BBC Sherlock Fan Forum - Serving Sherlockians since February 2012.


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?



April 4, 2014 11:27 pm  #201


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

belis wrote:

nakahara wrote:

I cannot understand this endeavour of some people to label Sherlock with some psychiatric diagnosis. 

People have their own reasons. Whilst in my own headcanon I consider him to be excentric I can see why others would maybe read a bit more into some aspects of the behaviour. For some people (like myself) it's just an academic discussion and others have more personal reasons. There is a very good meta by welingtongoose as to why Sherlock doesn't have a mental illness. I agree with it on the whole. What is even more intresting though is some of the reactions to it and the opposing points of view. This is a good post that I think explains better why some people would like a lebel for Sherlock
 
http://nauticus.tumblr.com/post/48166930728/sherlock-does-not-have-aspergers-or-autism-thanks

nakahara wrote:

The idea that such people as Sherlock should be medicated just because they differ from their peers is incredibly repulsive to me, because it reeks of totalitarianism. Totalitarian regimes often misused psychiatry for their goals, to discredit people who were opposed to the system. Psychiatry is a perfect tool for such totalitarian control over population because unlike other sciences, psychiatry is unable to define the very subject for which it strives – normalcy.

It's a big leap from a diagnosis to medication. Not all mental health conditions can be medicated for. Even if they can be medicated for in most instances it is up to the patient if they want to be treated or not. I can't speak for every psychiatrist on the planet but personaly if I offer someone medication it is to treat specific symptoms that they find distressing. It is not my ambition to go round turning everyone into some sort of conforming drone or strive for 'normalcy'. What I'm striving for is to improve quality of life, help patients to achieve their own goals and minimise suffering.
 

nakahara wrote:

Yes, psychiatry is unable to define what is normalcy and who is normal. You have no person alive who can be marked as „normal“ from the psychiatry′s point of view. Everybody is unique, everybody has some quirks and so, using psychiatry, everybody can be labeled as „having psychiatrical diagnosis“ when it suits certain regime or certain people.

I agree that it may be a less clear cut to decide if someone has a mental illness than to decide if they have a broken leg. I think though that to say that we consider everyone to be 'abnormal' is pushing it a bit. If you practice medicine in accoredence with best practice guidelines and ethical principles you won't find yourself diagnosing people left right and centre for some sort of secondary gain. I don't question that it happaned in the past and all sort of abuses took place. What I'm saying is that is not how psychitrists practice in the UK at present time.
 

nakahara wrote:

So, please, don′t label people who can take care of themselves and who function just fine with various psychiatrical diagnoses. It′s seems like fun but it′s incredibly dangerous and harmful in real life.

I think it is open to debate as to what sort of role a psychiatric diagnosis serves in real life. The way various services are structured in the UK the disgnosis is what opens doors to various sorts of support from specialist educational provision to social support. Ideally everyone would have a supportive familly and wider social network and have all their needs met by their community without input from services but it doesn't happen. Most of my patients can function just fine and they take care of themselves. What they ask from services is help with some specific difficulties and diagnosis facilitates that.

So this started as a post about Sherlock and ended up an essay on merits of modern psychiatry. My appologies but obviously I have taken it a bit personally.
 

Not trying to criticize *you*, Belis; you know we love you! :-)

The article you sent is BRILLIANT. 

My point was actually more about societal attitudes about mental illness, personality disorders, and disabilities, rather than a criticism of modern psychiatry, particularily as pertains to the UK, since I'm from the US. To elaborate on that, I'm saying that nowadays (and this is my experience of the US, vs the UK) we are very quick to "diagnose", and/or "self-diagnose" people with some sort of disorder to explain their behavior and, (in the US) rather than getting them coping strategies to deal with any issues, we generally medicate them. Just my observation, but the trend seems to be more about controlling behavior hat has been determined to be undesirable. 

An example: I've had to deal with quite a few people over the years who have been through something traumatic, such as death of a loved one, and they beat themselves up for grieving too long.  "Too long" can be as little as 2 weeks to a month. But they have gotten the message from media and our culture that "Normal" people just bounce back from pain like that, and that they are abnormal for feeling their feelings. People are basically being told they don't have a right to feel. We don't understand processing anymore. Instead, here you go to your doctor and they prescribe a pill. And they are not even sure that it's the correct medication; some can and have led to suicide. (We had a rash of these.) 

Anyway, I value what you have to say on this matter, obviously, you know far more on the subject than I do. It's just that I think that there needs to be room for eccentrics to be eccentric, without fear of being labeled as abnormal. Just my opinion, though.. I could be on crack. :-)
 

 

April 5, 2014 6:49 am  #202


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

hello, everyone

I have my own opinion about what the psychiatric/psychological diagnosis (what type of personality he belongs to, whether he has a personality disorder, and how he copes with it) on Sherlock would be - I believe he has an obsessive-compulsive personality, and that he copes with the respective disorder, as I have stated elsewhere. The more I learn about OCP(D) the more I am convinced that I am right :D (and that makes one of us  )

I think that it would be very interesting if the people who are responsible for the show ever told us whether they have a  personality (disorder) in mind for Sherlock.
And it would be extremely interesting if a psychiatrist watched the show and could tell us his take on things (if only my therapist watched it!).

Have a great weekend

ps1. if someone's studies/profession have to do with psychology etc , his point of view is more than welcome, obviously.
ps2. When a person is labeled as belonging to a personality type or even labeled as having a personality disorder, it doesn't mean that he/she is marked as "ill" or "mad". It means that his/her behaviour can be explained and improved, if he/she wants.
ps3. The show itself has given us the "right" to and has made us wonder whether Sherlock has a personality disorder.
For me, the fact that Sherlock himself says "I don't have friends, I've just got one", in "The Hounds of Baskerville", is a clear sign that he has OCP(D). Because OCP(D) people tend to prefer not to have close relationships, because they don't want to be emotionally involved with others, because they are afraid they are going to lose control of themselves/their emotions. Of course, they can't always avoid coming close to others - but it took Sherlock many years and  a great human being like John, to quit his emotional armor and admit (even to himself) his feelings for another man.
That is why, I believe, Sherlock also says "Love is a human error". - because when we love we can't always have control of our emotions. This point of view doesn't mean incapabiity to love or refusing to love - it just means that he would feel more -emotionally- protected, if he didn't have to deal with the -emotional- implications of being close to someone.
Remember what he says to Molly ; "you've always counted", and how she is surprised (as we all were). OCPD persons show "emotional coldness, detachment, flattened affectivity". That's why noone had imagined Sherlock would actually be fond of Molly.
"Alone protects me" - he says in "The Reichenbach Fall", and he doesn't mean it any more, but it's an old convinction of his that he uses in order to make John go away. Tragically, what he soon finds out is that him being  alone protects the ones he loves, so he fakes his death.
ps4. excuse me for the off-topic.

Last edited by antigone (April 5, 2014 8:13 am)

 

April 5, 2014 8:45 am  #203


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

RavenMorganLeigh wrote:

Not trying to criticize *you*, Belis; you know we love you! :-)  

Thank you. I do take it a bit personally but it's becouse I'm passionate about what I do. I accept that there are different opinions about psychiatry in general and that the way it is practised varies so much from place to place that it's hard to speak in general terms. I'm far from saying that it's all perfect. We are not all evil though. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/devious.png


RavenMorganLeigh wrote:

My point was actually more about societal attitudes about mental illness, personality disorders, and disabilities, rather than a criticism of modern psychiatry, particularily as pertains to the UK, since I'm from the US. To elaborate on that, I'm saying that nowadays (and this is my experience of the US, vs the UK) we are very quick to "diagnose", and/or "self-diagnose" people with some sort of disorder to explain their behavior and, (in the US) rather than getting them coping strategies to deal with any issues, we generally medicate them. Just my observation, but the trend seems to be more about controlling behavior hat has been determined to be undesirable. 

I agree that more and more people get refered to psychiatry when they struggle to cope with life events. We give them a diagnosis like adjustment disorder or acute stress reaction. Personally I don't offer them medication. If they were already started on antidepressant by their GP I explain pros and cons and let them decide if they want to carry on. We offer consouling, support groups and often basic skills training like budgeting. The way it often feels to me is that society doesn't expect me to be an agent of control but a surogate parent. Good proportion of people who present to AE in crisis would not be there if they had supportive familly and friends.

The fact is that part of my job is to control undesirable behaviour. Harm to others goes without saying. However there is a view within society that it is not OK to harm yourself either. It may be OK to do so to some extent if you are considered to have capacity to make that decision. It is not OK to kill yourself. There is an expectation from the society that we will prevent suicides and big criticism when we fail to do so.

RavenMorganLeigh wrote:

An example: I've had to deal with quite a few people over the years who have been through something traumatic, such as death of a loved one, and they beat themselves up for grieving too long.  "Too long" can be as little as 2 weeks to a month. But they have gotten the message from media and our culture that "Normal" people just bounce back from pain like that, and that they are abnormal for feeling their feelings. People are basically being told they don't have a right to feel. We don't understand processing anymore. Instead, here you go to your doctor and they prescribe a pill. And they are not even sure that it's the correct medication; some can and have led to suicide. (We had a rash of these.)  

I think that's where the merits of diagnosis come. It's my job to make a distinction between grief and moderate or severe depression. I would not offer medication for the former but I would for the later. There is a big difference between grief, sadness, anger, frustration and the whole array or other emotions that a responce to life events and clinical depression. There is often an expectation from patients that there is some sort of magical pill that will make them feel buch better straight away. Part of the expertise is to know when and how to say 'no ' when patients ask for medication.

RavenMorganLeigh wrote:

Anyway, I value what you have to say on this matter, obviously, you know far more on the subject than I do. It's just that I think that there needs to be room for eccentrics to be eccentric, without fear of being labeled as abnormal. Just my opinion, though.. I could be on crack. :-)

I think the other aspect of that is how you persive or embrace the diagnosis or the label. I don't for example consider people on the autistic spectrum to be 'abnormal' just different. Many people who don't meet diagnostic criteria will have traits that put them more towards one side of the spectrum then general population. Statistically speaking they are 'abnormal' but it's not the most helpfull way to describe it.  I'm abnormal strictly speaking becouse I have asthma, dyslexia, dyspraxia and an anxiety disorder. Those labels serve specific purposes at times but day to day I don't think of myself and abnormal or disabled.

Sherlock obviously functions extremely well. Whatever difficulties he may have he has developed his own coping strategies that work for him. He is extremely intelligent and that works in his favour. Sometimes though people need a bit of helping hand to find those coping mechanisms.

 

April 5, 2014 9:25 am  #204


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

antigone wrote:

hello, everyone

I have my own opinion about what the psychiatric/psychological diagnosis (what type of personality he belongs to, whether he has a personality disorder, and how he copes with it) on Sherlock would be - I believe he has an obsessive-compulsive personality, and that he copes with the respective disorder, as I have stated elsewhere. The more I learn about OCP(D) the more I am convinced that I am right :D (and that makes one of us  )

That illustrates the reflective aspect of litrature, film etc We all see aspects of ourselves in the characters and are more inclined to give them a 'label' that we personaly identify with.


antigone wrote:

And it would be extremely interesting if a psychiatrist watched the show and could tell us his take on things (if only my therapist watched it!).

His or her. lol Your wish has been granted though.

Diagnosis of personality disorders or difficulties is one of the most gray areas of psychiatry. It is much less clear cut than depression for example. There is also a lot of controversy around it regarding if we should be making those diagnosis and should we be offering treatment and if so of what kind. This is realy when the argument around medicalising extremes of behaviour comes into play.

In UK we call OCP anakastic personality. I don't particularly get that vive of Sherlock's character. I agree that he meets few of the diagnostic criteria but in my opinion not enough to qualify for this label. More importantly the overall 'feel' of the character doesn't particularly fit into that box. Obviously does just mu opinion as it's far from an exact sciance.

 If my arm was twisted very hard and I had to pick personality disorder for Sherlocj  I would go with schizoid. In order to win this particular prize in the ICD-10 lottery you need to meet  4 out of the 9 criteria below:

1. Emotional coldness, detachment or reduced affect.

I think he meets this to an extent. Most of the time he does come across as pretty detached. You have given some good examples of that.

2. Limited capacity to express either positive or negative emotions towards others.

I think that he is perfectly capable when it suits him. He can be socially ackward at times but at the same time we see him time and time again use emotions to manipulate others. There are a few scenes where he does express genuine emotions with people that are close to him. It is open for discussion. Personaly I think that capacity is there but opportunities may be limited.

3.Consistent preference for solitary activities.

Not a party type, for sure. Other people seem to get on his nerves most of the time. However he seem to enjoy company of people he has good relationship with and spends a lot of time with Dr Watson. Again open to interpretation but we could probably give him a point for this one.

4. Very few, if any, close friends or relationships, and a lack of desire for such.

Point for this one.

5. Indifference to either praise or criticism.
Not to bothered about criticism for sure. Seems to enjoy people prasing his superior intelect. Desputable.

6. Little interest in having sexual experiences with another person (taking into account age).
We have seen one girlefriend so far. The underlying motive was however to solve the case rather than relationship itself. Yes, I think we can give him a point for this one.

7.Taking pleasure in few, if any, activities.
Aside of solving cases and playing the violin he does not seem to enjoy that many things. Point here.

8. Indifference to social norms and conventions.
Most deffinitely. It's not that he does not understand or does not know how to behave. He just plainly does not care. Point.
9. Preoccupation with fantasy and introspection.
Yes for the introspection.

So in total 7/9. The feel seems right to. However the caviat comes from:

 ICD criteria C:
(c)the abnormal behaviour pattern is pervasive and clearly maladaptive to a broad range of personal and social situations

Becouse Sherlock functions perfectly well it can be argued that he doesn't meet the criteria. However you can also argue that he has a range of maladaptive behaviours but he modified his environment to fit with those. That's why for example he has invented a job for himself as he wouldn't be able to function with the constraints of a normal working place.

It's important to point out that schizoid PD has nothing to do with schizophrenia. It's a medical label for excentric, aloof and detached people who tend to come across as a bit dismissive and abressive and generaly like to keep to themselves. It is very rare for someone to come into contact with services just becouse they have schizoid PD as they can take care of themselves, don't mind their social isolation (quite to contrary) and usualy stay out of trouble.

 

Last edited by belis (April 5, 2014 12:18 pm)

 

April 5, 2014 6:45 pm  #205


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

yes!  you found a pattern that I can easily see   fits even from canon-- Sherlock's peculiar frame of behaviours and patterns...    
  the one thing I am still curious about is the fact that Watson was needed to treat him for' nervous exhaustion'  he termed it from time to time , and I recall him saying  at the end of a long and difficult case where Sherlock went day in and day out in his usual fashion of not sleeping/eating much that it brought Sherlock  into the blackest of  depressions ....    he took him away at times  to quiet places especially later in life to restore his physical and seemingly mental health..  would the schizoid diagnosis allow for such episodes??










 

 

April 5, 2014 8:12 pm  #206


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

LongtimeSherlockian wrote:

yes!  you found a pattern that I can easily see   fits even from canon-- Sherlock's peculiar frame of behaviours and patterns...    
  the one thing I am still curious about is the fact that Watson was needed to treat him for' nervous exhaustion'  he termed it from time to time , and I recall him saying  at the end of a long and difficult case where Sherlock went day in and day out in his usual fashion of not sleeping/eating much that it brought Sherlock  into the blackest of  depressions ....    he took him away at times  to quiet places especially later in life to restore his physical and seemingly mental health..  would the schizoid diagnosis allow for such episodes??

It wouldn't. Many people argue that the ACD Sherlock fits much more clearly with diagnosis of bipolar disorder and I tend to agree with that. BBC Sherlock is portrayed a bit differently and the mood changes are not that pronounced.
 

 

April 5, 2014 8:27 pm  #207


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

belis wrote:

antigone wrote:

hello, everyone

I have my own opinion about what the psychiatric/psychological diagnosis (what type of personality he belongs to, whether he has a personality disorder, and how he copes with it) on Sherlock would be - I believe he has an obsessive-compulsive personality, and that he copes with the respective disorder, as I have stated elsewhere. The more I learn about OCP(D) the more I am convinced that I am right :D (and that makes one of us  )

That illustrates the reflective aspect of litrature, film etc We all see aspects of ourselves in the characters and are more inclined to give them a 'label' that we personaly identify with.


antigone wrote:

And it would be extremely interesting if a psychiatrist watched the show and could tell us his take on things (if only my therapist watched it!).

His or her. lol Your wish has been granted though.

Diagnosis of personality disorders or difficulties is one of the most gray areas of psychiatry. It is much less clear cut than depression for example. There is also a lot of controversy around it regarding if we should be making those diagnosis and should we be offering treatment and if so of what kind. This is realy when the argument around medicalising extremes of behaviour comes into play.

In UK we call OCP anakastic personality. I don't particularly get that vive of Sherlock's character. I agree that he meets few of the diagnostic criteria but in my opinion not enough to qualify for this label. More importantly the overall 'feel' of the character doesn't particularly fit into that box. Obviously does just mu opinion as it's far from an exact sciance.

 If my arm was twisted very hard and I had to pick personality disorder for Sherlocj  I would go with schizoid. In order to win this particular prize in the ICD-10 lottery you need to meet  4 out of the 9 criteria below:

1. Emotional coldness, detachment or reduced affect.

I think he meets this to an extent. Most of the time he does come across as pretty detached. You have given some good examples of that.

2. Limited capacity to express either positive or negative emotions towards others.

I think that he is perfectly capable when it suits him. He can be socially ackward at times but at the same time we see him time and time again use emotions to manipulate others. There are a few scenes where he does express genuine emotions with people that are close to him. It is open for discussion. Personaly I think that capacity is there but opportunities may be limited.

3.Consistent preference for solitary activities.

Not a party type, for sure. Other people seem to get on his nerves most of the time. However he seem to enjoy company of people he has good relationship with and spends a lot of time with Dr Watson. Again open to interpretation but we could probably give him a point for this one.

4. Very few, if any, close friends or relationships, and a lack of desire for such.

Point for this one.

5. Indifference to either praise or criticism.
Not to bothered about criticism for sure. Seems to enjoy people prasing his superior intelect. Desputable.

6. Little interest in having sexual experiences with another person (taking into account age).
We have seen one girlefriend so far. The underlying motive was however to solve the case rather than relationship itself. Yes, I think we can give him a point for this one.

7.Taking pleasure in few, if any, activities.
Aside of solving cases and playing the violin he does not seem to enjoy that many things. Point here.

8. Indifference to social norms and conventions.
Most deffinitely. It's not that he does not understand or does not know how to behave. He just plainly does not care. Point.
9. Preoccupation with fantasy and introspection.
Yes for the introspection.

So in total 7/9. The feel seems right to. However the caviat comes from:

 ICD criteria C:
(c)the abnormal behaviour pattern is pervasive and clearly maladaptive to a broad range of personal and social situations

Becouse Sherlock functions perfectly well it can be argued that he doesn't meet the criteria. However you can also argue that he has a range of maladaptive behaviours but he modified his environment to fit with those. That's why for example he has invented a job for himself as he wouldn't be able to function with the constraints of a normal working place.

It's important to point out that schizoid PD has nothing to do with schizophrenia. It's a medical label for excentric, aloof and detached people who tend to come across as a bit dismissive and abressive and generaly like to keep to themselves. It is very rare for someone to come into contact with services just becouse they have schizoid PD as they can take care of themselves, don't mind their social isolation (quite to contrary) and usualy stay out of trouble.

 

Question, Belis-- did how was your diagnosis affected by Season 3? Meaning, in seasons 1&2 we saw Sherlock mostly through John's eyes-- and during season 3, for instance, we know for a fact that not only does he have emotions, but he may be more ruled by "sentiment" than he would ever admit, swamped by it, even. What's your take on the differences in Sherlock from season to season? 

I gotta say, though-- your diagnosis fits just about every artist, writer and musician I know. We hit almost every point. Maybe there's a reason why it's always been thought that all artists are crazy!
:-D

Last edited by RavenMorganLeigh (April 5, 2014 8:31 pm)

 

April 5, 2014 9:11 pm  #208


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

RavenMorganLeigh wrote:

Question, Belis-- did how was your diagnosis affected by Season 3? Meaning, in seasons 1&2 we saw Sherlock mostly through John's eyes-- and during season 3, for instance, we know for a fact that not only does he have emotions, but he may be more ruled by "sentiment" than he would ever admit, swamped by it, even. What's your take on the differences in Sherlock from season to season?  

People with schizoid personality do have emotions. All people do. They are not robots. They tend not to show their true emotions externally though. They are also often detached and aren't emphatetic with other people. Salman Akhtar proposed an intresting model of schizoid personality with overt and covert symptoms and talked a lot about the conflict between what is observed and what is going on in person's internal world. That would fit I suppose with the contrast between what we see from John's and Sherlock's perspectives. Also personality is not set in stone. People constantly change in responce to life events.

Finaly as much as I would sometimes like to it's not possible to get inside another person's head. The diagnostic assesment is always imperfect as it is coloured by what they choose to reveal about themselves and what shows externally. So in a way it would be done just from John's perspective without some of the additional insight that we had from season 3.


RavenMorganLeigh wrote:

I gotta say, though-- your diagnosis fits just about every artist, writer and musician I know. We hit almost every point. Maybe there's a reason why it's always been thought that all artists are crazy!
:-D

I suppose that's where the qualifier comes in ICD criteria C: the abnormal behaviour pattern is pervasive and clearly maladaptive to a broad range of personal and social situations. There is a nature and there is a degree. To call it a disorder the degree of behaviour needs to be affecting functioning and cousing person problems.


 

 

April 6, 2014 9:40 am  #209


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

belis wrote:

That illustrates the reflective aspect of litrature, film etc We all see aspects of ourselves in the characters and are more inclined to give them a 'label' that we personaly identify with. 

That actually illustrates the fact that my mind plays games with me; I tend to see the same pattern again and again lately - over the last month, I recognise OCP characteristics on  half the people I know


belis wrote:

 If my arm was twisted very hard and I had to pick personality disorder for Sherlocj  I would go with schizoid.
 

I believe you are absolutely right. I had no idea about schizoid personality. Now it all makes sense.

What mostly made me think Sherlock was the OCPD type was his worship for logic and effort to rationalise emotions - but that's also, and even more, a SchizoidPersonality marker.

Other things I read in greek (so I can't provide a link) about schizoid personalities ;

- fear of devoting to and depending on other people [fear > difficulty, not incapability],
desire for self-sufficiency and independance

- need for self-protection and setting boundaries for oneself towards the world ("alone protects me" suits better here)

- having a "pursuit" rather than an occupation,
indifference towards making a living ("The blind banker"; "I don't need a motivation, Sebastian", when being offered money),
living their own life out of a work place

- ability to perceive the most subtle changes, which remain unnoticed by most people

- using their sensory organs as orientation mechanisms

- attracting and being attracted by warm, social and expressive persons (at least John)

- ostensibly cold and distant, but caring a lot, but need for personal [emotional] space

- rationalising human relationships (a)

- considering emotions as something very dangerous (b)

- dislike for intimacy (c)

- pursuit of pure, free of emotions knowledge to rely on > science (d)

- sceptical, ironical, and harsh on faith in god (e)

- critical against traditions, customs and every formality (f)

+If a schizoid person' s emotional world is not poor but just restrained, he/she can be very sensible, and rejects everything that is flat and simple.

(a,b)
"in some ways very close to being moved by it"
"a wedding is, in my considered opinion, nothing short of a celebration of all that is false and specious and irrational and sentimental in this ailing and morally compromised world. today we honour the deathwatch beetle that is the doom of our society and in time, one feels certain, our entire species"
"if I burden myself with a little help mate during my adventures, this is not out of sentiment or caprice"

(c) "with love and many big - big squishy cuddles"

(d) "all emotions, and in particular love, stand opposed to the pure, cold reason I hold above all things"

(e) "...and contrast is, after all, god's own plan to enhance the beauty of his creation. or it would be, if god weren't a ludicrous fantasy, designed to provide a career opportunity for the family idiot"

(f) "wedding tradition; because we don't have enough of that already apparently"
(+his behaviour at Bakingham Palace)

^ Sherlock's wonderful best man speech speaks volume about belis' diagnosis,
and also shows why labels are not as bad as they seem to be; because a "ridiculous" man (who, f.e., used to hurt people like Molly, for whom he actually cared, and had such difficulty to accept John as his friend) can be "redeemed by the warmth and constancy of [a] friendship", and even be changed by it; "but as I am apparently your best friend, I cannot congratulate you on your choice of companion. Actually now I can".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fN_W0XwnKqo

belis wrote:

In UK we call OCP anakastic personality. I don't particularly get that vive of Sherlock's character. I agree that he meets few of the diagnostic criteria but in my opinion not enough to qualify for this label. More importantly the overall 'feel' of the character doesn't particularly fit into that box. Obviously does just mu opinion as it's far from an exact sciance.
 

as an OCPD person, I tend to not be able to see the forest for the trees. You got me

belis wrote:

antigone wrote:

And it would be extremely interesting if a psychiatrist watched the show and could tell us his take on things (if only my therapist watched it!).

His or her. lol Your wish has been granted though.
 

thank you, belis - you've made my OCP happy, by categorising Sherlock in a way that I consider much more suitable and convincing than mine.

Last edited by antigone (April 6, 2014 10:07 am)

 

April 6, 2014 10:04 am  #210


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

antigone wrote:

That actually illustrates the fact that my mind plays games with me; I tend to see the same pattern again and again lately - over the last month, I recognise OCP characteristics on  half the people I know

Lol We all do it. Look for aspects of our own personalities in people around us.


antigone wrote:

I believe you are absolutely right. I had no idea about schizoid personality. Now it all makes sense.  

I'm not 100% convinced that I'm right but it's my best guess.

antigone wrote:

thank you, belis - you've made my OCP happy, by categorising Sherlock in a way that I consider much more suitable and convincing than mine.

I have a certain fondness for lists and the systematic approach of using ICD-10 criteria does appeal to me. At the same time it's important to note that medicine and particularly psychiatry is just as much art as it it science and it's not enough to go over a list and check how many boxes are ticked. The trick is in pulling it all together to get an overall picture and a 'feel' for a person. That's why it's so hard to do with a fictional character becouse in real life a lot of it comes from a direct interaction. Asking questions and seeing how the person responds and how they make you feel.

I think it would be helpful to scratch the 'disorder' from the personality discussion. The way it is described at the moment in ICD-10 and DSM IV makes it sound stigmatising and understandably people are not to happy about it. Not just in relation to Sherlock but in general.  I don't consider 'personality disorders' to be an illness but I recognise that they can give people problems at verious stages in their lives. I tend to talk about personality 'types' or 'difficulties' depending on the impact it has on functioning.

I see many people with emotinaly unstable (borderline) personalities becouse they often present in crisis requiring intervention after serious episodes of deliberate self harm. There are many other personality types listed in ICD-10 as possible diagnosis (schizoid being one of them) but we rarerly encounter them in clinical practice unless they present with something else on top. This illustrates to me that we don't actively persue diagnosing people and deffinitely not treating just becouse they are 'different' in terms of their personalities.

Last edited by belis (April 6, 2014 10:11 am)

 

April 6, 2014 11:30 am  #211


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

belis wrote:

antigone wrote:

I believe you are absolutely right. I had no idea about schizoid personality. Now it all makes sense.  

I'm not 100% convinced that I'm right but it's my best guess.

excuse my enthusiasm, I got overexcited, because it made much more sense than my guess.

belis wrote:

At the same time it's important to note that medicine and particularly psychiatry is just as much art as it it science and it's not enough to go over a list and check how many boxes are ticked. The trick is in pulling it all together to get an overall picture and a 'feel' for a person.

yes, seeing the forest for the trees, I understand.
(there's an equivalent mechanism  in law enterpetation)

belis wrote:

I think it would be helpful to scratch the 'disorder' from the personality discussion. (...) I tend to talk about personality 'types' or 'difficulties' depending on the impact it has on functioning.

"Difficulties" sounds fine.
As far as someone doesn't physically harm himself or others, it's his own business to choose whether he wants to remain the same or subdue some aspects of his personality, in order to communicate better or make his life simpler.
I am the last person on earth that would talk about "normal" and "abnormal" - the very words have always made  me feel strange - almost embarrassed.
The good thing with "labels", however, is that, in some cases, they make people understand themselves better.
For example; I have known for many years that there was something that  made me dysfunctional on an academic level (shortly, I can now describe it as; fear of failure > perfectionism > procrastination > paralysis), but thought it was just my fault, my lack of strength, my anxiety etc (which it was, after all, but not just that), without being able to state exactly what the fault consisted of. It had never crossed my mind that there could be a psychiatric term and description for my situation.
Only when I randomly described myself as "psych-anankastic" (=the term we use in Greece for OCP, meaning "psycho-compulsive") over a specific matter, without any idea what exactly "psych-anankastic" meant, I started wondering if psychiatry/psychology could actually help me become functional again, and went to see a therapist - a psyciatrist (which was necessary in my case).
Being able to explain my feelings, way of thinking, and behaviour is ... a life-changing experience. It helps me become much more self-aware, which I massively lacked.

And that's my personal experience on finding out I have a "disorder".
 

Last edited by antigone (April 6, 2014 1:36 pm)

 

April 6, 2014 11:53 am  #212


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

antigone wrote:

And that's my personal experience on finding out I have a "disorder".
 

Thank you from shearing that. There is a lot of criticism for diagnosing and labeling as being stigmatising and almost oppressive. But it can sometimes be liberating and bring helpfull insight. I think the difference comes from how it's delivered and what follows after. I'm glad to hear that your experience of it was positive.
 

 

April 6, 2014 1:30 pm  #213


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

belis wrote:

antigone wrote:

And that's my personal experience on finding out I have a "disorder".
 

Thank you from shearing that. There is a lot of criticism for diagnosing and labeling as being stigmatising and almost oppressive. But it can sometimes be liberating and bring helpfull insight. I think the difference comes from how it's delivered and what follows after. I'm glad to hear that your experience of it was positive.
 

I have a long way to go, thank you.
Life is not about not having problems. It's about being given (and taking) the chance to solve them. Or about learning to live with them (done that too, but only because I couldn't imagine I could ask for scientific help). But pretending that a problem doesn't exist is a bit risky - been there too, and nothing good can come out of it.

 

 

April 21, 2014 8:45 pm  #214


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

I completely forgot about this topic – until now. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

 
I´m sorry, Belis, if I sounded overly dismissive about psychiatry in my previous post. It´s just that I am quite uneasy with people being labeled as having psychiatrical diagnosis without the valid reason. Such labels stick - and this forum is proof enough that once a label of “mental instability” takes root in people´s minds, they suddenly see some mental malfunction everywhere, even in the most innocent acts of a person. I can´t help it – I see this tendency as dangerous and harmful.
 
Even after reading your wonderfully informative and educated posts, I am not at all convinced that Sherlock should be labeled as having any mental abnormality, no matter if it´s schizoid personality, psychopathic personality or anything like that. It´s only my opinion, of course, but Sherlock seems absolutely mentally healthy to me.
 
He sometimes engages in risky behaviour but he doesn´t actually try to harm his own self or others. For example, in HLV, when he is shot, he accepts medical help without any fuss, later, when he is bleeding internally, he calls the ambulance for himself. He obviously doesn´t have any suicidal tendencies, just the opposite, he assesses the amount of damage to his own self very rationally and strives for self-preservation. His thinking seems chaotic from time to time and yet he has no instances when he doesn´t know who he is and what he is doing. He seems childish and dependent on others sometimes, but this is wrong perception - because when left to his own devices at the end of TRF, he is perfectly able to care for himself for two years and in the same time to successfully disrupt the organization of his worst enemy. Seems like pretty independent and able individual to me.
 
Similarly, Sherlock doesn´t spent too much money hazardously and couldn´t be persuaded by strangers to naively give them his possessions. He does not engage in promiscuous sexual activities. He uses drugs very recreationally and never to such an extent as to cloud his mind. He does not loose bladder control randomly. He does not drink excessively. He has no depressions even after some pretty traumatic events took place in his life. He does not wander off impulsively only to appear later without the knowledge of where he was. So, he obviously has no malfunction which needs correcting.
 
I see him as lacking social skills and being slightly spoilt rather than somebody mentally disturbed.
 
And I hope you will forgive me for being cheeky now, but I will now reevaluate your ICD criteria for schizoid personality the way I see it, although I am no psychiatrist myself. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png

 
Emotional coldness, detachment or reduced affect. 

Most of the time he does come across as pretty detached but this is probably the cultural thing – British „stiff upper lip“. Happens in other cultures too – the Japanese call it „soto“ (facade) and by this, you are actually required to seem detached from everything when you are communicating with others – I think it´s quite similar in the UK.
 
What´s more, Sherlock was being mocked by his elder brother, his classmates (as Sebastian Wilkes from TBB) and his „colleagues“ from New Scotland Yard so often, that he actually attached this mask of indifference on his face in order to protect himself from their sneers. But the mask slips quite quickly when Sherlock is engaged in some interesting cases and we see the man who is passionately enjoying himself underneath. Similarly, when he is drunk in TSoT and thus has less control over himself, he is moved to tears by Tessa´s story. So no point here.

Limited capacity to express either positive or negative emotions towards others.

Sherlock expressess his negative emotions toward police´s stupidity so clearly that he manages to hostilize the whole New Scotland Yard with it. At the same time, he does not bother to mask his enjoyment when solving the most complicated problems police has to offer, even if they have the form of the most gruesome murders. He does it with such glee, John Watson actually enforces „stiff upper lip“ back on him, because it would be socially inappropriate to show those positive emotions in such environment. I vote for no point.

Consistent preference for solitary activities.

Sherlock needs a lot of time for solitary thinking when he is forming his theories about the case or evaluating evidence, but he never works alone – he recruits John Watson precisely because he hates working alone and because „the genius needs an audience“. Even before John, Sherlock frequently worked with Lestrade and with Molly and after John´s marriage separated them for a while, he recruited Bill Wiggins as his aide really quickly. See no point in this.

Very few, if any, close friends or relationships, and a lack of desire for such.

John was feeling insulted after their fight in THoB, so Sherlock said „I have no friends, just one“ to appeace him. People immediately jumped on this bandwagon and took his claim at face value despite the facts proving the very opposite thing. Of the two friends, John is the more lonely one. Aside from his best friend Sherlock, he only has one drunkard sister (but their relationship is pretty dysfunctional), Major Sholto (who is never there for him), one loose acquaintance Mike Stamford and finally Mary.
 
Sherlock on the other hand has:
two loving parents
loving elder brother (they fight frequently, but are very protective of each other when something serious happens to any of them)
John Watson as his best friend
Mrs. Hudson as his most loyal landlady
Lestrade as his another good friend
Molly as his most loyal supporter
good acquaintance Mike Stamford
an army of willing aides in the form of Angelo, Bill Wiggins and other members of homeless network
the fanatic believer Anderson
 
For such a prickly individual, Sherlock actually has a horde of people that are loyal to him and who love him and he is able to incite such feelings in them without even trying. People closest to him as John, Lestrade, Molly or Mrs. Hudson aren´t just acquaintances, they are true friends, because they willingly risk their careers and their lives for him when neccessary. So absolutely no point.

Indifference to either praise or criticism.

Oh, Sherlock is enjoying John´s heartfelt and honest praises verrrry much, thank you. And the way he responds to Sally Donovan´s insults with such vitriol shows very clearly that he is also very sensitive to an enmity when he feels it being aimed at him. No point here.

Little interest in having sexual experiences with another person (taking into account age).
 
This is disputable. We never see Sherlock being interested in sexual activities with another person, but on the other hand, CAM sees his porn preferences as „normal“. And his affair with Irene Adler proved beyond any doubt, that people who surround him immediately doubted his judgement when they thought that he is being infatuated with the woman. His non-involvement in relationships can be a willing antidote to that. Still, I think we have a point here.

Taking pleasure in few, if any, activities.

Aside of solving cases and playing the violin he does not seem to enjoy that many things? That´s so untrue! The extensive knowledge of forensic sciences, criminology and criminalistics, medical sciences and chemistry, a s well as a complete map of London didn´t appear in Sherlock´s head overnight. He obviously studies a lot for it. He is also physically fit and has some knowledge of martial arts, so he exercises frequently. And we must not forget the sheer amount of various forensic experiments Sherlock does for his minor cases as well as for his monographies (as was his blog about various kinds of ashes). Other than that Sherlock composes music and does a lot of legwork outside of his flat when engaged in cases. That´s such an amount of activities it´s no surprise Sherlock forgets to eat and sleep sometimes. No point.

Indifference to social norms and conventions.
 
This is where I agree with you. Sherlock ignores social norms gleefully. Point.

Preoccupation with fantasy and introspection.

The introspection is proffessionaly required in the field of detective work which Sherlock chose as his occupation. You cannot avoid being introspective when you work as a detective consultant. See nothing pathological in that, so no point.
 
Looking at those ICD criteria, I see just two points where you saw seven.
 
Honestly, what is wrong with an individual being described above? If he was your patient what therapy or medication would you prescribe for him and why? And after taking your therapy or medication, in what way would he “improve”?
 
The way I see it he is completely sane just socially inept. And social awkwardness cannot be treated by psychiatry, I´m afraid.


-----------------------------------

I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

http://49.media.tumblr.com/eb0e156f55878fcd6f89dcf91ae89811/tumblr_o0eyyzrphE1spvwrzo2_1280.gif
 

April 21, 2014 9:30 pm  #215


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

Interesting discussion. I'm usually wary of the use of labels unless they are used in a diagnostic setting and applied by a professional. And even professionals get into arguments about diagnostics. As a short-hand device using "sociopath" or "psychopath" doesn't bother me one way or the other.

Full disclosure: I have Aspergers and I have an austistic brother. I'd say Sherlock may have Aspergers. But what do I know?

In "The Mystery of the Greek Interpreter" Holmes mentions that he believes his abilities come from heridity rather than intense self-training. He says his grandmother was a sister of Vernet (an French artist) and that (paraphrase) "Art in the blood is lieable to take the strangest forms."Watson is skeptical that Sherlock's unique genius is hereditary, but Holmes counters by mentioning that his brother possesses the same qualities.

This is from memory, so I apologize for any mistakes.
 
  

Last edited by Arabella Trefoil (April 21, 2014 9:32 pm)

 

April 21, 2014 9:41 pm  #216


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

nakahara wrote:

I completely forgot about this topic – until now. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

 
I´m sorry, Belis, if I sounded overly dismissive about psychiatry in my previous post. It´s just that I am quite uneasy with people being labeled as having psychiatrical diagnosis without the valid reason. Such labels stick - and this forum is proof enough that once a label of “mental instability” takes root in people´s minds, they suddenly see some mental malfunction everywhere, even in the most innocent acts of a person. I can´t help it – I see this tendency as dangerous and harmful.

No offence taken. It's a valid point. There is a lot of debate about medicalisation of what is normal behaviour. Also medicalisation of what is a socially unacceptable behaviour that would maybe be suited better to the criminal justice system than healthcare system but that is a different debate altogether.
 

nakahara wrote:

Even after reading your wonderfully informative and educated posts, I am not at all convinced that Sherlock should be labeled as having any mental abnormality, no matter if it´s schizoid personality, psychopathic personality or anything like that. It´s only my opinion, of course, but Sherlock seems absolutely mentally healthy to me.

I'm not convinced either. Anyone who thinks that they diagnose or exclude mental illness with 100% accuracy is a fool. It's an academic discussion and this is my theory. I consider alternative viewpoints to be just as valid.
 

nakahara wrote:

He sometimes engages in risky behaviour but he doesn´t actually try to harm his own self or others. For example, in HLV, when he is shot, he accepts medical help without any fuss, later, when he is bleeding internally, he calls the ambulance for himself. He obviously doesn´t have any suicidal tendencies, just the opposite, he assesses the amount of damage to his own self very rationally and strives for self-preservation. His thinking seems chaotic from time to time and yet he has no instances when he doesn´t know who he is and what he is doing. He seems childish and dependent on others sometimes, but this is wrong perception - because when left to his own devices at the end of TRF, he is perfectly able to care for himself for two years and in the same time to successfully disrupt the organization of his worst enemy. Seems like pretty independent and able individual to me.

I agree with all the above. The thing that I would like to point out is that those points would apply to majority of people who have mental health diagnosis. It is only a small proportion who are a risk to themselves or others and even a samller proportion of those who lack insight and refuse medical help. I suppose this is the first thing that springs into people's mind when they think about someone 'mentaly ill' but the reality is very different. I see most of my patients on outpatient basis and they are all capable of handling their own affairs and being independent.
 

nakahara wrote:

Similarly, Sherlock doesn´t spent too much money hazardously and couldn´t be persuaded by strangers to naively give them his possessions. He does not engage in promiscuous sexual activities. He uses drugs very recreationally and never to such an extent as to cloud his mind. He does not loose bladder control randomly. He does not drink excessively. He has no depressions even after some pretty traumatic events took place in his life. He does not wander off impulsively only to appear later without the knowledge of where he was. So, he obviously has no malfunction which needs correcting.

I would say depression is open to debate as he does at times behave in a way that could be interpreted as 'clinically depressed' if one chooses to. That's quite a limited list of 'malfunctions' there. Plenty of people who don't do any of those things and yet are so unwell that they are in hospital.
 

 

nakahara wrote:

Emotional coldness, detachment or reduced affect. 

Most of the time he does come across as pretty detached but this is probably the cultural thing – British „stiff upper lip“. Happens in other cultures too – the Japanese call it „soto“ (facade) and by this, you are actually required to seem detached from everything when you are communicating with others – I think it´s quite similar in the UK.

I  live in the UK and whilst I'm familar the stiff upper lip culture I think Sherlock does elevate it to a new level that is no realy that common in a general population.
 

nakahara wrote:

What´s more, Sherlock was being mocked by his elder brother, his classmates (as Sebastian Wilkes from TBB) and his „colleagues“ from New Scotland Yard so often, that he actually attached this mask of indifference on his face in order to protect himself from their sneers. But the mask slips quite quickly when Sherlock is engaged in some interesting cases and we see the man who is passionately enjoying himself underneath. Similarly, when he is drunk in TSoT and thus has less control over himself, he is moved to tears by Tessa´s story. So no point here.

Personality develops in responce to relations with other people. The mask you talk about is the reduced affect. It doesn't mean that the person doesn't experience emotions just that they dodn't show them to others. For whatever reason. Also you never assess anyone for presence of mental illness when they are under influence of substances as this changes their usual behaviour, often dramaticaly.


nakahara wrote:

Consistent preference for solitary activities.

Sherlock needs a lot of time for solitary thinking when he is forming his theories about the case or evaluating evidence, but he never works alone – he recruits John Watson precisely because he hates working alone and because „the genius needs an audience“. Even before John, Sherlock frequently worked with Lestrade and with Molly and after John´s marriage separated them for a while, he recruited Bill Wiggins as his aide really quickly. See no point in this.

I think we have very different opinions of what working with people means. The way I see it Sherlock works next to or at best alongside people. He gets annoyed with people around him. They distract him (Anderson). When he is with John at home they usualy do their own thing in the same room. There isn't that much interaction.

There is also a difference between having a preference and being capable off. I personaly score a big point for that as I'm introverted as they come and much prefer to be on my own. At the same time I have a job where I constantly deal with people.

nakahara wrote:

Very few, if any, close friends or relationships, and a lack of desire for such.

John was feeling insulted after their fight in THoB, so Sherlock said „I have no friends, just one“ to appeace him. People immediately jumped on this bandwagon and took his claim at face value despite the facts proving the very opposite thing. Of the two friends, John is the more lonely one. Aside from his best friend Sherlock, he only has one drunkard sister (but their relationship is pretty dysfunctional), Major Sholto (who is never there for him), one loose acquaintance Mike Stamford and finally Mary.
 
Sherlock on the other hand has:
two loving parents
loving elder brother (they fight frequently, but are very protective of each other when something serious happens to any of them)
John Watson as his best friend
Mrs. Hudson as his most loyal landlady
Lestrade as his another good friend
Molly as his most loyal supporter
good acquaintance Mike Stamford
an army of willing aides in the form of Angelo, Bill Wiggins and other members of homeless network
the fanatic believer Anderson
 
For such a prickly individual, Sherlock actually has a horde of people that are loyal to him and who love him and he is able to incite such feelings in them without even trying. People closest to him as John, Lestrade, Molly or Mrs. Hudson aren´t just acquaintances, they are true friends, because they willingly risk their careers and their lives for him when neccessary. So absolutely no point.

It's open to debate I would say. Does Sherlock consider those people friends? Does he desire the company? (Didn't look like it when his parents visited but since I have similar dynamic with my mum and dad sometimes I can be persuaded that they cought him on a bad day). Did he miss them when he disapeared for 3 years? How much of this 'not caring' is a facade and how much is a real thing. Hard to tell.

nakahara wrote:

Taking pleasure in few, if any, activities.

Aside of solving cases and playing the violin he does not seem to enjoy that many things? That´s so untrue! The extensive knowledge of forensic sciences, criminology and criminalistics, medical sciences and chemistry, a s well as a complete map of London didn´t appear in Sherlock´s head overnight. He obviously studies a lot for it. He is also physically fit and has some knowledge of martial arts, so he exercises frequently. And we must not forget the sheer amount of various forensic experiments Sherlock does for his minor cases as well as for his monographies (as was his blog about various kinds of ashes). Other than that Sherlock composes music and does a lot of legwork outside of his flat when engaged in cases. That´s such an amount of activities it´s no surprise Sherlock forgets to eat and sleep sometimes. No point.

Most of the things listed do relate to solving cases. Without a case he often seems overwhelmed with the boredom and can't find himself something enjoyable to do. It's also quite subjective as to what is exaclty enjoyable and it's hard to know if he for example enjoyed learning martial arts or memorising map of the underground without asking. So I would say it's open to debate.

nakahara wrote:

Preoccupation with fantasy and introspection.

The introspection is proffessionaly required in the field of detective work which Sherlock chose as his occupation. You cannot avoid being introspective when you work as a detective consultant. See nothing pathological in that, so no point.

I would say that disappearing into your mind palace for hours on end at the cost of eating and sleeping could be considered excessive but when it comes to a degree of a behaviour  there will always be a debate as to where normal ends and pathological begins.
 

nakahara wrote:

Looking at those ICD criteria, I see just two points where you saw seven.

No suprises there. When you get 3 members of the mental health team in a room there is a good chance you will end up with 4 possible diagnosis. It's all fluid and open to interpretation.
 

nakahara wrote:

Honestly, what is wrong with an individual being described above? If he was your patient what therapy or medication would you prescribe for him and why? And after taking your therapy or medication, in what way would he “improve”?

Diagnosis does not automaticaly mean treatment. Particularly when it comes to personality traits. My first question would be if there is something that bothers him or something that he wants to improve. If he is happy and contented than I see no reason to try and change anything. People with schizoid personalities do not come into contact with services very often just becouse of that trait.
 

nakahara wrote:

  And social awkwardness cannot be treated by psychiatry, I´m afraid.

We do try sometimes (with CBT or social skills training) when the 'social awkwardness' becomes ASD or social phobia or when it contributes to other problems like depression.


 

 

April 21, 2014 11:19 pm  #217


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

Thank you once again for your educative post, Belis.
 
I suppose this is the first thing that springs into people's mind when they think about someone 'mentaly ill' but the reality is very different. I see most of my patients on outpatient basis and they are all capable of handling their own affairs and being independent. That's quite a limited list of 'malfunctions' there. Plenty of people who don't do any of those things and yet are so unwell that they are in hospital.
 
I just cited the most stereotypical signs of mental instability that come to mind when you are a lay person with no idea about psychiatry. I am well aware that my list is very superficial – unfortunately, my own cousin and the daughter of my neighbour have mental disorders that developed in the course of their lives and none of them display any signs of behaviour I cited above.
 
Still, pertaining to Sherlock, I fail to see any mental malfunction that would send him to a hospital.
 
Personality develops in responce to relations with other people. The mask you talk about is the reduced affect. It doesn't mean that the person doesn't experience emotions just that they dodn't show them to others. For whatever reason. Also you never assess anyone for presence of mental illness when they are under influence of substances as this changes their usual behaviour, often dramaticaly.
 
If reduced affect really means wearing this “mask” I mentioned, then there are whole cultures and whole professions that force their members to develop this. How accurate indicator of schizoid personality is “reduced affect” then, when it is socially required of so many people to conform to this?
 
I think we have very different opinions of what working with people means. The way I see it Sherlock works next to or at best alongside people. He gets annoyed with people around him. They distract him (Anderson). When he is with John at home they usualy do their own thing in the same room. There isn't that much interaction.
 
Just watch “Scandal in Belgravia” or “The Hounds of Baskerville” again – you will be surprised by the amount of detective work John does in both, working in tandem with Sherlock. Even if they have some huge fights in both episodes, they coordinate quite nicely and clearly work together.
 
But Sherlock does keep many things in secret from John, of course, because he likes to show off and appear mysterious – and how would he achieve that if he was completely open to John? (Actually, if I would ever label Sherlock with anything, it would be histrionic personality rather than schizoid one http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/grin.png
).
 
It's open to debate I would say. Does Sherlock consider those people friends? Does he desire the company? (Didn't look like it when his parents visited but since I have similar dynamic with my mum and dad sometimes I can be persuaded that they cought him on a bad day). Did he miss them when he disapeared for 3 years? How much of this 'not caring' is a facade and how much is a real thing. Hard to tell.
 
Yes, in my eyes Sherlock consider those people friends. His jump from the roof of St. Barts is at least partially motivated by his need to protect three of them. Sherlock kicks one man out of the window after he dared to hurt his landlady and shoots another after he blackmailed and threatened John´s wife. If he didn´t desire their company, why would he bother visiting Lestrade, Molly and Mrs. Hudson in TEH, after he came back from his “death”? (And nobody would want his parents to be around when a secret love of their life just entered the room. He would be teased to no end about that if they noticed his feelings! http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/lol.png
)
 
Most of the things listed do relate to solving cases. Without a case he often seems overwhelmed with the boredom and can't find himself something enjoyable to do. It's also quite subjective as to what is exaclty enjoyable and it's hard to know if he for example enjoyed learning martial arts or memorising map of the underground without asking. So I would say it's open to debate.
 
The title of this topic was vague, it just said “taking pleasure in few, if any, activities”. It didn´t specify “taking pleasure in few, if any, various activities, as many as possible”. When your activities fulfill your whole day, does it matter that most of them relate to your work which you passionately enjoy?
 
And Sherlock being so easily bored is an accurate indicator of the fact that he does enjoy those activities I mentioned. If he didn´t enjoy them he would became bored with them and stop doing them altogether.
 
No suprises there. When you get 3 members of the mental health team in a room there is a good chance you will end up with 4 possible diagnosis. It's all fluid and open to interpretation.
 
It´s the same with the law – my profession. Three lawyers in the room usually have four of five different opinions about the problem at hand. http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/tongue.png

 
Diagnosis does not automaticaly mean treatment. Particularly when it comes to personality traits. My first question would be if there is something that bothers him or something that he wants to improve. If he is happy and contented than I see no reason to try and change anything. People with schizoid personalities do not come into contact with services very often just becouse of that trait.
 
So you just confirmed my suspicion that Sherlock probably wouldn´t be treated as a psychiatric patient. Thank you for that, Belis.
 


-----------------------------------

I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

http://49.media.tumblr.com/eb0e156f55878fcd6f89dcf91ae89811/tumblr_o0eyyzrphE1spvwrzo2_1280.gif
 

April 22, 2014 5:14 pm  #218


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

nakahara wrote:

So you just confirmed my suspicion that Sherlock probably wouldn´t be treated as a psychiatric patient. Thank you for that, Belis.
 

I don't think many people argue that he would or should for that matter. There is a difference between suggesting that he has a condition, personality etc and saying that it needs to be treated.

Many fans for example see him as being on the autistic spectrum. That doesn't mean that they advocate that he should be treated for it. For one there is no treatment for ASD. It is open to debate if there should be. Many will see it as their identity and not an illness that needs treating. Secondly what they are saying is that they want to see a character with ASD who is portrayed in a positive way. Someone who can function well and achieve things. Seeing Sherlock as being on the spectrum fits with that. I don't think that Sherlock is an acurate portrayal of a person on ASD but it's close enough representation for people to see him that way in their headcanon. I see no problem with that. A bit less stigma and a bit more neurodiversity.

Could I invisage Sherlock being treated as a psychiatric patient? Yes. If we choose to emphasise certain behaviours and see them for example as symptoms of bipolar disorder. Do I think that Sherlock has bipolar and needs to be put on mood stabilisers to be made more 'normal'. No I don't. However again if certain aspects are emphasised we can see his character as a representation of this disorder. If this was taken further an argument could be made for him needing treatment. I will use an example from fanfiction here.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8489161/1/Madness-and-Memory-Part-1-Descent

In this story author takes elements that are very much present in canon and then emphasises and develops them to create an AU where Sherlock does have bipolar. The fact is that starting point is very much canon and I can quite easily see how she can interpret the character in that way.

I don't think it's about lebaling, medicalising, making normal behaviour pathological. I think it's more about bringing mental illness more into the open and encouraging people to discuss it more. I see that as a good thing.

 

 

May 14, 2014 1:16 pm  #219


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

Many fans for example see him as being on the autistic spectrum. That doesn't mean that they advocate that he should be treated for it. For one there is no treatment for ASD. It is open to debate if there should be. Many will see it as their identity and not an illness that needs treating. Secondly what they are saying is that they want to see a character with ASD who is portrayed in a positive way. Someone who can function well and achieve things. Seeing Sherlock as being on the spectrum fits with that. I don't think that Sherlock is an acurate portrayal of a person on ASD but it's close enough representation for people to see him that way in their headcanon. I see no problem with that. A bit less stigma and a bit more neurodiversity.
 
I don´t see Sherlock as having ASD either, but I read many metas written by Aspies and they had many good points: for example, they mentioned that it would be no surprise if Sherlock was having little meltdowns from time to time – noticing so many details constatntly and not be able to surpress them would be a real hell. It could even explain Sherlock´s use of drugs. Similarly, it was interesting to read about how people treat Aspies coldly or with disdain in false belief that they have no feelings and so it´s all right to hurt them in this manner. It´s basicly what´s happening to Sherlock all the time.
 
Could I invisage Sherlock being treated as a psychiatric patient? Yes. If we choose to emphasise certain behaviours and see them for example as symptoms of bipolar disorder. Do I think that Sherlock has bipolar and needs to be put on mood stabilisers to be made more 'normal'. No I don't. However again if certain aspects are emphasised we can see his character as a representation of this disorder. If this was taken further an argument could be made for him needing treatment. I will use an example from fanfiction here.
 
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8489161/1/Madness-and-Memory-Part-1-Descent
 
In this story author takes elements that are very much present in canon and then emphasises and develops them to create an AU where Sherlock does have bipolar. The fact is that starting point is very much canon and I can quite easily see how she can interpret the character in that way.
 
That story you cited was quite good. I, on the other hand, was unfortunate to read another fanfiction, called „Bodies“ (I think), where the author decided to transform Sherlock into a mentally disturbed person. She made such a loony from Sherlock that she actually created a new original character – Sherlock was so OOC in this story that he didn´t resemble BBC Sherlock at all. The author had written scenes in which Sherlock makes experiments with ants crawling across his body (for no reason), where he digs up and mumifies his neighbours dead dog (once again for no reason) and such stuff. It disgusted me to no end.
 
Now, I know that the show itself presents Sherlock as a stereotypical „crazy scientist“ (since the cliche of „scientist as a black magician“ is not popular anymore). But it nevers go that far with this gag and there are always rational reasons behind Sherlock´s experiments, even if they take a form of eyes in the microvawe or the head in the fridge. It disturbs me a bit to realise that some people see Sherlock as a real maniac because of that.
 
I don't think it's about lebaling, medicalising, making normal behaviour pathological. I think it's more about bringing mental illness more into the open and encouraging people to discuss it more. I see that as a good thing.
 
Yes, I understand. I came in touch with a few nasty cases where people would really benefit from psychiatrical help and it had a nasty consequences when they shunned the professionals and turned themselves to some quack-doctors.
 
But I´m still uncomfortable with the trend of finding a psychiatrist diagnosis for every trait of human behaviour.
 
This article (althrough written in a really alarmist manner, inacurate and placed on an alarmist site) illustrates my concern in that area:
 
http://www.naturalnews.com/z044862_psychiatrists_mental_illness_oppositional_defiant_disorder.html
 


-----------------------------------

I cannot live without brainwork. What else is there to live for? Stand at the window there. Was there ever such a dreary, dismal, unprofitable world? See how the yellow fog swirls down the street and drifts across the dun-coloured houses. What could be more hopelessly prosaic and material? What is the use of having powers, Doctor, when one has no field upon which to exert them?

http://49.media.tumblr.com/eb0e156f55878fcd6f89dcf91ae89811/tumblr_o0eyyzrphE1spvwrzo2_1280.gif
 

May 16, 2014 4:42 am  #220


Re: Sherlock- Asperger's syndrome and sociopathy

nakahara wrote:

Many fans for example see him as being on the autistic spectrum. That doesn't mean that they advocate that he should be treated for it. For one there is no treatment for ASD. It is open to debate if there should be. Many will see it as their identity and not an illness that needs treating. Secondly what they are saying is that they want to see a character with ASD who is portrayed in a positive way. Someone who can function well and achieve things. Seeing Sherlock as being on the spectrum fits with that. I don't think that Sherlock is an acurate portrayal of a person on ASD but it's close enough representation for people to see him that way in their headcanon. I see no problem with that. A bit less stigma and a bit more neurodiversity.
 
I don´t see Sherlock as having ASD either, but I read many metas written by Aspies and they had many good points: for example, they mentioned that it would be no surprise if Sherlock was having little meltdowns from time to time – noticing so many details constatntly and not be able to surpress them would be a real hell. It could even explain Sherlock´s use of drugs. Similarly, it was interesting to read about how people treat Aspies coldly or with disdain in false belief that they have no feelings and so it´s all right to hurt them in this manner. It´s basicly what´s happening to Sherlock all the time.
 
Could I invisage Sherlock being treated as a psychiatric patient? Yes. If we choose to emphasise certain behaviours and see them for example as symptoms of bipolar disorder. Do I think that Sherlock has bipolar and needs to be put on mood stabilisers to be made more 'normal'. No I don't. However again if certain aspects are emphasised we can see his character as a representation of this disorder. If this was taken further an argument could be made for him needing treatment. I will use an example from fanfiction here.
 
https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8489161/1/Madness-and-Memory-Part-1-Descent
 
In this story author takes elements that are very much present in canon and then emphasises and develops them to create an AU where Sherlock does have bipolar. The fact is that starting point is very much canon and I can quite easily see how she can interpret the character in that way.
 
That story you cited was quite good. I, on the other hand, was unfortunate to read another fanfiction, called „Bodies“ (I think), where the author decided to transform Sherlock into a mentally disturbed person. She made such a loony from Sherlock that she actually created a new original character – Sherlock was so OOC in this story that he didn´t resemble BBC Sherlock at all. The author had written scenes in which Sherlock makes experiments with ants crawling across his body (for no reason), where he digs up and mumifies his neighbours dead dog (once again for no reason) and such stuff. It disgusted me to no end.
 
Now, I know that the show itself presents Sherlock as a stereotypical „crazy scientist“ (since the cliche of „scientist as a black magician“ is not popular anymore). But it nevers go that far with this gag and there are always rational reasons behind Sherlock´s experiments, even if they take a form of eyes in the microvawe or the head in the fridge. It disturbs me a bit to realise that some people see Sherlock as a real maniac because of that.
 
I don't think it's about lebaling, medicalising, making normal behaviour pathological. I think it's more about bringing mental illness more into the open and encouraging people to discuss it more. I see that as a good thing.
 
Yes, I understand. I came in touch with a few nasty cases where people would really benefit from psychiatrical help and it had a nasty consequences when they shunned the professionals and turned themselves to some quack-doctors.
 
But I´m still uncomfortable with the trend of finding a psychiatrist diagnosis for every trait of human behaviour.
 
This article (althrough written in a really alarmist manner, inacurate and placed on an alarmist site) illustrates my concern in that area:
 
http://www.naturalnews.com/z044862_psychiatrists_mental_illness_oppositional_defiant_disorder.html
 

I have to agree with you, totally, Nakahara. 

And, I'm just going to say this-- I really, really understand what it's like to want to see yourself represented in the media--what it is to long for someone to identify with. And I think that's where a lot of the need to see Sherlock as Aspie, or Autistic, or mentally ill, or whatever-- that's where that comes from. 

On the other hand, there's a real discomfort modern society seems to feel when it comes to geniuses; I know in the States, we've got a reputation for distrusting intellectualism (we elected Bush twice) -- and honestly, I think our hollywoodizations of addiction, mental illness, and a plethora of other subjects have done the rest of the world more harm than good. This is one of those things, that when put into the context of a widely watched TV show causes a lot of mental health care professionals concern, because people just up and start self-diagnosing, because they're identifying with Sherlock. 

And, I agree that we've got to leave room in this world for people to human--individual-- and not to be forced to march along within the phalanx of what is acceptable like  good little worker ants. 

 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum