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Do Sherlock and Moriaty Have a Mental Disorder?

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So I was watching the show and wondering if Jim and Sherlock's personality quirks could be explained by a mental disorder so I've put this post together. I'd love to hear your thoughts! :D

 

Perhaps they have Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

The three main symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder are:

  • Demands for constant attention
  • Exaggerated sense of self-importance
  • Only other "special" people can understand them

So lets examine them closely.

Sherlock and Jim are always demanding attention either from the public at large, (John) or each other. They purposely "show off" and do things to "inspire" others.

Next, they have an obvious sense of self-importance, they are constantly saying how "good" they are at their field.

Finally Jim maintains the importance that Sherlock is "just like" him. Jim wants someone to understand him and to him the only one who can do this is Sherlock.

Okay, so does this mean Jim and Sherlock have narcissistic personality disorder? Well most probably...

 

Perhaps they have Anti-Social Disorder?

 

Symptoms:

  • Patterns of violent, criminal or unethical behaviour
  • Often seen as sly, cunning, charming
  • Also seen as irresponsible, shallow and unemotional
  • They often feel no remorse
  • Substance abuse is common
  • The majority of sufferers are male

So lets start with Sherlock first on this one.

Sherlock can be seen committing violent acts (such as throwing that man out of the window in "A Scandal in Belgravia) and criminal acts (such as shooting the blackmailer in "His Last Vow").

Sherlock is quite sly and often cunning. He can sometimes be charming when he needs to be. He can sometimes be irresponsible and shallow. Sherlock is male.

He seemed to show no remorse after he shot the blackmailer in "His Last Vow" and was quite unemotional about it.

It is also well known at Sherlock has at some point had a substance abuse problem. Now whether this abuse is detrimental to him isn't the issue, just the fact that at one point or another he had this problem.

 

Jim most obviously has patterns of violent, criminal and unethical behaviour. He is a very slyly cunning person who can also be seen as charming. However, is very shallow and most defiantly unemotional (emotional in the typical sense).

He seems not to feel any remorse for any of his dubious actions and of course he is male.

Jim appears not to suffer from substance abuse but may have (as we know little about his past).

 

So do they have anti-social disorder? Perhaps, I think it may fit better for Sherlock even though Jim has had more intense criminal behaviour because Sherlock is both more unemotional and actively avoids relationships (except for John).

 

So to clarify above I was not saying that Sherlock or Jim definitely had these disorders, I was just theorising if they might! :D

 

Anyway, after all this I'd love to hear your theories or say why or why not Sherlock/Jim may/may not have these disorders.

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I agree with the possibility if them both having the 1st one. Sherlock does actually show emotion (besides anger) on occasion. He tends to stuff it. I think he was genuine with Molly & on the roof before his jump in TRF & also with Molly in TEH. So I would not put Sherlock has having the 2nd one.

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I agree with the possibility if them both having the 1st one. Sherlock does actually show emotion (besides anger) on occasion. He tends to stuff it. I think he was genuine with Molly & on the roof before his jump in TRF & also with Molly in TEH. So I would not put Sherlock has having the 2nd one.

 

Well Anti-Social Disorder doesn't mean that they don't have any emotions or that they fake every emotion only that they can and often do. Sherlock may have Anti-Social disorder but was also genuine with Molly on both occasions that you mentioned.

Of course I'm still staying neutral on this topic just for the fun of it! :evil:

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I think Sherlock and Moriarty are both too fantastical as characters to apply any kind of diagnostic criteria designed for real people to them...

 

Sherlock is just Sherlock. We could debate whether that in itself is a disorder, but I prefer to think of it as a miracle. :)

Moriarty is a villain. A real, good ol'-fashioned villain, and a psychopath in the truest sense of the word if there ever was one. The closest to "psychopath" you can get in medical terminology is antisocial personality disorder, so I guess if Moriarty existed in our world, yes, he would have that.

 

I think part of Moriarty's purpose is to show what Sherlock is not. Before he appears in series 1, the verdict is still open on whether Sherlock is a good guy or not. Then we meet Moriarty, who is basically Sherlock in evil, and we (along with John) realize nah, Sherlock isn't all that bad, really. Or rather, he chooses not to be. That's one of the coolest things about Sherlock: he chooses his side, and it happens in front of our very eyes (which is why the pool scene still is and always will be my favorite).

 

Sherlock is a proper hero to me, even though he says he doesn't want to be thought of like that. But I admire him more for deciding to be "on the side of the angels" than I do traditional heroes for just being naturally good because they were born that way or had some preachy father / uncle / guardian / mentor / whatever. In series 1, he wills himself to be on the side of the angels, and in series 3, he wills himself to live. That's pretty... wow. That's heroic, if anything is.

 

Bottom line: I love Sherlock Holmes and I really don't care much about Moriarty other than how he connects to Sherlock and helps to further illuminate his glorious personality.

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Very well put T.o.b.y, however it was never my intention to actually label our dashing hero, only to speculate on his possible mental disorders.

A show like this intends us to speculate and speculate we do.

Psychopath/Sociopath were already mentioned and seemed boring to me at least to mention on my own, that's why I chose the other two, but sociopath/psychopath probably fit better at least to a degree.

Sherlock is a miracle and it was so refreshingly brilliant of him to choose the side of the angles, but give us the right to speculate T.o.b.y.

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give us the right to speculate T.o.b.y.

 

Absolutely! Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to speculate all day long and even happier to see you guys do it as well. Do carry on...

 

I think if you look at Holmes in the books, there are hints of bipolar disorder. It wasn't a diagnosis yet in Victorian times, when psychiatry was only just emerging, but Doyle mentions "black moods" as well as hectic fits of energy which does sound suspiciously like depression followed by a manic phase and then back to depression. There's this one scene in... let me think, is it the beginning of "The Devil's Foot" or "The Reigate Puzzle"? One of those where Holmes is ill, anyway. Dr Watson gets called to him in a hotel in France, where he finds him lying apathic among tons of fan mail and it never becomes quite clear what is wrong with him, even though Doyle himself was a doctor. (I have always wanted them to do a version of this on Sherlock. I can totally see him sprawled out on a sofa surrounded by evidence of a devoted following and just staring at the ceiling).

 

Still, original Mr Holmes is even more unrealistic than BBC's Sherlock, so I simply have a hard time applying DSM criteria to him.

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I sort of hope they don't go the bipolar route with our Sherlock, as in real life it's a devastating condition and I think it would take a lot of the fun out of the character. I can laugh at Sherlock's rudeness, etc, because I think he's just being an obnoxious git, but wouldn't be able to if I thought it was the result of a mental disorder. If you see what I mean. And you don't "grow out of" being mentally ill, and I think growth for his character is necessary to keep him interesting.

 

Yeah, I think he's just being Sherlock.

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The difficulty of the task makes it more fun, and of course Doyle nor Moffett and Gaties (?) intended us to really apply the DSM to our boy, but to me it's just another game.

Bipolar is a heartbreaking disorder but just because our Sherlock might have it doesn't mean he's still not our Sherlock.

They will NEVER diagnosis him in the show, so rest assured Sherlock will never be spoiled by that.

Growth can come in any form and in any amount, growth will make him more resistant to the ravages of time, but I do hope he doesn't change too much or he might just become one of the normals.

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Well I just always thought of Sherlock of having some kind of disorder I suppose, I guess they've just deliberately left us to speculate on this one like they often do on almost every area of the show which is kind of why I like Sherlock so much

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And who knows, maybe you're right, maybe he does have a disorder!

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Through in the end who really cares? I just want to speculate...and get others to speculate.

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Through in the end who really cares? I just want to speculate...and get others to speculate.

 

Speculating is so much fun.  It's the best way to pass time in between (and during) re-watching episodes while waiting for new episodes. :)

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No no no... Jim ate waaaaay.... too much chocolate that I send every new year, his actions were because of he's sugar high all the time :D

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No no no... Jim ate waaaaay.... too much chocolate that I send every new year, his actions were because of he's sugar high all the time :D

 

Hahaha!

 

What are you doing sending Jim chocolate anyway? :angry: ... ;)

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No no no... Jim ate waaaaay.... too much chocolate that I send every new year, his actions were because of he's sugar high all the time :D

Hahaha!

 

What are you doing sending Jim chocolate anyway? :angry: ... ;)

I want to see his tolerance level to various kind of fillings ^-^

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I think Sherlock has certain traits partially born out of his mental acuity.  He has a big ego about that and is a bit narcissistic when it comes to his mental prowess although I also suspect that ego is part of a self-defense mechanism against the bullying.  The only one he can't get away with those behaviors with is Mycroft because Mycroft is smarter.  So Mycroft grounds him that way.

 

He is anti-social but yet he has no problems giving a press conference when needed.  Just don't ask him to your dinner party.  He would be bored and end up insulting everyone.  

 

He may seem like a total arse but yet he would gladly sacrifice his own life to safe his friends.  Even shooting Magnussen was an act of self-sacrifice because he would take the punishment to save his friends... but remorse over it?  We don't know.  We DO know that he was scared afterwards probably both by what he'd just done and by the consequences... that's why we have the young Sherlock crying... looking to his big brother for help.  He was in over his head.

 

Substance abuse - well, he's an addict but to what extent no one knows.  Cigarettes come and go with him and we don't know what he was high on at the beginning of HLV.  As Moffat has pointed out many times, however, in the original stories there are very few mentions of cocaine use, so it wasn't like he was doing it all the time, and this modern Sherlock certainly prefers to keep his mind clear in order to work.

 

I also don't think of Sherlock as charming.  Moriarty could pour on the charm, but Sherlock is anti-charming.  Moriarty, Magnussen, Mycroft and Sherlock at a dinner party and Sherlock would be the one who couldn't make a conversation without insulting anyone whereas the other three would be perfectly fine and adept.

 

And again with the remorse, I do think Sherlock feels it but sometimes only after him being "a bit not good" is brought to his attention, like he was with Molly at the Christmas party.  He immediately did a 180 and apologized sincerely which shocked even John.  But I think his words come flying out faster than he can put the brakes on them.  He sees his version of "truth" whether it's the whole truth or not.

 

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I think sfmpco hit Sherlock right on the head with the above.

However to bring light to a paragraph...

I also don't think of Sherlock as charming.  Moriarty could pour on the charm, but Sherlock is anti-charming.  Moriarty, Magnussen, Mycroft and Sherlock at a dinner party and Sherlock would be the one who couldn't make a conversation without insulting anyone whereas the other three would be perfectly fine and adept.

What about in "His Last Vow", Sherlock managed to get her fully convinced he liked her and was going to marry her?

When Sherlock needs to be he can be quite charming...

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Yes, but it was all fake and he was just using her, so that makes it not so charming... I would say it's more of a very fake friendliness.

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I actually can't picture Magnussen being charming at a dinner party. He'd be too busy eating everyone else's food and rinsing his fingers in their water..... :P
 
I think Sherlock is genuinely charming at times. Particularly in ASiP, with Mrs. Hudson ... and I know there's other times, because I've been rewatching the series recently and I remember noting them. I'm just too sleepy to remember what they are!  John thought he was charming too, on his blog. Rats, now I'm going to have to go back and see what I'm talking about... :D

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Well, he can be nice, but he definitely wasn't charming in the Christmas scene ASIB.  Not at all.  Don't put him in a group situation and expect him to mingle with ease without offending someone, but I do think Mycroft and Moriarty have those skills.    Moriarty might even be the life of the party.

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Yes, but it was all fake and he was just using her, so that makes it not so charming... I would say it's more of a very fake friendliness.

 

Using her...of course he was! But that's the point of charming isn't it? That's what narcissists do, they manipulate by being charming...

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nod-skype-smiley.gif Those in the dark triad category.

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But Sherlock doesn't have a mental disorder.

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But Sherlock doesn't have a mental disorder.

 

Here I used the term "narcissist" loosely. What I actually meant was "someone who is only concerned with themselves (most of the time)

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......  Moriarty might even be the life of the party.

 

Yep, and I bet he leaves the party with a "bang", too ... :D

 

....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.

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