liegh42 said: I have a character that slowly (but surely) goes insane throughout the novel. She starts off a little insane, being able to see ghosts and all, but at the end of it she goes completely nuts and ends up killer her father (well, that's the plan at least). How can I still make this character relatable? Her situation is no the most common (with some people it is I guess...) so I imagine it's hard to make people like her. Have any tips?
Firstly, you have so many negative mental illness tropes in this that I’m not sure where to start.
I don’t know what you mean by “insane”. It’s not a medical term, and though it is a legal term, it doesn’t refer to what I assume you mean to say, which is delusional or having hallucinations (which would probably be termed psychotic.
By saying she is able to see ghosts, you are implying that ghosts are real and that she has the ability to see them. Which is a fine premise for a story. I have no issue with that. The thing is, though, that if she has the ability to see ghosts which do exist, she is not hallucinating, so I don’t know how she’s insane. And if she is hallucinating the ghosts, then she can’t see ghosts, she hallucinates, in which cases she likely has either a brain tumor or any in a set of mental illnesses that has hallucinations as one of its symptoms.
Again, I don’t know what you mean by “goes completely nuts.” Does she have a psychotic break? Does she have a nervous breakdown? Does she begin to exhibiting erratic decision-making processes? Does she begin to have delusions? Does she begin to experience the symptoms of other mental illnesses (i.e. schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, etc.)? Does she lose touch with reality, as with psychosis? Does she begin to have more than just audio-visual hallucinations the ghosts (if they have hallucinations)? If the ghosts aren’t hallucinations, what do they have to do with the psychotic break?
Why does she kill her father? Presumably she doesn’t wake up one day and decide that she wants to kill him for no apparent reason. Did she exhibit prior violence? Is it because she loses touch with reality and believes that he is somebody else or that she isn’t killing him? Does she want to kill him? If so, why?
I might be being harsh, but the problem is that vague and incorrect ideas about mental illness are a major reason for the incredible stigma against people will mental illnesses. Precision is important, and so is the acknowledgement and understand that mental illness does not equal violence. Being mentally ill does not necessarily make a person violent, and most crimes committed by the mentally ill are found to be unrelated to their illness.