). A Curious Kind of Widow: Loving a man with advanced Alzheimer's. McKinleyville, CA: Daniel and Daniel.
di Tomaso, E., Beltramo, M., & Plomelli, D. (1996). Brain cannabinoids in chocolate. Nature 382, 677-678. https://doi.org/10.1038/382677a0
Follingstad, D. R., Neckerman, A. P. and Vormbrock, J. (1988). Reactions to victimization and coping strategies of the battered woman: The ties that bind. Clinical Psychology Review 8, 373-390. https://doi.org/10.1016/0272-7358(88)90065-7
Frank, A. J., & McBee, M. T. (2003). The use of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to discuss identity development with gifted adolescents. Prufrock Journal, 15(1), 33-38. https://doi.org/10.4219/jsge-2003-438
Friis, C. (2013). Abandoned Children in Literature: The Orphans in JK Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Retrieved May 15, 2015 from http://lup.lub.lu.se/student-papers/record/4067356.
Gates, M. A., Holowka, D. W., Vasterling, J. J., Keane, T. M., Marx, B. P., & Rosen, R. C. (2012). Posttraumatic stress disorder in veterans and military personnel: Epidemiology, screening, and case recognition. Psychological services, 9(4), 361-382. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027649
Gibson, D. M. (2007). Empathizing with Harry Potter: The use of popular literature in counselor education. The Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education and Development, 46(2), 197-210. https://doi.org/10.1002/j.2161-1939.2007.tb00036.x
Granger, J. (2008a). How Harry Cast his Spell: The Meaning and Mania Behind J.K. Rowling's Bestselling Books. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale Momentum.
Granger, J. (2008b). The Deathly Hallows Lectures: The Hogwarts Professor Explains the Final Harry Potter Adventure. Allentown, PA: Zossima Press.
Granger, J. (2012). St. Andrews: the conference at Scotland's oldest University. Retrieved 17 January 2015 from http://www.hogwartsprofessor.com/st-andrews-the-conference-at-scotlands-oldest-university/.
Green, A. M. (2009). Revealing discrimination: social hierarchy and the exclusion/enslavement of the other in the Harry Potter novels. The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children's Literature, 13(3).
Harry Potter Conference (n.d.) Web page of the annual Harry Potter conference at Chestnut Hill College. Retrieved 17 January 2015 from http://www.harrypotterconference.com.
Hippard, V. L. (2007) Who invited Harry? A depth psychological analysis of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol 68(4-A), 2007, 1469.
Hsu, C. T., Jacobs, A. M., Altmann, U., & Conrad, M. (2015). The magical activation of left amygdala when reading Harry Potter: an FMRI study on how descriptions of supra-natural events entertain and enchant. PloS one, 10(2), e0118179. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0118179
Huddleston-Mattai, B. A., & Mattai, P. R., (1993). The Sambo mentality and the Stockholm syndrome revisited: Another dimension to an examination of the plight of the African-American. Journal of Black Studies 23(3), p. 344-357. https://doi.org/10.1177/002193479302300304
Johnson, D. R. (2012). Transportation into a story increases empathy, prosocial behavior, and perceptual bias toward fearful expressions. Personality and Individual Differences, 52(2), 150-155. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2011.10.005
Jones, E., Fear, N., & Wessely, S. (2007). Shell shock and mild traumatic brain injury: a historical review. American Journal of Psychiatry, 164(11), 1641-1645. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2007.07071180
Kalish, C. & Kalish, E. (2006). Hogwarts Academy: Common sense and school magic. In Mulholland, N. (Ed.) The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination of the Boy Who Lived, 59-73. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books.
Kass, D. (2015) Harry Potter-themed program at UVA takes aim at mental health. The Daily Progress. Retrieved 18 May 2015 from http://m.dailyprogress.com/news/local/uva/harry-potter-themed-program-at-uva-takes-aim-at-mental/article_abb9073a-b7d9-11e4-a211-cf7951658506.html?mode=jqm.
Katz, M. (2003). Prisoners of Azkaban: Understanding intergenerational transmission of trauma due to war and state terror (with help from Harry Potter). Journal for the Psychoanalysis of Culture and Society, 8(2), 200-207. https://doi.org/10.1353/psy.2003.0037
Kaufman, J., (1991). Depressive disorders in maltreated children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 30(2), 257-265. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-199103000-00014
Kaufman, J., et al. (2004). Social supports and serotonin transporter gene moderate depression in maltreated children. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 101(49), 17316-17321. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0404376101
Kellner, R. T. (2010). JK Rowling's ambivalence towards feminism: House elves -women in disguise- in the "Harry Potter" books. The Midwest Quarterly, 51(4), 367-385.
Kern, E. M. (2003). The wisdom of Harry Potter: what our favorite hero teaches us about moral choices. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books.
Kidd, D. C., & Castano, E. (2013). Reading literary fiction improves theory of mind. Science, 342(6156), 377-380. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1239918
Lewis, S. T. (2007) A soldier's heart in a mad eye: Harry Potter and PTSD. Retrieved May 08, 2012, from http://www.veteranstoday.com/2007/07/20/a-soldier-s-heart-in-a-mad-eye/.
MacNeil, W. P. (2002). "Kidlit" as "Law-and-Lit": Harry Potter and the scales of justice. Law & Literature, 14(3), 545-564. https://doi.org/10.1525/lal.2002.14.3.545
Mar, R. A. and Oatley, K. (2009). The function of fiction is the abstraction and simulation of social experience. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 3(3), 173-192. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-6924.2008.00073.x
Martinez, J. (2001). Hostages in the home: Domestic violence as seen through its parallel, the Stockholm syndrome. Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. Retrieved May 09, 2012 from http://www.mincava.umn.edu/documents/clergybook/clergybook.html. https://doi.org/10.4000/lhomme.112
Merkell, K.A. & Merkell, M.A. (2008). The children who lived: using Harry Potter and other fictional characters to help grieving children and adolescents. London, UK: Routledge.
Mills, A. (2006). Harry Potter and the terrors of the toilet. Children's Literature in Education, 37(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10583-005-9451-5
Moses, P. A. (2014). Literature and its mirroring affect on psyche: the case of Harry Potter. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, Vol 75(2-B(E)).
Mulholland, N. (2006). Using psychological treatment with Harry. In Mulholland, N. (Ed.) The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination of the Boy Who Lived, 265-282. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, Inc.
Murakami, J. L. (2006). Mental illness in the world of wizardry. In Mulholland, N. (Ed.), The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination of the Boy Who Lived, 175-188. Dallas, TX: BenBella Books, Inc.
Namnyak, M., et al. (2008). Stockholm syndrome: Psychiatric diagnosis or urban myth? Acta. Psychiatr. Scand. 117, 4-11.
Natov, R. (2001). Harry Potter and the Extraordinariness of the Ordinary. The Lion and the Unicorn, 25(2), 310-327. https://doi.org/10.1353/uni.2001.0024
Nelissen, R., & Zeelenberg, M. (2009). When guilt evokes self-punishment: evidence for the existence of a Dobby Effect. Emotion, 9(1), 118-122. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0014540
Noctor, C. (2006). Putting Harry Potter on the couch. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 11(4), 579-589. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359104506067879
National Institute of Mental Health. (2012a). Major depression among adolescents. Retrieved May 18, 2015 from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adolescents.shtml.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2012b). Major depression among adults. Retrieved May 18, 2015 from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml.
Nuttall, A. (2013). Wand Privilege: Perceptions of superiority and inferiority in wizarding society. In Ciolfi, L & O'Brien, G. (Eds.) Magic is Might 2012: Proceedings of the International Conference. 74-83.
Parker, G., & Crawford, J. (2007). Chocolate craving when depressed: a personality marker. British Journal of Psychiatry 191, 351-352. https://doi.org/10.1192/bjp.bp.106.033746
Parker, G., Parker, I., & Brotchie, H. (2006). Mood state effects of chocolate. Journal of Affective Disorders, 92(2), 149-159. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2006.02.007
Peirce, R. S., Frone, M. R., Russell, M., Cooper, M. L., & Mudar, P. (2000). A longitudinal model of social contact, social support, depression and alcohol use. Health Psychology 19(1), 28-38. https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-622.214.171.124
Provenzano, D., & Heyman, R. (2006). Harry Potter and the resilience to adversity. In Mulholland, N. (Ed.) The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination of the Boy Who Lived, 105-119. Dallas. TX: BenBella Books, Inc.
Prucho, R. A. (1999) Raising grandchildren: The experience of White and Black grandmothers. Gerontologist 39, 209-221. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/39.2.209
Rippetoe, P.A. (2006). Defense Against the Real Dark Arts. In N. Mulholland (Ed.) The Psychology of Harry Potter: An Unauthorized Examination of the Boy Who Lived. (pp. 283-298). Dallas, TX: Benbella Books, Inc.
Robinson, J. C. (2012). Bibliotherapy with children. In Neimeyer, R. (Ed.) Techniques of grief therapy: Creative practices for counseling the bereaved, 306-311. New York: Routledge.
Rowling, J.K. (1998). Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
Rowling, J.K. (1999a). Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
Rowling, J.K. (1999b). Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
Rowling, J.K. (2000). Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
Rowling, J.K. (2003). Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
Rowling, J.K. (2005). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
Rowling, J.K. (2007). Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. New York, NY: Scholastic Press.
Rose, N., Koperski, S., & Golomb, B. A. (2010). Mood food: chocolate and depressive symptoms in a cross sectional analysis. Archives of Internal Medicine, 170(8), 699-703. https://doi.org/10.1001/archinternmed.2010.78
Rosegrant, J. (2009). The deathly hallows: Harry Potter and adolescent development. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 57(6), 1401-1423. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003065109352491
Runcie, J. (Producer & Director). (2007). JK Rowling… A Year in the Life [Motion picture]. United Kingdom: Independent Television.
Sanna, A. (2014). 'I can touch him now': Harry Potter as a Gothic narrative of trauma and homoerotic sexual abuse. Literary Refractions: a Journal of Literature, Cultural and Literary Translations. 9(1). Retrieved May 15, 2015 from http://hrcak.srce.hr/index.php?show=clanak&id_clanak_jezik=196271.
Seden, J. (2002). Parenting and the Harry Potter stories: a social care perspective. Children & Society, 16(5), 295-305. https://doi.org/10.1002/chi.715
Seymour, J. (2012). Harry Potter and the house-elf rebellion. Write4Children, 2, 28-38.
Simpson, A. (1998). Face to face with J.K. Rowling: Casting a spell over young minds. The Herald. Retrieved 17 January 2015 from http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/1998/1298-herald-simpson.html.
Smith, G. C., & Palmieri, P. A. (2007). Risk of psychological difficulties among children raised by custodial grandparents. Psychiatric Services 58(10), 1303-1310. https://doi.org/10.1176/ps.2007.58.10.1303
Solomon, J. C., & Marx, J. (1995). "To Grandmother's house we go": Health and school adjustment of children raised solely by grandparents. Gerontologist 35(3), 386-394. https://doi.org/10.1093/geront/35.3.386
Stine-Morrow, E. A. (2007). The Dumbledore hypothesis of cognitive aging. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 16(6), 295-299. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00524.x
Strimel, C. B. (2004). The politics of terror: rereading Harry Potter. Children's Literature in Education, 35(1), 35-52. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:CLID.0000018899.06267.11
Taylor, P. J., Gooding, P., Wood, A. M., & Tarrier, N. (2011). The role of defeat and entrapment in depression, anxiety, and suicide. Psychological Bulletin, 137(3), 391. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0022935
Treneman, A. (2000). J.K. Rowling, The Interview. The Times (UK) Retrieved May 07, 2012, from http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2000/0600-times-treneman.html.
van Zuylen-Wood, S. (2011). Life after war: Perspectives on PTSD from Rhode Island Veterans. Retrieved May 08, 2012, from http://campusprogress.org/articles/life_after_war_perspectives_on_ptsd_from_rhode_island_veterans/.
Vezzali, L., Stathi, S., Giovannini, D., Capozza, D., & Trifiletti, E. (2014). The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 45(2), 105-121. https://doi.org/10.1111/jasp.12279
Welsh, C. (2007). Harry Potter and the underage drinkers: Can we use this to talk to teens about alcohol? Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 16(4), 119-126. https://doi.org/10.1300/J029v16n04_07
Werner-Seilder, A. & Moulds. M. L. (2011). Autobiographical memory characteristics in depression vulnerability: Formerly depressed individuals recall less vivid positive memories. Cognition & Emotion 25(6), 1087-1103. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2010.531007
Werner-Seidler, A., & Moulds, M. L. (2012). Mood repair and processing mode in depression. Emotion, 12(3), 470-478. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025984
Whited, L. (2008). 1492, 1942, 1992: The theme of race in the Harry Potter series. The Looking Glass: New Perspectives on Children's Literature, 10(1).
Whited, L. A., & Grimes, M. K. (2002). What would Harry do? JK Rowling and Lawrence Kohlberg's theories of moral development. In Whited (Ed.) The Ivory Tower and Harry Potter: Perspectives on a Literary Phenomenon, 182-208. University of Missouri Press.
Williamson, G. M., & Schulz, R. (1990). Relationship orientation, quality of prior relationship and distress among caregivers of Alzheimer's patients, Psychology and Aging 3(4), 502-509. https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-79126.96.36.1992
Winters, S. F. (2011). Bubble-wrapped children and Safe Books for Boys: The politics of parenting in Harry Potter. Children's Literature, 39(1), 213-233. https://doi.org/10.1353/chl.2011.0016
Wizarding World Press (2004) J. K. Rowling gives revealing answers in World Book Day chat. Retrieved May 09, 2012, from http://www.beyondhogwarts.com/story.20040304.html.
Copyright (c) 2015 Louise M. Freeman
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.