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Do Sherlock and Moriaty Have a Mental Disorder?

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....That's what narcissists do, they manipulate by being charming...

 

Boy howdy, do they ever! But sometimes they can also be genuinely charming. But it can be sooo hard to tell the difference. Exhausting, actually.

 

 

So right Arcadia!

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It's requiring a user login to see the page when I'm on my phone :( but the title sounds interesting.

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It's requiring a user login to see the page when I'm on my phone :( but the title sounds interesting.

Eh? o.o in my phone the article just appeared without login first

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Yes, I see it fine also.

 

Oh, wait, no I don't. It came up fine at first, but then a login box popped up and blocked the screen. Stinkers. :smile:

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Hello, Fellow Sherlockians:

 

This is Shezza. Greetings from Canada!!!

 

I heard somewhere that Sherlock was diagnosed as a psychopath, didn't like it and changed said diagnosis to sociopathy. It'll also be helpful to know that the world of psychology no longer uses the words, "psychopath" and "sociopath." What they use now--I have no clue. 

 

You must admit that Sherlock is a bit more human than Moriarty; always has been and always will be. Think of Moriarty as a shark. He's always looking for his next victim and has no remorse what so ever about whom he kills and what method he uses or the reason he did it.  Sherlock, on the other hand, is willing to keep said shark from its prey, and that prey is the citizens of his beloved city of London. 

 

Yes, they do have mental disorders,but they're nothing that your local shrink can't handle.

 

 

 

                                                                              Cheers always,

 

                                                                               Shezza.

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Welcome, Shezza!! That's my understanding too ... "psychopath and sociopath" are no longer considered valid terms, so why they keep using it in Sherlock is a bit of a mystery in itself. Personally, I just think it's an example of "Moftiss-speak" -- using grandiose words to convey rather normal things. Because it's funnier and more dramatic that way!

:welcome:

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http://www.businessinsider.com.au/psychopath-who-studies-psychopaths-2015-7 From brain-scan to corresponding gene. Think Jim and Sherlock possibly have it too?

Edited by Arcadia
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Alas, that website and my computer hated each other (in a quite psychopathic way, I might add) so I had to give up, but what I read was interesting. I really don't think Sherlock is without empathy, though. I think he just masks his emotions (as a proper gentleman should! :p )

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>> According to some of this research, psychopaths understand when there are people in need or in pain, but they don’t feel it viscerally the way most people do. As Fallon put it, “I don’t get the interpersonal warm and fuzzies.”

 

Looks familiar?

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Mmmmm, maybe. I mean, I certainly could make a good case for it. But in my interpretation, it's not that Sherlock CAN'T feel warm and fuzzy, it's that he WON'T. A choice, not a personality disorder. Although if we can't tell the difference I'm not sure it matters..... :smile:

To be honest, I'm a little wary of that particular line of research, I'd have to see it independently verified by a number of other researchers before I completely buy into it. It's a little too pat to say "oh, you have this gene, therefore you will be" x, y or z. My purely instinctual reaction is that there's more to it than that. (Take that, science! :D )

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The problem with 'feelings' and 'empathy' is, the first is created by our own biochemistry and therefore completely unique and non-transferable. Since the whole idea of 'empathy' is about the so called ability to feel what other people feel, it is a nebulous concept at best. Unique result of personal biochem processes means unless two people shared a body then it is impossible to actually feel what other feel. The most that is possible is to pick up physical cues from the other party then we created our own simulation of the so called feeling internally. Because the personal nature on this process, the result could not be the same and thus the whole concept of 'empathy' itself looks like an empty jargon based on logical fallacy.

 

I had chance to observe an occurrence of mass-hysteria at the past. It started with someone who is under great psychological stress crying and trashing like mad. It doesn't take long before a crying fest of about fifteen females to commence, all are people who work closely with her. 'Empathy'? I did not experience an urge to bawl my eyes out that time and definitely not because I don't want to 'feel' sad and or distressed.

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Was that empathy? I don't know. I don't think empathy exactly means feeling what the other person feels; it's more like understanding what the other person feels. But understanding something doesn't dictate your response to it.

 

I wouldn't have cried either in that circumstance; but I don't think it's because I can't or won't empathize. I think it's because I tend to be more rational than emotional; more of an observer than a participant; more focused on solutions than the event; stuff like that. I've stepped into situations like that, because I was the only one available or I thought I could help; but I've also walked away from situations like that, because I didn't feel my presence was useful or welcome. If other people think that's cold of me, that's their problem.

 

But that's me; I don't deny that some people have genuine difficulty connecting with other people. I'm just saying a lack of "warmth" is not necessarily a sign of psychopathy. Humans are really, really complex, there's often more than one factor influencing their behavior. Genetics plays a role, but is it the only thing that matters? Not in my opinion.

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Difficulty to understand what other people feel is exactly described Sherlock. On the other hand, Moriarty played his cards nicely most of the time, means he understand how his chess pieces tends to feel and what their probable reaction is. If that's empathy then Sherlock will rank higher on the psychopathy score than Jim.

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I think he does understand what people feel, though ... I don't think he could be a very good detective if he didn't understand the human heart. He understood that the cabbie missed his children, that Connie Prince's houseboy jealously wanted to maintain his lifestyle, that John might be upset after killing a man. He said he didn't understand why the innkeepers kept their ferocious dog, but he actually did once he thought about it. He may not share those feelings, or understand why people have them, but I think he's usually pretty accurate at understanding what the feelings are. He's very observant, after all. 

 

I just think that for some reason, he thinks he should be above all that, that his intellect is a higher calling, which is somehow "damaged" by emotion. Really, a man that smart should know better. As usual, I blame Mycroft. :p

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I think he does understand what people feel, though ... I don't think he could be a very good detective if he didn't understand the human heart. He understood that the cabbie missed his children, that Connie Prince's houseboy jealously wanted to maintain his lifestyle, that John might be upset after killing a man. He said he didn't understand why the innkeepers kept their ferocious dog, but he actually did once he thought about it. He may not share those feelings, or understand why people have them, but I think he's usually pretty accurate at understanding what the feelings are. He's very observant, after all. 

 

I just think that for some reason, he thinks he should be above all that, that his intellect is a higher calling, which is somehow "damaged" by emotion. Really, a man that smart should know better. As usual, I blame Mycroft. :P

 

Blame Mycroft, by all means, but I think Sherlock's attitude towards emotion, caring, "getting involved" etc is actually pretty reasonable. After all, his job revolves around human beings committing terrible crimes and / or becoming the victims of terrible crimes. If he felt for everybody involved, if he let the horrible things he sees daily and concerns himself with get to him, he would not be able to go on with his work. He'd be an emotional wreck in a hospital, and wouldn't do anybody any good any more. Also, to be as good at his profession as he is, he has to rely on his observational and deductive skills, and those can, and as we have seen with Mary, will be negatively affected by the bias of affection.

 

Sherlock Holmes can only be Sherlock Holmes if he is somewhat detached from other human beings and keeps his human emotions well under control. It's the price he pays for being so exceptionally good at what he does. Like he says, he is "married to his work". It makes the character at once remarkable and tragic. But you can't have everything.

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Oh, I get "professional distance" -- even as a teacher, I employ that -- but even police, emergency medics and other people who deal with the aftermath of horrible crimes fall in love, raise families, cultivate friends, etc. But most of them probably aren't trying to be as "perfect" as Sherlock. Perfection ... pfft. A man that smart should know better! :p

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-,- Poor Mycie, get blamed for a younger brother's shortcoming. Sherlock should know better already than trying to imitate Mycroft. You are an adult and smart, think for yourself, Sherlock.

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I think he does understand what people feel, though ... I don't think he could be a very good detective if he didn't understand the human heart. He understood that the cabbie missed his children, that Connie Prince's houseboy jealously wanted to maintain his lifestyle, that John might be upset after killing a man. He said he didn't understand why the innkeepers kept their ferocious dog, but he actually did once he thought about it. He may not share those feelings, or understand why people have them, but I think he's usually pretty accurate at understanding what the feelings are. He's very observant, after all. 

 

I just think that for some reason, he thinks he should be above all that, that his intellect is a higher calling, which is somehow "damaged" by emotion. Really, a man that smart should know better. As usual, I blame Mycroft. :P

 

Blame Mycroft, by all means, but I think Sherlock's attitude towards emotion, caring, "getting involved" etc is actually pretty reasonable. After all, his job revolves around human beings committing terrible crimes and / or becoming the victims of terrible crimes. If he felt for everybody involved, if he let the horrible things he sees daily and concerns himself with get to him, he would not be able to go on with his work. He'd be an emotional wreck in a hospital, and wouldn't do anybody any good any more. Also, to be as good at his profession as he is, he has to rely on his observational and deductive skills, and those can, and as we have seen with Mary, will be negatively affected by the bias of affection.

 

Sherlock Holmes can only be Sherlock Holmes if he is somewhat detached from other human beings and keeps his human emotions well under control. It's the price he pays for being so exceptionally good at what he does. Like he says, he is "married to his work". It makes the character at once remarkable and tragic. But you can't have everything.

 

I agree with that, T.o.b.y. It is not necessarily tragic that a person is emotionally detached from the subject of his work while being dedicated to the work itself. It is in fact quite an advantage to be able to do that, which is one of the reasons I and so many others admire the character of Sherlock Holmes.

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But don't you think he's taken it too far? It's one thing to be emotionally detached from your work, but to reject emotions as a flaw altogether .... I don't know, that doesn't sound like an advantage to me, it sounds like a blind spot.

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He is taken too far in BBC Sherlock, but not, I think, in the original stories. It is one of the few things I dislike about BBC Sherlock, that they've reduced him to being just a stubborn child, who is a genius but weak nevertheless, and whom everyone has to indulge. BBC Sherlock's emotional calibration is inconsistent, not only with the original, but even within individual episodes. In Series 3 for example, we are expected to believe that Sherlock has emotionally 'matured', as an explanation for all the open affection he's shown indulging in, right from TEH to HLV. And yet, they give him childish, unnecessarily 'cute' scenes like the one where he goes "Did I do it wrong?" and the one where he treats his parents with not even basic civility. 

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Change always come in increments, Boswell. Unless you got a complete memory & personality transplant like in the Dollhouse TV series, lol.

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Not that I want to see that change, of course, I don't want a 'nice' Sherlock :)

And in any case I don't think he is intentionally rude or does things calculated to make others feel bad. He just avoids sugarcoating his opinions or being hypocritical in any way. Come to think of it, that's what I like best about Sherlock, his absolute lack of hypocrisy.

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I would agree about the "stubborn child," -- except that I think they exaggerate it for the laugh, which I'm fine with. The whole show is stylistically exaggerated anyway, might as well do it for humor as well as drama. :smile:

 

I'm not sure we're supposed to think that Sherlock has emotionally matured so much as he's experimenting with allowing his heart to lead, instead of his head. Like with all of us, sometimes that works out, sometimes it doesn't, but that's part of the human experience. Which he's childishly avoided all his life, apparently. I blame Mycroft. :D

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Hmmm... this could add a different perspective to looking at Sherlock's character:

 

SfjCnj7.jpg

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