Mental Health Monday–So Us Non-Wizarding Types Are Called Muggles…


…What, dear friends, would we call witches and wizards if we didn’t know they were witches and wizards?

Well, let’s take a look at how JK Rowling describes her characters from the Muggles’ point-of-view. For the most part, Muggles don’t even notice magical things happening (and if they do, the Ministry of Magic sends a witch or wizard to wipe their memory clean with an Obliviate spell). But what do they think of those wonky robes and funny hats?

Well, they think the wearer is odd, eccentric, or maybe a fashion victim. They think the person has fanciful beliefs and weird thoughts. They do their best to ignore the person and move on with their day. (I’m ad libbing here, but you get the point.)

So, what does this have to do with Mental Health Monday?

There is a small percentage (3%) of people who have a disorder known as Schizotypal Personality Disorder. (Some believe this diagnosis should actually be classified as a psychotic disorder, but this is a post for writing, not a forum for diagnostic debate, so we won’t go there. M’kay? OK.)

Anyway…

Those with Schizotypal features often display “eccentric behavior” and disturbances of affect (expression of emotion) and thought. They can appear distant or aloof, socially withdrawn, paranoid or suspicious, and some can even have symptoms of psychosis (delusions, hallucinations, and illusions). What’s more, they often have odd beliefs or magical thinking, which influences their behavior (and is not linked to any cultural norm).

The real life tragedy of this is people with Schizotypal Personality Disorder often have family members with Schizophrenia, they can develop Schizophrenia themselves, and they often have other co-morbid (AKA co-occurring) personality disorders which further decreases their quality of life and functioning.

BUT, for writing’s sake (which is what this post is intended for…it is NOT to be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment–like how I worked the disclaimer in there so smoothly??), one could have a lot to work with when developing a character with these qualities.

I wonder if JK Rowling had this disorder in mind when she looked at the wizarding world through a Muggle’s eyes.

How ’bout you? Do you have a character with some “magical thinking” or “odd/eccentric behaviors?” How do you capture that in your writing?

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Be sure to check out Lydia’s post on Medical Monday–always informative and fun to read!

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I’m super excited to share this with you guys and gals. A new writerly/blogger bud, Ciara Knight, is having a blog spotlight week on her blog. I’m very honored to be a part of the tour today! Thanks, Ciara! 😀

Ciara writes Paranormal and Fantasy fiction for Adult, Young Adult, & Middle Grade and is represented by Mary Louise Schwartz at The Belfrey Agency. Can’t wait to see her books in print!

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12 comments on “Mental Health Monday–So Us Non-Wizarding Types Are Called Muggles…

  1. Amparo Ortiz says:

    Yep. Us Muggles find those witches and wizards as straight-up fashion victims 🙂

    Loved this post! I’ve read about this disorder before. I’m sure Rowling knew about it as well. How else would you explain Mad-Eye Moody????

  2. Lynn Rush says:

    Great post. This is an interesting disorder! I don’t have much other than a couple OCDs in a couple of my novels. They were fun to write, though. That disorder intrigues me.

    Thanks for the post. Have a great day!

  3. Very interesting post. I don’t currently have this disorder in any of my stories, but can see the potential.

  4. Lydia Kang says:

    That is an interesting disorder. It was one of those ones I was always like, “Uh, what is that again?”

  5. Fascinating. I didn’t know there was a name for it, but I suppose there’s a name for everything now. 😉

  6. Charli Mac says:

    I found myself giving myself a mental health check reading this. No, I do not suffer from SPD but it did come close…hmmm…

    My characters are all various forms of crazy but I have yet to diagnose them.

    Love this!

  7. elisajeglin says:

    It really would have been a huge twist if Harry ended up having the disorder at the end….

  8. Ciara Knight says:

    Loved this post, and love your blog! Hope some friends of mine come by to experience it for themselves. The endless possibilities for characterization after reading your post is bouncing around in my brain. Wait, is it a problem that my characters talk to me?:)

  9. If we have the majority of these symptoms, should we seek counseling? Hmmm….I wonder. Great post and I’m glad I found someone with some expertise that can put a name to some of the symptoms I torture my characters with.

  10. lbdiamond says:

    I’m lovin’ the comments, gang!!!

    Amparo–LOL! Mad-Eye is a character!

    Lynn–OCD is tough; bravo for including characters with this disorder

    Natasha–there’s tons of potential here. 😉

    Lydia–LOL! Yes, very similar to Schizoid, but not quite. 😉

    Deb–there certainly IS a name for everything, LOL!

    Charli–I think we’re all quirky in some way…it’s when we’re 100% quirky that things might get tough.

    Elisa–Oh, my, that WOULD be a twist!

    Ciara–Thanks for putting my blog in the spotlight. (And no, it’s not bad that your characters talk to you. Now, if they tell you to do things and you do, well, then…um, maybe we should talk. 😉 )

    Rachel–it’s important to seek advice/treatment if it’s something you feel you need advice about AND/OR it’s REALLY interfering with work, life, love, and play. 😉

  11. Amie Borst says:

    fashion victim, crazy, eccentric….i might be all of the above. so may my characters…..you got a problem with that? 😛

  12. Super interesting!
    That gives me some great ideas for a character I’m writing at the moment for my NaNoWriMo novel. 🙂

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