The Psychology Behind Supernatural

October 15, 2018 0 By admin
The main characters of the show, sam and dean. fanart
Fan Art by azziria

If you follow me on social media, you know what some of my favorite tv shows are and might have been expecting this. If you don’t (why are you not, I’m awesome?), then let me tell you a little bit about this one. Supernatural has lasted 14 seasons on The CW about two brothers and their lives fighting monsters. This show holds a place in every fans’ heart for different reasons.

There are many themes present in this show that have allowed it to last as long as it has. The bond between siblings, family doesn’t end with blood, and that heroes don’t always win are the main ones. For me, this show plays to my counselor personality and showcases some mental health concepts that we all struggle with. One of the show’s main actors, Jared Padalecki, struggles with Depression and Anxiety and has used the shows success to advocate for mental health. He created the Always Keep Fighting campaign, which has become the catchphrase for many of the fans. In the spirit of Halloween, here are the mental health issues featured in the show. *SPOILERS AHEAD*

Why you always self sacrificing?

All seasons feature the characters’ willingness to self-sacrifice and how little they think of themselves. Majority of the seasons have some conflict between the brothers that shows sometimes family members are toxic to your health. Both brothers experience PTSD from their times in hell and past events throughout their lives. The boys also have to face their captors/torturers throughout the seasons as well. For example, Dean has to deal with PTSD from his time in hell when the angels ask/force him to torture his torturer.

one of the main characters, Castiel. Fanart
fan art of Castiel by i-have-a-banana-in-my-ear

Oh Sammy boy…

Each individual character also goes through their own mental issues. Sam at one point gets hallucinations so badly that he must check himself into a mental health hospital. Sam goes through repentance when they find out that someone can complete trials to close the gates of hell. As each trial is completed, Sam becomes sicker. When confronted by Dean, Sam reveals that he needs to do the trials to “purify” himself of demon blood. During this time Sam becomes suicidal and after the fact tells Dean that he was prepared and wanted to die. Seasons later, Sam must work with his captor from hell when the brothers need Lucifer’s help defeating a character.

At the beginning of the next season, the boys’ mother returns from the dead. Sam must deal with the emotional turmoil of getting to know his mother for the first time and how he fits in with Dean and her. In the next season, Lucifer creates a human/angel being and Dean and Sam fight over what to do about him. Sam sees himself in Jack (when he discovered his psychic powers) while Dean sees a powerful being who has no control over his powers.

Jack, one of the supporting characters. fanart
fan art of Jack made by olliewollieart. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter!

Sometimes you gotta ask for help Deano

Dean also goes through his own experiences dealing with mental health throughout the show. In a season where Sam comes back from the dead, Dean deals with losing his new family when he starts hunting with him again. Demons go after his girlfriend and her child so he forces Castiel (their angel friend) to erase him from their memories. An episode showcases Dean’s guilt and low self-esteem when an Egyptian God puts Dean on trial for his past decisions. Dean is a character who puts all situations and decisions’ consequences on his shoulders (a troupe of the older sibling).

In a later episode, Dean suffers survivors guilt when he cannot save a friend from dying. Dean’s self-hate can be seen again through season nine and ten when he believes he is toxic to the people around him. He takes on “The Mark of Cain” which makes it hard for him to control his anger, Eentually it Turns him into a murderer (not as awful as it sounds I swear). Finally, in one of the newer seasons, Dean turns himself into a bomb and agrees to commit suicide to save the world.

So in conclusion (lol) this show features many mental health topics whether it tries to or not, that has helped a lot of people (including myself). My brother is also a fan of the show, and when I asked him what his thoughts were he summed it up pretty well with “they (the seasons) all show how for the right people and the right reasons your brain will let go of all morals to save the ones you love. You’ll do the wrong thing for the right reason. It shows how when you think you’ve lost it all you truly do give up, and heroes don’t always win.”