What Is the Definition of Ophelia Syndrome?

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Ophelia Syndrome is defined as being dependent on another person’s thoughts, feelings or actions. The syndrome gets it name from a character in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

Ophelia Syndrome is best described as thinking or feeling a certain way because a person is told to. People fail to think independently due to the presence of authority figures or different forms of the media. For example, some young girls feel the pressure to be thin or to change their bodies because the media communicates in different ways what, by the mainstream media’s definition, is accepted and considered attractive. These girls take drastic measures to alter their bodies due to the belief that the media is the authority on the subject. When people fail to make decisions based on their own thoughts or decisions, they lose their individuality.