Are you a doctor or do you just enjoy self-diagnosing? Because I can
assure you that otherkinity isn’t classified as a mental illness. Are we
special snowflakes? Sure, alright, I can accept that. But no certified
doctor has ever said that we are mentally ill by virtue of being
otherkin. The contrary is actually true:
Thanks a lot for your message 🙂 Otherkins are some of the most deluded and mentally-ill people on the planet. My step-father once took a shit-load of drugs and was convinced he was Peter Pan and everyone he encountered were either fairies or pirates – was he told that this behavior was normal and his delusions should be respected and legitimized? No, he was locked up in a psychiatric hospital for 6 months haha so why are we trying to legitimize people who believe they are spiritually a reincarnation of dragons, angels, vampires and unicorns?
Otherkins are twisted rejects of the furry club, they’re typically overweight web designers who discovered the reason they were bullied as a child was due to the fact they are an empty pepsi can… and not because almost all children are bullied at one stage or another. They have a deep resentment for humanity and are separate from society and claim that their struggles are on par with those of trans individuals and similar, when in reality they just want to create magical alter-egos because they hate who they are in the real world.
I have no problem with trans people identifying with the opposite sex, I don’t even have a problem with these people calling themselves garden gnomes and ogres but what I do have a problem with is when they demand for the rest of us to play-along with them and if we don’t, they screech we are oppressing them…
don’t come to the conclusion that you’re a dragon without a certain
amount of self-examination. Many otherkin are aware that some outsiders
think they’re delusional. The psychiatric professionals I contacted for
this story, however, were surprisingly forgiving.
Dr. Marc D. Feldman, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Alabama and inventor of the term “Munchausen by Internet,” told me that otherkin didn’t seem like a good fit for mental health treatment.
“People in advantaged countries like to think of themselves as
especially complex, colorful, and special,” he wrote in an email. “The
otherkin phenomenon certainly reflects this first-world preoccupation.
But it isn’t illegal, doesn’t victimize other people, and isn’t a form
of mental illness (unless people become delusional about it), so I don’t
see a particular need for ‘treatment.’”
Dr. Jan Dirk Blom, an expert in clinical lycanthropy (the delusion of
turning into an animal), has a similar opinion, saying that unless an
otherkin individual is suffering, there’s no reason to seek professional
regards the existence of [otherkin] communities, online or otherwise,
where like-minded people join each other to exchange experiences and
ideas on their affinity with animal or supernatural identities, I can
only say that we cannot have enough of those groups,” he wrote.
“Human experience and behaviour is so diverse, and only so little of
it tends to be presented as ‘normal’ in the media, that communities such
as these should be embraced and encouraged by us all.”
In his opinion, the otherkin experience of “phantom shifts” may not
be as unusual as it sounds: “In my area of expertise, i.e., psychotic
disorders, it is well-known that some 10–15 percent of all people in the
general population experience auditory hallucinations, and that close
to a full 100 percent experience some sort of hallucination during their
lives (i.e., auditory, visual, olfactory, or otherwise), but that only 1
percent are diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia spectrum
– Baker-Whitelaw, Gavia. “Understanding the Otherkin.” The Daily Dot, 22 Feb. 2015.
Otherkin as a whole don’t resent humanity. Are
there individuals that do? Sure. But are the representatives of the
entire community? By god no. I’m very happy to be a human and, from an
outside perspective, humans are one of my favorite species on Earth.
I’ve only ever heard a few individuals claim that otherkinity is on par
with transgenderness. Pretty much everyone else in the community will
agree that it’s not, since otherkinity has not been scientifically
proven in any way (and since otherkin don’t face harassment or threats
in the real world – only online).
Also, I’ve only seen 13-16
year old children claim that otherkin are oppressed. Considering that
this community is close to 50 years old and that the active parts of the
community have a median age range of around 20-25, I don’t think it’s all that fair to listen to the children of the bunch.
Also, there are academic
researchers who have done studies into otherkin (or specific groups of otherkin
like therians) and have found that otherkin are not clinically mentally ill.
Finally, actual researchers (mostly
psychologists and sociologists by profession) who have spent years doing studies
within the furry fandom have noted the difference between furries and otherkin.
(Describing otherkin as identifying as nonhuman while a furry is being a
fan of anthropomorphism or zoomorphism in media.) [They too are actual
academics who not only don’t see otherkin as clinically mentally ill they have
the research results to prove it.]
Bricker, Natalie. Life Stories of Therianthropes: An Analysis
of Nonhuman Identity in a Narrative Identity Model, Lake Forest College,
Grivell, Timothy, Helen Clegg
and Elizabeth C. Roxburgh. “An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of
Identity in the Therian Community.” Identity: An International Journal of
Theory and Research. Vol. 14, No. 2, (May 2014): pp 113-135.
Johnston, Jay. “On Having
a Furry Soul: Transpecies Identity and Ontological Indeterminacy In Otherkin
Subcultures,” Animal Death, edited by
Jay Johnston and Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, 293-306. Sydney: Sydney University Press,
Laycock, Joseph P. “We Are
Spirits of Another Sort: Ontological Rebellion and Religious Dimensions of the
Otherkin Community.” Nova Religio. Vol. 15, No. 3 (Feb., 2012): pp. 65-90
http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/nr.2012.15.3.65 (accessed November 24
Plante, Courtney N., Reysen,
Stephen, Roberts, Sharon E., Gerbasi, Kathleen C., FurScience! A Summary of Five Years of Research from the International
Anthropomorphic Research Project. Waterloo: FurScience, 2016.
Shane, Margaret. “Chapter 16: Some People
Aren’t People On The Inside.” In Educational, Psychological, and Behavioral
Considerations In Niche Online Communities, by Vivek Venkatesh, 260 – 271.
Hershey: Information Science Reference, 2014.