Hermione Granger is a character that many are familiar with. For some, she was the first major female character they could identify with. Loved by many (including Ron), and the source of envy for many more, Hermione Granger, while only a fictional character, inspired many a girl to fully embrace their intellectual capabilities.
The rise of Harry Potter Mania gave birth to a phenomenon which some coin the “Hermione Syndrome”. According to the online website the Odyssey, there are seven telling signs of someone who may be suffering from such syndrome. Number one, the need to answer every question. Number two, getting angry when you have to give someone else the chance to answer a question. Three, you viscerally react to incorrect answers. Four, you always correct other people, especially your friends. Five, you always make sure everyone knows how wrong they may be. Six, you’re hyper-focused. Lastly, you are one tough cookie.
While many a Hermione fan may be pleased to know they can officially identify with the beloved character, there is a much more pressing form of Hermione syndrome that needs to be addressed. Though not popularized by media, it’s a theme that is ever present in both the book and movie series, particularly in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, in which Hermione is gifted a Time Turner, which allows her to attend more than one class at the same time. Hermione’s Time Turner later becomes key in allowing Sirius Black to escape the grips of Azkaban, though her possession of such an object is very telling of Hermione’s underlying personality. She must do absolutely everything conceivable to constantly be the best of the best. Simply put, she must do all the things.
How exactly is this so dangerous then? Well, for someone like me who suffers from this form of Hermione Syndrome (which by the way should be added to DSM’s everywhere), it means that in order for me to feel like a capable functioning human, I am constantly taking on more than I can chew. In fact, this trend was so prevalent among my friends in high school, our administrators were using the term to describe us. Nonetheless, I should have been more concerned about this habit of mine. Not that this trend was never pointed out to me — I simply neglected to see how unhealthy this truly was. This mindset did indeed have adverse physical and psychological effects on me. The need to take on more and more became addicting, so much so that I was often suffering from chronic stress and burnout, which is actually a psychological diagnosis.
All of this meant that I was pushing myself beyond my breaking point, I was constantly fatigued (in every aspect of the word), and if I wasn’t pushing myself above and beyond, I felt utterly useless and unaccomplished, a mental existence in which I resent ever having had. There came a point in my life where I realized that if I wanted to make it to the end of my long-term goals, I needed to readjust my mindset and find the balance of being Hermione Granger and Angelyn Ramos because as much as I want to do it all, I just can’t.
While it is a lesson that I am constantly learning, and my addiction to wanting to do it all will never cease. It’s like Hermione says “Books! And Cleverness! There are more important things-friendship and bravery”.