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Ailment information
Provoked by



Extreme variance from normal behavioral patterns.


Shock Spells (possibly)

Known affected
"Mental that one, I'm telling you."
Ronald Weasley giving his considered view of Hermione Granger.[src]

Insanity, also known as madness, is a general term for certain abnormal behavioural patterns, typically associated with those suffering from mental illness.[1] Those suffering from insanity often cannot interact with normal society, and frequently require long-term treatment in a medical facility such as St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. Prolonged exposure to certain curses, such as the Cruciatus Curse or the Imperius Curse, may cause this condition. It can also be inflicted by certain types of potions, either temporarily or permanently, such as the Drink of Despair[2] and possibly Essence of Insanity. Listening to Fwooper song for a sufficiently long period can also cause this condition.[3] Shock Spells may be a treatment for this condition.

In 1991, as Vernon Dursley wildly drove the Dursley family and Harry Potter to various locations in the hope of shaking off following wizards, Dudley Dursley ventured the suggestion that he had gone mad.[4]

In his earlier years at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Ronald Weasley, particularly in the early stages of their association, often claimed that Hermione Granger was insane because she was clever, read excessively and for pleasure, and retained information which was never of adequate interest for him to notice it.

Starting in the summer of 1995, the Daily Prophet, under pressure from the British Ministry of Magic, ran a smear campaign claiming, among other things, that Harry Potter's assertion that Lord Voldemort had returned was a sign that he had gone insane, which only ended when Voldemort's return was proven following the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.

Peeves made this claim of Remus Lupin with a tune to match. "Lupin! Loony, loony, Lupin!"

Known insane individuals

Lupin: "Don't be a fool, Severus."
Black: "He can't help it. It's a habit by now."
— Black and Lupin talking about Snape[src]
  • According to Albus Dumbledore, people have been driven to insanity attempting to realise the visions provided by the Mirror of Erised.
  • As Uric the Oddball is known to have listened to Fwooper song for several months non-stop, as well as to have engaged in various eccentric behaviours, he was most likely insane.[3] Also the look on his face and his jellyfish-hat lead to this belief.
  • According to legend, Snickerton became insane following an attempt to have rival tailor Delfina Crimp arrested for being a witch. He found himself unable to make clothing without it being torn to shreds, and held the delusion that he was being stalked by a giant pair of invisible scissors, though it is more likely that Crimp followed him throughout his life and shredded his clothing with her Severing Charm.[5]
  • Frank and Alice Longbottom were driven insane due to prolonged exposure to the Cruciatus Curse by Bartemius Crouch Jr. and the Lestranges. They were resident permanently in the Janus Thickey Ward of St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, and no longer seemed to recognise their son.[6]
  • An old Muggle tramp Harry Potter saw when shopping with the Dursleys apparently was insane, as he was talking to a person who was not there.[7]
  • Bartemius Crouch Sr. became insane after continual usage of the Imperius Curse on him by Lord Voldemort. When Harry Potter and Viktor Krum found him on the edge of the Forbidden Forest in 1995, he wildly shifted back and forth between coherence and statements to his surroundings, and believed it was several months earlier and he was dictating instructions to his assistant, Percy Weasley.[7]
  • Bartemius Crouch Jr. was considered insane by Cornelius Fudge, and therefore his testimony was not credible.[8] Though his confession was true, Crouch demonstrated his instability with his deranged look throughout his interrogation, and Harry proclaimed him mad for showing glee at killing his father.[9]


Notes and references

  1. WP favicon Insanity on Wikipedia
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 28 (The Missing Mirror) (Harry comments "Your brother drank a potion that drove him out of his mind.")
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (real)
  4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 3 - (The Letters from No One)
  5. Wonderbook: Book of Spells - Chapter 4, Part 1
  6. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 28 (The Madness of Mr. Crouch)
  8. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)
  9. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)

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