15 'Harry Potter' Characters People With Bipolar Disorder Relate To
In your everyday life with bipolar disorder, it’s not always easy to find people you relate to — people who get the challenges you face and the unique aspects of your personality that make you, you. But if you’re in the Harry Potter fandom, you may have realized that some of these characters (who, honestly, become more like family the more you get to know them) really speak to you and your struggles as someone with bipolar disorder. It can be comforting to see yourself in the pages of the Harry Potter universe. Perhaps when you’re reading J.K. Rowling’s words, you feel understood in a way you sometimes don’t in your regular life.
We wanted to know which characters people with bipolar disorder relate to, so we asked our community to share the ones they gravitate towards the most. Though Rowling didn’t specify these characters as having bipolar disorder, many of them nevertheless feature qualities and struggles you might identify with, and give you strength in your tougher moments. Let us know in the comments if you agree with our community’s picks, and if there are any characters we missed.
Here’s what our community shared:
1. Remus Lupin
Professor Remus Lupin taught Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts, but resigned when Snape revealed he was actually a werewolf. Still, he was a close friend of Harry’s and even named Harry as his son’s godfather.
“Oh, Lupin. Hands down. He’s very charismatic, fun, smart, and compassionate, but then on the flip side, he turns into this beast. I feel like with my bipolar, when I’m on my up days, I’m as equally charismatic, but on my down days, it’s easier for me to be mad and I’ll lash out. But, he’s able to eventually manage being a werewolf and has friends who help him along the way. I’m fortunate enough to have a similar support system and I’m learning how to manage and cope. (Also, eating chocolate does help),” Katie S. said.
2. Luna Lovegood
Luna is a student at Hogwarts known for her eccentric, quirky personality. Even though she often appeared “distant” and dreamy and wasn’t always taken seriously by other people, she was loyal to Harry and frequently provided useful information and guidance.
“Luna Lovegood: Because the way she thinks and cares is so different from everyone else. She might come off as spacey, but she knows what she’s talking about,” Shana T. said.
“Luna Lovegood because she’s not afraid to be herself (quirks and all),” Casandra C. shared.
Lovable house elf Dobby served the Malfoy family, until Harry freed him. He was a fierce defender of Harry and his friends, even helping rescue them from Death Eaters which resulted in him being fatally wounded by Bellatrix Lestrange. Before he died, he helped bring Harry to safety. He often punished himself physically when he felt he had done the wrong thing.
“Dobby. I punish myself for believing in myself and for having an opinion,” Genevieve J. said.
“I’m a lot like Dobby. I constantly punish myself for everything I do, especially when coming down from a manic episode and when in a depression. When I’m manic, I probably mostly relate to Luna Lovegood. Her quirkiness and bouncy energy I can get when I’m manic,” Taylor R. said.
3. Hermione Granger
Hermione is one of Harry’s best friends, generally accepted to be one of the best, most hard-working students at Hogwarts. Still, she wasn’t afraid to fight alongside Harry and Ron and frequently voiced strong opinions about what they should do.
“This will sound weird, but honestly, Hermione Granger. I’m very studious and responsible like her, but when I’m manic I’m not afraid to break the rules or do something invigorating that I wouldn’t normally do,” Larrissa T. said.
4. Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore was one of the most powerful wizards to resist Voldemort, and served as Headmaster of Hogwarts for many years. He was a frequent source of wisdom and comfort to Harry, even after his death.
“‘Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.’ Dumbledore said that and it has saved me many times,” Felicia C. explained.
6. Sirius Black
Sirius Black was an old friend of Lily and James Potter, and became Harry’s godfather. He was framed for murder and sent to Azkaban, though after 12 years he escaped by transforming into a black dog. Sirius died during a duel with Bellatrix, and helped comfort Harry before his final battle with Voldemort.
“Sirius Black: I get angry as easy as he does. And sometimes while my heart is in the right place, I can’t put my emotions into words. I hate being locked up and I remember in ‘The Order of the Phoenix’ feeling for Sirius,” Idalia I. said.
7. Severus Snape
As Hogwarts’ Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, Death Eater and head of Slytherin House, Snape seemed like the ultimate villain — until it was revealed that he had been working with Dumbledore and protecting Harry right up until his death at the hands of Voldemort. Harry even named his son Albus Severus Potter, after Dumbledore and Snape.
“Snape. He is mean and distrustful on the surface, but deep down he’s caring and full of love,” LaWanda G. said.
“Severus Snape. Other than the fact that his persona is completely unpredictable plus his ‘coldly sarcastic and controlled exterior concealing deep emotions and anguish’… People see me as a bad person, but really, I do things out of love for the people I care about. Eventually, everyone will see the plot twist that I’m the good guy,” Bea D. said.
8. Quirinus Quirrell
Professor Quirrell went in search for Voldemort, to gain recognition and learn from him. When he did, Voldemort took over his body, appearing as a face on the back of his head which Quirrell covered with a turban. He appeared to be timid and meek, as well as threatening and devoted to the evil Voldemort.
“In many people’s eyes, he seemed two-faced. Quirrell was literally two-faced and I feel he was the perfect embodiment of how it felt. One side of you is like calm and what people expect of you. It’s the side people ‘can handle.’ The side people want to help. On the flip side are the bad days. The ugly face no one wants to see. The ugly face that people run away from and deem as something hideous and not able to be helped. The face that attracts people who are parasitic to ‘come help you.’ Much like Voldemort came to ‘help him.’ I suppose I see bipolar as something that’s equally two faced and challenging…” Ryan Ramos
9. Moaning Myrtle
“Moaning” Myrtle Warren is former Hogwarts student who, after her death, became a ghost who haunts the bathrooms at Hogwarts. She was bullied frequently and was known for being sensitive to others’ slights.
“Moaning Myrtle. I feel others always think I am complaining instead of explaining. I isolate myself in my house like she does the bathroom. I can be nice or I can be horrid. I can’t get over things in the past that affected me or people who hurt me. I need someone to listen and understand me.” Grace P.
Hogwarts gamekeeper Hagrid, a half-giant, was one of Harry’s most loyal friends. Although he had a temper, he was also emotional and a great caretaker of magical creatures. He was expelled from Hogwarts and not allowed to use a wand, but he still had powerful wizarding skills.
“Hagrid. He isn’t allowed a wand so he has to find creative ways to adapt without losing what makes him magic. Plus living in a cottage taking care of creatures is right up the recluse side of me,” Jessica D. said.
11. Newt Scamander
Newt was an expert in magical creatures and well-respected for his work; at the same time, he could come across as “awkward” in interactions with people and preferred the company of animals. He had a strong moral compass and always wanted to do the right thing.
“Newt — he is terrified of working at a desk and is very creative and passionate but when it comes to socializing is very weird and distant and only gets along with very few people who understand him. He’s brilliant and has a lot of talent and knowledge to bring to the table, but due to society’s restrictions and the idea of normal he has a hard time,” Mackenzie G. said.
12. Neville Longbottom
When he first arrived at Hogwarts, Neville was picked on for his timid personality and clumsy nature. However, he eventually proved himself to be a fighter and even destroyed the final horcrux by killing Nagini, the snake.
“Neville Longbottom… Sensitive with a bit of low self esteem but fiercely strong morals and a stronger person than you think,” Naomi S. said.
13. Bellatrix LeStrange
Bellatrix was one of Voldemort’s most loyal followers, killing many of his enemies and those who threatened him. She was extremely powerful, but used her intelligence to fight for the dark side.
“Bellatrix LeStrange. She has such potential, but there’s just something too ‘off’ about her to be good. Not saying that I’m not good. Just that without my meds and therapy, I’d probably be her. Scary. Impulsive. Unhinged,” Gigi J. said.
14. Draco Malfoy
After he arrived at Hogwarts, Draco quickly became Harry’s rival, often banding together with his fellow Slytherins to oppose him. His family were supporters of Voldemort and joined the Death Eaters, but Draco was never fully committed to the cause and couldn’t go through with his assignment to kill Dumbledore. He was constantly stuck between the pressure to fight alongside his family, and his desire to live a normal life.
“Draco Malfoy. So smart, compassionate and loyal, but also self-preserving. Everything in life is trying to make him fall in line with a prescribed set of expectations, and yet when it is most important he falters and is slowly, but tragically absorbed into a gray area between good and evil. He is alway searching for his true self,” Bailey S. said.
15. Harry Potter
Harry became an orphan as a baby after Voldemort killed his parents, and always stood up to Voldemort and fought to destroy him. The adults in his life and his fellow classmates didn’t always believe in him, and he struggled with feeling alone and missing his family. He was often conflicted by a desire to do the right thing, and his own self-doubt and evil forces working against him. However, he never gave up and triumphed over Voldemort.
“Harry Potter because, as I was going through a big depression, I related to Harry’s anger and grief in the fourth and fifth books. I felt really connected to him that way,” Lisa P. said.
“The person I relate to the most is probably Harry Potter himself; despite his heroism, he’s constantly put under a microscope, and I can relate to that when I’m going through my mania or my depression. We’re the hardest on ourselves, and we feel like it’s our duty to save the world, but that can make us feel alone. I’ve been berated, judged, and called a liar because of my bipolar, and he’s had to go through similar hardships, feeling isolated by his friends sometimes, like no one understands,” Chantel S. said.
What’s one Harry Potter character you relate to, as someone with bipolar disorder? Share your pick in the comments.
All photos courtesy of the Harry Potter Facebook page and YouTube