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How do wizards heal mental trauma?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Barelyhere, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Barelyhere

    Barelyhere Squib

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    Hello everyone, lurker here. :)

    As title states, I'm interested in how wizards and witches heal their mental trauma in canon. Surely they don't seek out a muggle psychiatrist or psychologist?

    Some fanfiction stories mention "Mind Healers" but I don't recall seeing that term used in the books. It has been years since I've last read them, though.

    Also, if the books never specify how trauma is healed, what are your headcanons for this?
     
  2. Sataniel

    Sataniel Groundskeeper

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    Nothing ever mentioned in canon. I assume firewhiskey, lot of firewhiskey.
     
  3. Rehio

    Rehio Alchemist DLP Supporter

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    I don't see why they wouldn't just go to a psychiatrist who's magical. Why do you assume they'd be muggle?
     
  4. Warlocke

    Warlocke Prisoner

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    OBLIVIATE!
     
  5. Chengar Qordath

    Chengar Qordath The Final Pony Prestige

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    Seems like the simplest explanation. There are also mood altering spells/potions in canon like the Cheering Charm, but those probably can't do too much more to fix actual damage than equivalent muggle medicines. Magic might be a bit more effective for treating mental health issues that stem from chemical/hormonal imbalances in the brain, but with actual trauma ... yeah, magic can't fix it.

    Well, maybe Warlocke's suggestion could work. Though even outright Obliviating the bad memories seems to be an imperfect solution—what we see of Lockhart at St Mungo's indicates that there's still some level of subconscious memory left after a mind-wipe. For someone with PTSD it's possible some of the trauma might remain, but without the memories to provide context for what caused it and how to deal with it (granted, that's pure speculation). Not to mention the knock-on effects that come from carving out huge chunks of your own memories.
     
  6. Necrule Paen

    Necrule Paen DLP Elite DLP Supporter

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    They don't. They are a society where their pills are free. They can magic away the symptoms and ignore the root causes.
     
  7. Barelyhere

    Barelyhere Squib

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    @Rehio You make an extremely good point. Oh dear, I must have boxed myself in thinking only muggles would be psychiatrists.

    Thanks everyone who replied. Much appreciated.
     
  8. Tempestuous Ocean

    Tempestuous Ocean Second Year

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    There are potions (and spells) that affect one's mental state. I assume there are healers knowledgeable in that area.

    I am curious about treatment Neville's mom must have had in early days of her hospitalization. And how do the healers of St. Mungo's care for Lockhart?
     
  9. GryffindorPrincess

    GryffindorPrincess Squib

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    Yes. Does anyone have any theories on this?
     
  10. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Well, considering that they're still there, and so is Lockhart, their techniques aren't that effective.
     
  11. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn High Inquisitor DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    I've thought about this a bit over the last couple of months, and I think you can read into it a bit either way. All things considered I think I would lean towards the idea that lots of mental health trauma could be easily fixed but that it depends on insight and desire to do so. I certainly feel that in wizarding Britain society as presented it would not be unheard of for mental health illness.

    If we look at Draco and family in the latter two books of the series, he gets placed under a significant amount of stress, as does his family. They become self-neglectful and miserable, all very understandable, and I'm not suggesting they're mentally unwell but it's clearly stated they become frayed around the edges. Despite this pressure and their self-neglect, they don't cheering charm it away, even though they could and this may be something that applies generally to wizarding society. A lot of traits that can be both normal and pathological depending on intensity and duration are present in characters we know well in the series. We know they experience human emotions normally and deeply and so it seems likely then that they can suffer mental health issues like Depression as a result of these things.

    In some of the supporting stories of Beadle the Bard, there's a common theme (particularly thinking of the garden story) that magic can do a lot but it can't solve the true problems of the human condition that we all share, just like it can't create true love. Voldemort can't withstand grief, and throughout the series I think we often see similar phenomenon, to express that there's a deeper more abiding force underlying human nature than the magic they commonly use, that defies their understanding. I think because of this, a lot of the mood mental health problems would present in wizards and witches, in a way muggle physical diseases don't seem too.

    Besides this, there's Dementors and Billywigs, there's firewhisky and vanity mirrors. I think (if the above was not the case) where in the muggle world there is organically arising mental health illness in the magical world there are external avatars that fill the same role. Dementors are famously depression, and unkillable. Billywigs and firewhisky may be substance abuse/delirium. Felix felicis may be mania, these are things that have different effects but induce similar symptoms and problems - I've always taken Slughorn's warning more as a 'don't believe the hype' rather than that toxic effects of felix felicis will kill you.

    Lastly, regarding the more odd 'non-mood' disorders, schizophrenia and psychosis - I think it would vary dependent on what they were saying. Certainly I think it's more liveable than in the muggle world - As a culture, quite small and scattered, I think there's a decent amount of anecdotal stories and encounters with wizards who are odd and eccentric where it doesn't impact their ability to function in the magical world. Luna, Xenophilius, Dedalus Diggle, for example. Wizards and witches already have a very 'subjective' model by which they study the world. This model doesn't depend as much on objective or experimental reality because magical law appears to trump natural law in many cases.

    I think it would have to be a very florid presentation for psychosis to present as a problem in functioning in the magical world. I believe unusual perceptions and behaviours in knockturn alley, for instance, would be well tolerated, because vampires, hags and ghouls are, relatively speaking.

    Edit: hope that's easier to read.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  12. GryffindorPrincess

    GryffindorPrincess Squib

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    This may be similar to what happened to Neville's parents. They definitely didn't "crack" in one night as fanon might believe, but it would have been a process of untreated PTSD along with being unable to cope with the added trauma of that night to the decade of war they fought.

    I also need to act the fact Dumbledore said they were attacked when they thought they were safe in GoF, which would have taken a few years for the Aurors to round up the remaining Death Eaters and search for Voldemort (as would the Lestranges). But at the end of those four to five years, it was complete utter shock that the Longbottoms were attacked unlike fanon likes to believe it took place immediately following. This is covered in a HP Lexicon essay which is worth the read.

    I have done basic research on the history of PTSD and it was called "combat fatigue" in World Wars I and II. Most soldiers could cope with it but some just gave in despite what the drugs they gave them. So relating that back to Frank and Alice, they may have stayed in St. Mungo's for a bit to recover from brain trauma and other physically injuries but were generally "okay" and given calming draughts or something else to go about normal life. But as we know, they couldn't and eventually ended up in St. Mungo's permanently.

    Now, I am no means an expert so I could be way off. But combined ineffective treatment along with overwhelming grief locked in an hospital ward would make anyone want to forget it all and stress causes them to age quicker. I hope that makes sense as it needs more intensive research.
     
  13. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Wait, what? You think that the "tortured to insanity" means PTSD? Or am I missing the connection here. We're talking about Neville's parents, right?
     
  14. GryffindorPrincess

    GryffindorPrincess Squib

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    Yes. To sum it up, they weren't "tortured into insanity" overnight. It took time, maybe years, of ineffective treatment to PTSD (a term created in the 1970s) plus brain damage. So combined brain damage (from being thrown around) plus untreated PTSD led to memory loss. Does that make sense?
     
  15. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I mean
    I think in canon it was quite literal. They were ganged up on by the remnants of the Death Eaters. They were tortured with Crucio, which is known to cause intense pain and other things, and their minds gave out.

    There was no "treatment" implied or otherwise. And no descent into literal madness.

    Magical Asylums sounds like old school, where if you showed any sign of crazy, they shipped you off so that it was more out of sight out of mind.
     
  16. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Not at all, because "mental trauma" is a Muggle issue? I dunno, seems obvious to me.
     
  17. GryffindorPrincess

    GryffindorPrincess Squib

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    Well, we don't know enough about the Cruciatus Curse to begin with and yes, it would have created intense pain but not enough to cause immediate memory loss? I mean, Rowling may not have researched it to begin with but still, it bothers me.
     
  18. CareOtters

    CareOtters Chief Warlock DLP Supporter

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    Uh. No.

    The cruciatus curse causes an excess of pain. That comes with corresponding neural activity. Over a prolonged period of time, that unnaturally large amount of activity seared their brains like a freshly sucked dick in a power outlet.

    Maybe NEVILLE got some PTSD and that's why he needs a Remembrall.
     
  19. Zombie

    Zombie John Waynes Teeth Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I think PTSD is the least of their problems here. The way I saw it was a lot of the lights are on, but no one's home.
     
  20. GryffindorPrincess

    GryffindorPrincess Squib

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    Maybe I'm examining this too much and like I said, I'm no expert. Can you explain further, Zombie?
     
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