The appearance of Dementors in the Harry Potter series was meant to represent depression. The Dark creatures first appeared in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. J.K. Rowling was known for incorporating personal experiences into her beloved series, and Dementors was no exception.
The creatures in the movies were skeletal and could fly freely. Dementors were wraithlike soul-suckers. Both versions ate human happiness. A Dementor’s Kiss can suck out a person’s soul, leaving them in a vegetative state.
The Ministry of Magic hired them to guard specific areas. When Sirius Black escaped, Dementors guarded the grounds. During the 2nd Wizarding War, the Dementors switched sides and aided Voldemort. Harry and his classmates had to face the monsters several times. The Patronus Charm, a spell that summoned a spirit guardian, was the only defense against Dementors. According to the story arcs involving Dementors, the creatures personified depression, and only happy memories could rid them.
J.K. Rowling’s depression inspired dementors.
J.K. Rowling had clinical depression before writing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Rowling wrote the first novel while grieving for her mother, a failed marriage, unemployment, and being a single mother. She used her emotions as inspiration after moving to Scotland with her child. She attributed Dementors as a metaphor for depression.
Dementors were ghastly figures in Harry Potter who caused despair, sadness, and self-hatred. Dementors can steal the joy and light from the air, just as depression can cloud a person’s mind. Wizards and witches could see Dementors, while muggles could feel their wrath but not see them. This is how humans deal with depression in real life. Like depression, there are few defenses against Dementors.