The word 'Fandom' first came into use in the early 1900s, when probably a westerner was (not really) trite enough to combine the words Fan and dom (like from the word stardom or whatever).
Let us all first verge into the actual meaning that we get from the word 'Fandom'. When I googled the word, I got an entire page of words in their verbal or adjective form that mean the same thing. These included enthusiast, admirer, follower, addict, fiend (what?) as the synonyms of fandom so I thought it really (or not so really) be quite plain as to what this word really means now. First of all, if the reader is not a person who is a fan of something themselves, it is very hard that they understand this post.
'Fan' is a mere admiration towards a certain person or a movie, and people are usually attracted to it/them because they liked it the first time they have seen it or repeatedly showcased immense enthusiasm and mental allure towards it, forcing themselves to like it. And this is not even a bad thing to do, let's not be judgmental. But a Fandom is what a person is particularly very fond of, and believes in them. To avoid the pricking of other temperamental fans of celebrities, musical bands, movies and TV shows over this insignificant little blog post, let me just move on to the actual theme of the post: How can fandoms help in dealing with life situations (I'm not crazy).
I LOVE HARRY POTTER, hands down. I have read all the books, seen all the movies. My mom and dad think I do it because I'm still a kid and I think childishly of things. There is a difference, mom and dad. Kids like Harry Potter because they are really wonder-struck by all that can happen with the magic and casting spells. How people like me, however, interpret the series is through the magic that is apart from the magic. It is a part of us that believes that anything which comes your way can have an answer in what you believe, and we chose this as a belief system. We do not read the books because we like them, but because we know that if there is any ephemeral sadness or innate displeasure about a momentary way of life, believing that something that is written (could be fiction) has told people that none of the realities in life are as real as fiction. Whatever a person believes in, says or does makes the reality that he chooses to live it and if he thinks something as fictious as magic could influence him in deciding what he wants in "reality", then that is what will be of him.
When I was in my final years of high school, I did not have friends who could say "Let's deal with this together", or "We can make it". Sure, I had my family,but every intricate thing I felt about myself, being a teenage adolescent girl, cannot be relatable to a parent (Sometimes, you don't need advice. You just need to be heard). That is when I started diverging into the vaster arena of feelings and found myself drifted towards the stories that touched me. It didn't matter if they were "puerile" and "aren't real", because it was very real for me and believing that would make me think that I could do anything I wanted and it would happen (Ofcourse it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why should that mean it isn't real?).
These books (Not just HP) take you to the epitome of imagination and believe me, life is so much better with imagination. Ofcourse, we must come back to reality and that we will, but what sustains us in it is the belief that bigger things are to take place when we do not think we're in reality. Fandoms are not just a group of crazy people going after the same thing and people might say that they won't even achieve it, but Fandom is a collective representation of the dreamers who transcend reality and divulge into imagination and can hence sustain through both.