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Harry Potter Fan Page Proves Mental Illness Can't Be Reduced to Stereotypes

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Whether we realize it or not, we’re mentally sorting people and things in our lives all the time. While some sorting helps us better understand our world (or organizes a student body at a certain magical school), sorting people based on their characteristics can also lead to stigma and bias. Not everything — including those with mental illnesses — fits perfectly in a category or box.

So when it comes to sorting things in the Harry Potter world, Tumblr page “Hogwarts House Habits” took a stand and ended up providing a perfect example of why people with mental illness can’t be reduced to a stereotype. The page provides relatable content to people, based on what Harry Potter house they’re in (Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff or Slytherin), and felt like they needed to respond when fans were asking which “mental illness” people in certain houses were most likely to have.

In an update called, “Houses and mental illnesses,” they wrote:

Hey y’all.

We’ve received a sudden influx of asks like “which house is most likely to be most [x mental illness]” or “which house do you think has the most members with [x mental illness]” and other variations.

We will not be answering these questions because mental illness doesn’t work like that. 

Mental illnesses are not traits that can be associated with a certain house. They can appear in any house; we have talked extensively about, for example, Gryffindors with anxiety or Hufflepuffs with depression. Living with something like anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc. doesn’t mean that you can’t be in a certain house or that you’re more likely to be in one house, because you can have anxiety and still be brave or value bravery, or loyalty, or creativity, or ambition, or any other trait associated with any of the houses.

It isn’t surprising these Harry Potter fans are so knowledgable and accepting of mental illnesses. J.K. Rowling, author of the series, is known for being outspoken about her own challenges with depression and often supports her fans going through a rough time.

We applaud Hogwarts House Habits for surely making Rowling proud.

Not all heroes wear capes. But some do carry wands.

Lead image via Harry Potter Facebook page.

Originally published: May 26, 2017
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