…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.)
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 They can appear distant or aloof, socially withdrawn, paranoid or suspicious, and some can even have symptoms of psychosis (delusions, hallucinations, and illusions).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?
Be sure to check out Lydia’s post on Medical Monday–always informative and fun to read!
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!