Harry Potter: Defeating Your Dementor

When they come near, you freeze up. You are drained, immobilized. Your very life, your soul is consumed. Every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you.

But that is not their worst. Dementors will find your worst memories and turn these into torture, using them against you. For Dementors, your pain becomes their power.” Professor Remus Lupin

For many, their depression is their Dementor. Three years ago I experienced a depression that felt like a Dementor was living in my brain.

The only known defense against a Dementor is the Patronus spell. The way it works is to recall your happiest memory and then shout “Expecto Patronum.” All spells require practice, specially the Patronus. You find your strongest, happiest times. You feel the memory. Smell it. Sense it on your skin. You let it live somewhere inside you.

The Patronus isn’t a ‘think good thoughts’ spell. It takes a great deal of practice, scanning your life for the good, the grateful, the growth. Dark times come. Failures. Disappointments. Amidst everything that you face, you also continue your practice of looking also for what is good, where you are growing, and what you are grateful for.

The Patronus isn’t a ‘think good thoughts’ spell. It takes a great deal of practice, scanning your life for the good, the grateful, the growth. Dark times come. Failures. Disappointments. Amidst everything that you face, you also continue your practice of looking also for what is good, where you are growing, and what you are grateful for.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a difficult depression, seeing a mental health professional is one the best investments they can make. It takes time and work to improve a depression. For me, I felt better after about three months, but the work wasn’t over. Staying healthy is about accepting the difficult and even the dark, while also drawing on the light around you: time with friends and family, exercise, diet, medication, counseling, reading, regular health checks, self-care. Different things work for each person, so helping a loved one through their depression can take time.

Today, I leave you with one more thought:

“Remember this, you have friends here. You’re not alone.” 

Dumbledore

For a related article, see “Depression is A Universe of Darkness.

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Geek Therapy: Getting High with Geek Therapy

In the new year, I will be offering Geek Therapy using popular culture and superheroes. My specialties include addiction and mental health recovery, parent-teen relationships, emotions and communication skill-building, family counseling, trauma support and spirituality in counseling. If you would like to experiment with Geek Therapy and how it can benefit you, contact me at smswaby@icloud.com.

Keep it Real!

Dementor drawing credit: katinthehat13


One thought on “Harry Potter: Defeating Your Dementor

  1. This post illustrates perfectly how powerful “geek therapy” can be!
    I had never thought of my depression as a dementor but the comparison makes complete sense.

    More than that it explains why people saying “snap out of it” or “just think positively” is so bloody unhelpful. Just like the patronus charm learning to manage depression appropriately is not as easy as it could seem to those who have never experienced it.

    My psychiatrist is my Professor Lupin. The teacher who guides me and shows me how to defend myself. It took time to learn how to keep myself safe and to learn how to even access positivity and memories with this soul sucking dementor in my head.

    Thank you for making depression relatable for so many.

    Liked by 1 person

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