The Psychiatry of Sherlock

A series of essays discussing the real, suspected and imagined psychiatric illnesses that occur in BBC Sherlock.

Does Sherlock have autism? Can you really cure a psychosomatic limp with crime solving? Is Mycroft the real sociopath in the Holmes family?

These essays aim to provide a quick, easy to understand guide to the real world of psychiatry and how Sherlock canon can fit into reality. 

Walking Nightmares for Medical Students Series:


1. Sherlock is to Autism as Eeyore is to Depression

Why Sherlock doesn’t have autism and can’t be a high functioning sociopath 


1.2 Diagnosing Sherlock - Schizoid not Asperger’s

The most appropriate psychiatric diagnosis for Sherlock is not Asperger’s Syndrome but rather Schizoid Personality Disorder.


2. Mycroft on the Examination Couch

Is Mycroft the real psychopath in the Holmes family, I get out the official diagnostic criteria and explain some uncomfortable truths about Mycroft and the condition 


3. Sherlock, himself and his Asperger’s

I attempt a full psychiatric evaluation of Sherlock using the criteria for diagnosing Asperger’s Syndrome in adults to see whether Sherlock could be diagnosed. 


4. Sherlock doesn’t have Asperger’s or Autism, Thanks from 4 Psychiatrists

The professional opinions of four psychiatrists, specialising in autistic spectrum disorders, on whether Sherlock has Asperger’s Syndrome or autism and why we should not label Sherlock with either condition. 


5. Jim Moriarty - Hiiiiii!

Exactly what is wrong with Jim Moriarty? Sherlock really isn’t the psychopath in this drama. 


6. Bipolar Sherlock - A More Detailed Analysis

A detailed analysis of psychiatric diagnoses, what Bipolar Affective disorder actually is, what symptoms patients present this. Whether Sherlock would be diagnosed with Bipolar and which type. 


7. John, Himself and His Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Does John have post traumatic stress disorder? Can crime solving cure psychiatric illnesses? Why is John limping after being shot in the shoulder? I explore our favourite army doctor through the lens of psychiatry. (Also filed under Semantics of Healthcare - this is the same essay)


8. Sherlock, IQ and the Concept of Genius

What would Sherlock’s IQ be? And is he anti-social because of his intelligence? I explore how intelligence can be measured and why being intelligent is not the reason why Sherlock is Sherlock.


9. Stop Calling Sherlock a Sociopath

Why Sherlock uses the self-diagnosis of “high functioning sociopath” as a cover for his social inadequacies



Psychiatry Shorts: 

1. Sherlock and Borderline Personality Disorder