HP Withdrawal Syndrome

Do you find yourself having any of the following symptoms:

  1. You brandish your pen like a wand, pointing it at co-workers yelling “expelliarmus” every time you see them with a pen in their hand.
  2. Your latest status reports have been done on parchment, with quills, and are measured by the inch.
  3. You are afraid to go swimming despite the heat because you are convinced the pool is filled with grindylows.
  4. You keep trying to squeeze into your bureau, convinced it’s a vanishing cabinet.
  5. You have been brewing your coffee in a cauldron.
  6. You carry an egg timer on a string around your neck.
  7. You wonder how Cedric Diggory managed to be deemed worthy to be a champion after filming all those terrible movies where he pretends to be a sparkly vampire.  (I mean really, everyone knows vampires don’t sparkle!)
  8. You keep trying to get your broom to fly you around your backyard.
  9. You soccer team keeps wondering why you are calling the ball a “quaffle”.
  10. Every time you go to the loo, you check the stalls first for Moaning Myrtle.
  11. You need to resist the urge to hide your grandmother’s cookbook, which has all sorts of recipes annotated, for fear it might be discovered by Snape.
  12. You are convinced that if you don’t do the houseworklong enough, house elves will show up and do it for you.
  13. You wonder why ESPN never mentions the Wronski Feint.
  14. You tried booking a trip to Beauxbatons and when the travel agent said she couldn’t find it on any map, you were offended.
  15. You refuse to use the fireplace anymore, just in case it’s hooked up to the floo network.
  16. You no longer trust your computer, heeding Molly Weasley’s advice to never trust something who’s brain you can not see.
  17. You carry around little glass vials, just in case you need to collect some acromantula venom or a memory or two.
  18.  Any time you see a pink cardigan, you are subject to fits of rage which often results outbursts of “It is NOT a lie!”
  19. You keep telling your neighbor that you have seen a Clabbert in the trees in their backyard and you keep asking the pet store owner if he has a jarvey you can purchase to keep your ferret company.
  20. Every morning, before going out to your car, you stop and think “destination, determination, deliberation” and close your eyes waiting to Apparate to work.  When it doesn’t happen, you are convinced it’s just a matter of not focusing on the three Ds and is only a matter of time before you master it (which would of course be sooner rather than later if only Twycross were here to help you)….  

If you answered yes to 3 or more of these questions, you too may be suffering from Harry Potter Withdrawal Syndrome.  You should seek immediate help from St. Mungo’s and a Healer or Madam Pomphrey.   You may need potions to help manage your condition, or in extreme cases, you may need to have your memory modified (just don’t ask Professor Lockhart for help with this one).

Suffering from Harry Potter Withdrawal Syndrome is a serious condition.  Causes can include the sudden realization that there are no more movies to be made about our hero, finishing the books for the first (or tenth) time and not knowing what to read next (the fact that there is no acceptable substitute is a contributing factor) or simply feeling like you need to be back in the wizarding world and you don’t have the ability to at that moment.  Rereading slowly or planning a movie marathon can help lessen the symptoms but that is not a cure.

The first stage of Harry Potter Withdrawal Syndrome is the acute stage which usually lasts a few weeks and the symptoms can be reduced or managed through book clubs or discussions about the books with friends.  (Rumor has it that a new treatment will soon be available: Pottermore; but until it is released and available to the general public we can not comment on its effectiveness.)

The second stage is the post-actue stage and this can usually be managed by choosing another book series (and therefore universe) to immerse yourself in to lessen the symptoms and permit your brain to recover.

Normally, with all addictions, the best way to avoid relapse and to stay in recovery is to avoid the cause.  However, in the case of Harry Potter Withdrawal, the best solution seems to be a revisit to the universe on a regular basis, complimented with much reading in other wonderful series in between.  It is recommended by most experts that you choose a schedule (once a year, typically) for rereading all 7 books and watching all 8 movies, summertime or Christmas time being the two most effective times of year to combat this syndrome.  In addition, participation in blogs, fansites, reading fanfiction, using the Harry Potter cookbook, visiting the US version of Hogwarts and Hogsmede in Universal studios, and writing about your most beloved book characters and story also can help keep the symptoms at bay.


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