Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“Things at Hogwarts are far worse than I feared.”

The fifth year at Hogwarts finds Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) being accused of lying by The Ministry of Magic and the majority of the wizarding world denying the return of Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). After successfully thwarting expulsion, Harry and his friends form a coalition of students that practice Defense Against the Dark Arts in secret; their new professor, Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) prefers that they learn how to protect themselves with useless, Ministry-approved lessons.

Harry’s Problem
The poor kid cannot catch a break. He saw a classmate die in front of him and now has to go back to school with the knowledge that most people there think he is a lunatic.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
This came up in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; the boy has trauma. With the death of Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) and bearing witness to the resurrection of Lord Voldemort, Harry has hit the refresh button on some trauma and manifests PTSD in a few ways.

  • Nightmares
    His cousin, Dudley (Harry Melling) makes fun of Harry for mumbling in his sleep about Cedric. It’s clear Harry isn’t sleeping well; nightmares are a common way that people try to process their trauma, but this infringes on their daylight functionality.
  • Irritability
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix features an incredibly annoying main character. It’s my least favorite of the books for this reason; he’s such a jerk the entire time. However, this is probably because he had a pretty rough fourth year of school and an even rougher summer, given that his friends didn’t contact him and he had to hang out with his abysmal relatives.

A Sirius Problem
Harry’s godfather, Sirius (Gary Oldman) brings Harry some solace, but Sirius himself is no stranger to PTSD. He spent 12 years in wizard prison, guarded by dementors, and narrowly avoided insanity by dwelling only on negative thoughts.

A classic defense mechanism, Sirius projects his feelings for Harry’s late father, James Potter, onto his godson. In fact, Sirius’ very last words feature him calling his godson James. Haunted by his time in Azkaban, Sirius appears to have a difficult time resetting the clock and has probably not had access to therapy, where he could fully process the grief over losing his best friend.

Dolores’ Problem
Then there’s this bitch. She loves antagonizing people in the name of the power of The Ministry of Magic. Those cat saucers and pink frills hide a sinister personality trait.


Not a true mental disorder on its own, sadism is a personality trait that is sometimes associated with psychopaths or sociopaths, and sometimes it is part of a normal personality.

You read that right, Readers. People who practice sadism in a consensual sexual relationship – meaning their partner is 100% on board, coherent, and capable of articulating a safe word – is just into some kinky business. On the other hand, a sexual sadist does have a full-blown mental illness, but as it’s not clear whether Dolores Jane Umbridge gets sexual pleasure from torturing people, we’ll save that particular problem for another post. Got it? Consensual fuckery = Not a psychopath. Non-consensual fuckery = Psychopath/sociopath.

Sadism as a standalone personality trait may involve people that enjoy torturing others. Due to Dolores’ giggles whenever she scrutinizes a teacher, her zeal over using Veritaserum to interrogate students, and oh yeah, her joy out of watching her students repeatedly cut their own hands open (with magic!), she is definitely a sadist.

Fortunately, even sadists are not immune to the Hogwarts jinx and it seems year six at Hogwarts will mean yet another Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.



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