Does Harry Potter have BPD? (+3 Alternate diagnoses)
This blogpost will be answering if Harry Potter has BPD. In addition to this, we will also be checking out the alternate mental health disorders and issues Harry Potter may be suffering from. Finally, we will be listing the different mental health lessons discussed in Harry Potter.
Does Harry Potter have BPD?
No, Harry Potter does not have BPD. Harry Potter is never confirmed to have Borderline Personality Disorder in the ‘Harry Potter’ books or the movies. But, he has often been theorized to have this personality disorder since he shows a few characteristic signs of BPD.
Harry Potter is a universally adored character, an orphaned boy who grows up to be the messiah for the Wizarding World, and the hero who will go on to defeat the evil wizard Voldemort. The books and the movies involving Harry Potter cover a number of mental health topics.
Harry Potter himself is cornered with danger over and over again. However, he only starts showing signs of mental turmoil from Book 4 onwards. This is where he indeed depicts a number of characteristic signs of Borderline Personality Disorder, such as,
- Harry Potter’s emotions are quite unstable and he can be seen going off on his closest friends, Ron and Hermione time and time again.
- He takes on many problematic projects with impulsivity and recklessness, often endangering himself and even others.
- His attitudes towards Dumbledore also change. From complete idealization of Dumbledore, Harry Potter moves towards devaluing him and not trusting him.
- He even confesses to ‘feeling angry, all the time’ which is again an important sign of Borderline Personality Disorder.
Despite these signs of Borderline Personality Disorder which Harry Potter depicts in the books and the movies, they are simply not enough to tag an official diagnosis on the character. Firstly, Harry Potter is too young to receive such a diagnosis.
Secondly, Harry Potter does not depict all the major signs of the personality disorder consistently. He however, does definitely show signs of struggling with many other mental health disorders and issues throughout the books.
Harry Potter’s mental health diagnosis
Ever since J. K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books, following which the movies also became an instant hit. Many mental health experts, psychology students and even Potterheads have tried their best to diagnose Harry Potter, the main character of the series.
However, an official diagnosis has been concluded and accepted by all fans, mainly since Harry Potter is a fictional character and essential details are missing. Secondly, he is too young in the books and the movies to be tagged with a particular clinical diagnosis.
Still, many mental health disorders and issues have been pinned on Harry Potter, such as Borderline Personality Disorder, as discussed in the section above. Some of possible mental health disorders and issues associated with Harry Potter have been discussed as follows.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
One highly possible mental health diagnosis for Harry Potter is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Harry Potter does not have a happy and positive childhood, with the Dursley’s treating him like dirt all the time.
Even after he somehow manages to find a new lease of life as a student of the Hogwarts School of Magic, he is still continually faced with traumatic experiences which almost end his life at many times.
He even finds solace in Sirius Black, his godfather, and spends a pretty minute thinking of a beautiful life with him, only to have it taken away almost immediately. Eventually he loses Sirius Black to Bellatrix Lestrange’s curse.
Furthermore, he even sees death face to face when he witnesses Cedric Diggory dying in front of him at the end of the Triwizard Tournament. Several of these experiences put together form a continuous string of traumatic experiences, making Harry a sure candidate for PTSD.
In Harry’ case, his diagnosis would actually be C-PTSD or Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder which stems from not just one but many traumatic experiences put together. Throughout his story arc, Harry depicts a number of signs of PTSD.
Another rare diagnosis which can be applied to Harry Potter is Impostor Syndrome. Impostor Syndrome is when a person undermines their own talents or skills even if they have actually been successful.
Impostor Syndrome can be seen as a major problem in a number of professional sports persons, athletes and even entertainers. Harry Potter often feels that the prophecy concerning him is just a fluke. Therefore, he constantly doubts his abilities and skill sets.
In reality, the situation is very different with Harry Potter being able to defeat a number of other talented and skilled wizards and witches in duels, even as a mere teenager. Even though his closest friends, especially Hermione, continually highlight his talents, he acts otherwise.
Impostor Syndrome is often the result of childhood experiences where a child is continually painted as a loser, especially in the face of a sibling or another child. In the case of Harry Potter, his upbringing in the abusive Dursley household is majorly to blame for this.
Harry Potter does not live a fun-filled and care-free life, even as a child. Many fans of the character and the books who have studied his personality and character have felt that Harry Potter definitely fits many diagnostic criteria of Depression.
Harry constantly thinks about his lost childhood which was ruined as a result of his parents being killed by Voldemort. He also hears his mother’s voice, especially seen in the Dementor attack on the train.
The very fact that Dementors were attracted to Harry in the first place also shows that he is indeed the most depressed kid in his batch, since these vile creatures are often drawn towards tormented souls.
After he witnessed the death of Cedric Diggory in the Triwizard Tournament, Harry Potter is able to see Thestrals, which are again only seen by those who have seen someone die in front of them. This again proves the traumatic incidents in Harry Potter’s life, even at Hogwarts.
Mental health issues in Harry Potter
The Harry Potter books and movies not only spin a beautiful story about the triumph of good over evil, but even cover a number of important mental health issues and disorders, apart from the main character, Harry. Some of the other mental health disorders hinted are:
- Hermione Granger and OCD: Hermione is definitely the smartest witch of her age, but does not come without her own set of problems. Hermione is often thought to have OCD as she depicts a number of traits, such as sticking obsessively to rules.
- Schizotypal Personality Disorder: This PD is often pinned on Luna Lovegood. While everyone loves the weird and oddly strange character who is also a powerful witch, Luna still seems to be very detached from reality.
- Histrionic Personality Disorder: Histrionic Personality Disorder in Harry Potter is associated with Bellatrix Lestrange. Not only is her laugh truly hysterical, but she seeks and craves the attention of Voldemort in a very toxic manner.
- Prolonged Grief Disorder: Severus Snape is mostly hated throughout the story, until his character is redeemed at the end. Looking at his backstory and the immense love he had for Lily Potter, it can be understood that Snape might have Prolonged Grief Disorder.
- Antisocial Personality Disorder: The most evil of all wizards, Voldemort, is again touted to be psychopathic in nature. He aims to destroy all humans and rule the world with magic, not caring about love, empathy or compassion.
This blogpost has answered if Harry Potter has BPD. In addition to this, we have also checked out the alternate mental health disorders and issues Harry Potter may be suffering from. Finally, we have listed the different mental health lessons discussed in Harry Potter.