1937: Gollum


I like this blog a LOT. Not only are aspects of mental illness in history presented in an accessible way, the blogger (Freudy lookin’ Dutch dude) represents responsible psychiatry with an edge of empathy. Having experienced major depression and treatments all the way from ABC to ECT himself, plus his obvious intelligence, his posts are always more than the sum of their parts. Give this one a read and then go read about some ‘real’ stuff too.

You’re welcome.

Originally posted on History of Mental Health:

September 21, 1937?This may count as the official birth date of a well-known mentally disturbed fictional character: Gollum. For on this day in 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien published his story The Hobbit that introduced him to the world.

I assume you’ve read the Lord of the Rings series, or at least have seen Gollum in the films. Underneath all his wicked, obsessed, monomaniacal deviousness he is one of the saddest, most piteous and forlorn figures in fantasy.


Many websites routinely classify him as “mentally ill”. To give a random example, the Urban Times site puts him in a list of 33 Fantastic Films Whose Main Characters Have Mental Disorders.

But when it comes to what exactly was wrong with Gollum most people remain a bit vague, guessing around. Schizophrenia? Or maybe a split personality, torn between his original Sméagol roots and his later Gollum identity?


Actually we…

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