A cat who writes stories
- Feb 6, 2012
- Reaction score
I would agree with @Snuggle Tier List's general point, certainly.5. Be aware that mental illness isn't a fantasy element, it's a host of medical conditions that are as mundane and vexing as physical ailments. Don't treat it like a superpower or a magic curse or whatever.
On the other hand, there's an important distinction between "this character is mentally ill, and therefore has psychic powers" and "this character has psychic powers, and this has caused them to develop a mental illness". The latter is instantly interesting to me. Overwhelming sensory input, involuntary exertion of force over the minds of others, social stigma, pressure, fear, and confusion sound like a recipe for generating anxiety disorders and CPTSD in an affected person. That's very different from "I'm fantasy-schizophrenic and it gives me telepathy".
Also the onus isn't really on authors to write didactic prose fiction that always perfectly expresses the right and true way to think about mental health. I just think it's harmful to write about mental health conditions which are also superpowers without putting some thought into it.