Skip to content

7 Ways Vecna in Stranger Things 4 Is An Allegory For Mental Illness

Ways Vecna Stranger Things Allegory For Mental Illness

Stranger Things isn’t just a horror television show but it implicitly tells us the importance of mental health and having friends or family beside us in the most daunting times of our lives.

Because there is an upside down in our inner world. The one that’s dark and hidden from everyone else. 

The main antagonist Vecna or ‘01’ in Stranger Things Season 4 is named after a classic D&D god, but it stands as a metaphor for something deeper. Let’s find out about externalizing trauma and depression in Stranger things season 4.

Warning: SPOILERS ahead.

How Does Vecna In Stranger Things Symbolize Mental Illness?

Stranger Things on Netflix introduced us to frightful creatures like the Demogorgon and the Mind Flayer in its first three seasons. But in the fourth season, the show unveiled the scariest monster yet: Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower).

Vecna, a humanoid, demonic entity, targets his prey with careful thought and precision, unlike the Demogorgons who kill anyone that gets in their way.

Vecna picks out psychologically damaged teenagers in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, torturing and killing those who are most vulnerable or isolated. He feeds on their past traumas and insecurities and he is the downright personification of anxiety, depression, and PTSD, combined together.

Related: 5 Crucial Life Skills That Complex PTSD Can Teach You

Trauma and Depression in Adolescents

Any incident in life that threatens our safety and may endanger our own life or the lives of others is considered traumatic.

7 Ways Vecna in Stranger Things 4 Is An Allegory For Mental Illness
7 Ways Vecna ​​Is An Allegory For Mental Illness: Depression and Trauma

A person thereafter goes through intense emotional, psychological, and physical pain and grief, which temporarily impairs their capacity to do daily activities regularly. After a traumatic occurrence, teenagers frequently oscillate between independence and insecurity.

They could be really distressed by particular incidents, yet they might not express their emotions to their parents, friends, or close ones.

Vecna is like trauma and depression in teenagers who creeps into thoughts and slowly begins to poison them. He takes control of the minds of teenagers before he can destroy them completely — this is a potent representation of mental illness and teenagers like Fred who deals with trauma and guilt because of an accident dealing with his friend, Max who deals with the grief and trauma of her half brother Billy’s death and others get stuck in the mire of guilt, shame, or trauma and find themselves unable to escape.

Related: Is Marvel’s Moon Knight A Superhero With Mental Illness?

Common Signs Of Trauma And Depression Among Teenagers

  • Disturbing emotions such as anger, anxiety, sadness, or guilt
  • Overreacting to trivial matters
  • Repetitively thinking about the traumatic event
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Wanting to spend time in isolation
  • Disturbed sleeping patterns
  • Need for independence or rebellious behavior
  • Loss of interest in school, hobbies, or life 
  • Having a pessimistic outlook on life
  • Being distrusting of others
  • Depression and feelings of hopelessness

Similarly in Stranger Things 4 Vecna curse, the victim begins to have severe headaches, nosebleeds, and nightmares regarding any traumatic event in their past.

The ones cursed have waking hallucinations and often see people or terrifying things that taunt them about their secrets and past traumas.

7 Ways Vecna ​​Is An Allegory For Mental Illness: Depression and Trauma

Vecna may be a source of horror and terror in Stranger Things, but this monster is similar to the real-life monster called Mental Illness. It can also serve as an important vessel pertaining to trauma and depression.

1. Drains Hope From Its Victims

People who are depressed frequently feel like there is no hope left for their future. This feeling of hopelessness and helplessness might make it seem as though the agony will never be over. 

Similarly, Vecna drains all hope of survival and happiness from his victims by invoking darkness. Vecna reminds each of his victims that there is no escape from his mental, emotional and physical torment, signifying how mental illness affects our psychological, emotional, and physical health.

The victims feel that there is no escape from their impending death at the hands of this evil monster from the upside down.

Related: Do You Have Crippling Depression? Here Are The Signs You Should Know About

Pages: 1 2

Daisy Simon

I enjoy reading and learning about new things in life. I found writing helpful when I began to explore about various topics on WordPress. My interests also lie with movies, lifestyle, and health.View Author posts