Mental Disorders in Fanworks

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Mental Disorders
Related: Hurt/Comfort, Disability Fic, PTSD, Suicide in Fanworks
See Also: List of Fan-fiction Kinks, Tropes, and Clichés, Ableism in Fandom
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Giving a character a mental disorder is a popular trope in fanfiction. How a character deals with it, how others help them, etc.

Fanfiction that focuses on a disorder are often in the Hurt/Comfort or angst genres. Abuse, Violence, Self Harm and Suicide Attempt often appear in these works which often has authors put trigger warnings for any readers that it might affect.

Example Fanworks

Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.



  • The Puzzle Box of Yogg-Saron, a zine that "features over 80 full-color pages of artwork, creative writing, and prose from thirty different contributors about the unique experience of playing World of Warcraft as a person with mental illness and/or neurodivergence (or MI/ND)."
  • Mind Over Matter, "a digital fan zine that explores the relationship between superheroes and mental health."

Mental Disorder Tags on AO3

Fanwork tags for various disorders on Archive of Our Own:

Canon Examples

  • Drusilla in the Buffyverse - delusional, as a result of prolonged psychological and physical torture by Angelus. Being a psychic novice nun forced to become a vampire probably doesn't help...
  • Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh - is probably well known for his depression.
  • Dexter Morgan in Dexter - initially believes himself to be a sociopath, but the final season of the TV series suggests that this is conditioned behavior, not a true psychological disorder.
  • Julianne Simms of Breakout Kings is often praised for representation of various psychological disorders including social anxiety, panic disorder, and depression.
  • Marvin the Paranoid Android in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy suffers depression.
  • Tony Stark in the MCU suffers from PTSD. His comic counterparts in 616 and 1610 both suffer from alcoholism.
  • Chidi Anagonye from The Good Place has a highly nervous nature that likely entails an anxiety disorder.