Sunday, September 15, 2013

Harry Potter and Anxiety

I've recently been on a Harry Potter kick. I love the books, I've been reading the first one to the students I work with, and we have borrowed many of the movies from Jordan's mom. I love the good vs. evil theme and the strong friendships displayed between Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
When we were watching the third movie, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," there was a part that reminded me of how it feels to have anxiety and depression. Harry, Hermione, and Ron are on the Hogwarts express headed to start the school year. A strange creature gets on the train and comes into their compartment. It brings darkness wherever it goes and brings sadness and despair with it. Harry seems to be in some sort of trance which a stranger in their compartment uses his wand to send the creature away. (you soon find out the stranger is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Lupin). Harry ends up passing out, waking up a few minutes later. Professor Lupin explains that the creature was a dementor. The dark creatures that guard the wizard jail, Azkaban. Harry then asks his friends:

"Did either of you two, you know, pass out?"

Ron responds:

"No, I felt weird though, like I would never be cheerful again."

This hit right home for me. When I am deep in anxiety and depression, it seems like I can never be cheerful again. Ron has a great family, wonderful friends, a great education, etc. but the dementor made him feel like he would never feel happy again. The same happens to me at times. I have an amazing husband and family, friends who I adore, a good job and education, and I belong to a religion that means everything to me. How can I get so down sometimes? The truth is we're human. At times I succumb to the awful and gripping feelings of depression. The good part? Just like Ron does feel cheerful again, I always do. Like the dementor went away, depression and anxiety don't stay forever. Prayer and love get me back. I know that no matter how far down we go, we can always be cheerful again.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post!
    Colin and I were just talking about this...
    "J. K. Rowling has revealed that the inspiration for Dementors came from her bout with severe depression before her phenomenal success. She described the feeling as an "absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad."