Raney Simmon’s Truer Than Fiction Guest Writer

Happy Tuesday! Lots has happen. Well actually just two things. One, I got into grad school!! Hoary! I am still waiting for one more to, pray to God, accept me.

Two, this Friday I will be presenting my summer research at a region conference. Please send your prayers and wish me the best of luck.

To the post! Guest writer! I haven’t done one of these in a really long time. Here it is:

Raney Simmon’s is a graduate of Columbia College in Columbia South Carolina. Her passion is writing and reading. She will be talking about the impact that literature has in the lives of those struggling with abuse and/or mental illness. 


“We don’t create a fantasy world to escape from reality, we create it to be able to stay.” – Lynda Barry


I would say my mental health journey began when my love of the written word grew. It manifested in the form of escapism because I spent so many hours reading that I sometimes wished I could go into the pages of the books I love.

Inkheart is the name of the book that started it all. I know I’ve probably mentioned this book before, but it’s the book that really made me realize reading and writing as my true passions. I read it during the summer before I started 7th grade, recommended as a summer reading choice by my 6th grade English teacher. It’s also the book that made me realize fantasy as one of my favorite genres to read and set me on the path to read what would become my favorite series of all: Harry Potter. Inkheart made me want to immerse myself in the books I read with its promise of characters being able to bring characters from other books into the world. Along with the Harry Potter series, this book (and the two books following it, Inkspell and Inkdeath) really showed me what reading truly had to offer. It’s a book that I’ll always keep close to my heart and a book I read whenever I find myself lacking inspiration.

At the time, escapism was my form of relief from the everyday cycle of reality that had become my life. When I was in 8th grade, my mother got married to a man my sister and I were excited to call stepfather. But it wasn’t until many months later that he revealed his truly terrible persona to us all.

It first came in the form of alcoholism. He’d spend Friday nights going out to drink and come back home aggressively drunk. I remember during this period of time that one day on our way home from going out to dinner with friends, Mom received a call. The police had picked him up and wanted us to come get him. I remember that trip home how he acted, the amount of tears I shed at seeing him in that state, feeling completely sorry for him. At the time I didn’t realize things were only going to get worse from there.

After the drinking, he started becoming verbally and mentally abusive. He was especially verbally abusive towards me. I remember him calling me a “retard” on more than one occasion and even tried to convince me that I had a disorder by trying to diagnose me himself. He even told me to kill myself “because nobody would miss me,” and threatened my well-being during the course of their marriage.

He made me feel worthless, like I was completely alone in the world. So much so that these words did damage to my self-esteem and self worth that I can still feel today.

The marriage truly ended the summer before my senior year of high school when he and my sister got into such a terrible argument that she threatened to leave and not come back. He acted like my sister not coming back was perfectly fine with him so my mother decided she’d had enough so we packed up our things together and left.

It was during these four years of my life that I used reading to escape from what my family was going through. As soon as I’d get home from school, I’d go to my room and read with my bedroom door closed and wouldn’t come out accept to eat. I’d read fantasy books because they were further from the reality I was dealing with and I loved the stories within their pages. Reading helped me cope with what I was dealing with in a safe, judge free environment. But this habit also affected other aspects of my life too, though at the time I never realized how much. I read to escape, but I further isolated myself from those around me who cared.


However, there are two other books I read during this time that helped me make it through these four years of my life. Both these books were my first introduction to young adult literature and centered around real life problems teenagers go through. Speak really stands out to me because it was the first book I ever read that openly talked about rape. It is the story of a young girl who gets raped at a party the summer before she starts her freshman year of high school. She calls the police, who bust the party, resulting in her being the most hated girl in her class. I enjoyed reading this book during this time because even though I’ve never gone through that traumatic experience before, I was going through an experience just as bad and I didn’t feel like I could openly talk about it. I felt like I couldn’t speak out about my experience because nobody would care.

Crank is the name of the second novel that made me interested in young adult literature. It also centers around a young teenage girl, but the story and the way it’s told are completely different. Each page of the story is written in poetry form, giving the reader a completely unique reading experience. But like with Speak, I felt like I was being exposed to another real-life problem for the first time. Instead of rape, I was reading a novel that heavily dealt with drug addiction and the way it can impact those around you. This book had an impact on me because it was the first book I read that talked about a heavy subject matter in poetry format. It exposed me to poetry but also made me better understand my stepfather’s drinking addiction. So it benefited me in two ways: first, it showed me how to express myself through poetry and second, helped me understand why my stepfather is an alcoholic and how his drinking hurt us all.

This experience and escapism both changed me. They made me more introverted, made me prefer the comforts of home over being out in the world. But they also strengthened me and helped me survive so I can hopefully begin to heal. Because while we are out of harm’s way, I know my mental health journey has just begun.

If you like Raney’s writing check out her blog: https://vookthevook.wordpress.com/


When will My Reflection Show?

Hello readers! As many of you know, I have a sort of crush on Mulan (the movie and the character)! My favorite song is not, surprisingly, I’ll Make a Man Out of You, but Reflection, hence the title of the post.

No, not really. While I would love to write about Mulan and the amazingness of this movie, this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and it exactly what I will be talking about.

“Do I want to die from the inside out or the outside in?” Wintergirls


Okay, so awhile back I read a book called Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson. Wintergirls is the story of eighteen-year-old Lia Overbrook, a girl with anorexia and someone who self-harms who loathes her body, her family, and her life. All these emotions are heightened when Lia’s best friend Cassie who suffers from bulimia, dies in a motel room after a long session of bingeing and purging. Wow, Peña, from Mulan to death in a motel, that escalated quickly.

See that is the thing with eating disorders, they escalate quickly. There are a lot of different types of eating disorders, but the main three I will be focusing on is bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating. Eating disorders, such as bulimia, binge eating disorder, and anorexia, are serious illnesses that involve extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding food, exercise, and body image.

Contrary to common stereotypes, eating disorders affect all kinds of people, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, socioeconomic status, sexuality, or background. Most of the people who seek treatment are white females, but the number of eating disorders in non-white people has been increasing, and while it was considered at one point to be a “female disorder” more and more males are starting to fall victims to one or more eating disorders.  In fact, 30 million Americans will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives.

I am just going to give a quick summary of the three main eating disorders and include some hyperlinks for additional information, but I will come back to this subject matter in various later post.

“I failed eating, failed drinking, failed not cutting myself into shreds. Failed friendship. Failed sisterhood and daughterhood. Failed mirrors and scales and phone calls. Good thing I’m stable. ” Wintergirls


Bulimia- dying from the inside out

Bulimia nervosa, oh you fiend. Bulimia nervosa is actually the eating disorder that I dislike the most. Here is why: this is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating. Basically, you eat and then throw up what you ate.

Some of the symptoms include: frequent episodes of consuming very large amount of food followed by behaviors to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting. A feeling of being out of control during the binge-eating episodes. Self-esteem overly related to body image. Like any mental health condition this disorder can be co-morbid such as: self-injury (cutting and other forms of self-harm without suicidal intention), substance abuse, and an increase in impulsivity (risky sexual behaviors, shoplifting, whatever it maybe.) Little to no regard is placed to living.

Here is why I called it a fiend: bulimia is extremely hard to catch. People with bulimia usually have normal or a little above normal weight. To the world who considers eating disorders as a condition that causes a person to be either too fat or too thin, bulimics can pass under the radar of healthy. That is the illusion that kills. According to the DSM-5, the official diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa are: recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following: eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g. within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances, and a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g. a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating). Usually this behavior is done away from the view of anyone. This next one part is what kills the bulimic from the inside out.  People with bulimia have recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications, fasting, or excessive exercise. The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least once a week for three months. Three months! Do you know who much damage you throwing up can cause for three months? That’s also, if, the disorder gets catch.

“Here stands a girl clutching a knife. There is grease on the stove, blood in the air, and angry words piled in the corners. We are trained not to see it, not to see any of it.” Wintergirls

Anorexia-dying from the outside in

Anorexia nervosa, I shake my head in sadness. This is an eating disorder characterized by weight loss (or lack of appropriate weight gain in growing children); difficulties maintaining an appropriate body weight for height, age, and stature; and, in many individuals, distorted body image. People with anorexia generally restrict the number of calories and the types of food they eat. This disorder breaks my heart, because that is one way that someone with anorexia can die. A heart attack. Some people with the disorder also exercise compulsively, purge via vomiting and laxatives, and/or binge eat. It’s the end-all-be-all of eating disorders.

Anorexia can affect people of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, races, and ethnicities. Here is something I just recently found out: historians and psychologists have found evidence of people displaying symptoms of anorexia for hundreds or thousands of years.

Although the disorder most frequently begins during adolescence, an increasing number of children and older adults are also being diagnosed with anorexia. PAUSE! I am about to break the biggest myth in mental health illness EVER! No one must be emaciated or underweight to have anorexia. Studies have found that larger-bodied individuals can also have anorexia, although they may be less likely to be diagnosed due to cultural prejudice against fat and obesity. Thanks, upside twisted ideas!

Here is what you need to have to be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa according to the DSM-5, the following criteria must be met:

  1. Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health.
  2. Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.
  3. Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight.

This doesn’t help the heavy-set people with anorexia, which is why most of those cases go untreated.

However, even if all the DSM-5 criteria for anorexia are not met, a serious eating disorder can still be present. Atypical anorexia includes those individuals who meet the criteria for anorexia but who are not underweight despite significant weight loss.

“I am angry that I starved my brain and that I sat shivering in my bed at night instead of dancing or reading poetry or eating ice cream or kissing a boy…” Wintergirls

Binge Eating Disorder

Binge eating disorder, my understanding is with you. This is a severe, life-threatening and treatable eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food often very quickly and to the point of discomfort; a feeling of a loss of control during the binge; experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards; and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures (purging) to counter the binge eating. It is the most common eating disorder in the United States.

BED is one of the newest eating disorders formally recognized in the DSM5. Before the most recent revision in 2013, BED was listed as a subtype of EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified), now referred to as OSFED (Other specified feeding or eating disorder).

Like said above, it is the most common eating disorder in the United States. The formal diagnostic criteria are:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
    • Eating, in a discrete period of time (e.g., within any 2-hour period), an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat in a similar period of time under similar circumstances. Similar to bulimia.
    • A sense of lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that one cannot stop eating or control what or how much one is eating). Again, similar to bulimia.
  • The binge eating episodes are associated with three (or more) of the following:
    • Eating much more rapidly than normal.
    • Eating until feeling uncomfortably full.
    • Eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry.
    • Eating alone because of feeling embarrassed by how much one is eating.
    • Feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty afterward.
    • Marked distress regarding binge eating is present.
    • The binge eating occurs, on average, at least once a week for 3 months.
    • The binge eating is not associated with the recurrent use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging) as in bulimia nervosa and does not occur exclusively during the course of bulimia nervosa or anorexia nervosa.

Fun fact: eating disorders, most of the time, is because the person feels like the only thing she/he can control is the food they intake and often times the disorder ends up controlling them.


An eating disorder causes our reflections to be distorted. The person knows they have a world to offer the world and yet all they see when they look in the mirror is a monster, a fat, out-of-control monster. Hiding the disorder makes them feel isolated. They put on a mask for the world and eventually while behind the mask, they want to show who they really are inside.

“Eating was hard. Breathing was hard. Living was hardest.” Wintergirls

If you want to know about risk factors and possible causes, click here.

To those suffering from any form of eating disorders, you are not alone. To those asking when your reflection will show who you are inside, know that I know who you are inside. Your reflection should not matter. What is on the outside does not compare to what is on the inside. A person who is loving and caring.

Please, if you are struggling with an eating disorder get help. Talk to someone. I, though I am not yet a professional psychologist, am here for you. Also, you can always call or text 800-273-8255 or text ANSWER to 839863 for crisis counseling. They are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week because they care about you.

For additional contact information on various mental health topics, click here.

“Why is my reflection/Someone I don’t know?/ Must I pretend that I’m/ Someone else for all time?/ When will my reflection show/ Who I am inside?” Reflection

It is Called a Pattern

Hello readers, did you miss me? I apologize for a few things: 1) the ever so clear Moriarty reference 2) my leave of absence, I have a job now working with pre-k students, got to produce the next generation of nerds! 3) our current political state of affairs- or this could be either fake news or alternative facts no one knows anymore.

I discovered Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt. For those who don’t know what Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt. Season one and two is on Netflix. Also, check out the trailer here.

Okay, so who is Kimmy? Well, the series follows 29-year-old Kimmy Schmidt as she adjusts to life in New York City after her rescue from a doomsday cult in Indiana where three other women and herself were held captive by Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne for 15 years.

“Yes, there was weird sex stuff.” Kimmy said to her roommate. While talking about her PTSD would be great for this article because, hey she attacked her date because he grabbed her and smacked her lover while they were trying to have sex, this is not what troubles Kimmy. Kimmy has attachment issues, and that is what is going to be the topic of this post.

First, let’s talk about attachment. Attachment theory is a concept in developmental psychology that concerns the importance of “attachment” in regards to personal development. It makes the claim that the ability for an individual to form an emotional and physical “attachment” to another person gives a sense of stability and security necessary to take risks, branch out, and grow and develop as a personality. There are two key people John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, I’m not going to focus on them too much just their theories.

Bowlby established that childhood development depended heavily upon a child’s ability to form a strong relationship with “at least one primary caregiver.” Typically, this is one of the parents. Bowlby’s studies in childhood development and “temperament” led him to the conclusion that a strong attachment to a caregiver provides a necessary sense of security and foundation. Without such a relationship in place, a great deal of developmental energy is expended in the search for stability and security.

Ainsworth identified the existence of what she calls “attachment behavior.” She ran a study  to see how child attachment. The attachment types are as followed:

Secure Attachment: children feel confident that the attachment figure will be available to meet their needs. They use the attachment figure as a safe base to explore the environment and seek the attachment figure in times of distress. They cry when the attachment figure leaves but are able to be soothed when the figure returns.

Insecure Avoidant: children do not orientate to their attachment figure while investigating the environment. They are very independent of the attachment figure both physically and emotionally. They do not seek contact with the attachment figure when distressed. These children will cry when the parent leaves, but when the parent returns they are distant.

Insecure Ambivalent / Resistant: children adopt an ambivalent behavioral style towards the attachment figure. The child will commonly exhibit clingy and dependent behavior, but will be rejecting of the attachment figure when they engage in interaction. The child fails to develop any feelings of security from the attachment figure. Accordingly, they exhibit difficulty moving away from the attachment figure to explore novel surroundings. They will cry when the figure leaves and once the figure returns they are difficult to be soothed.


“The trick is not caring whether you live or die,” says Kimmy when asked how she could hold her breathe for four minutes. Why would she care? Kimmy was kidnapped for 15 years because her mom never taught her how to tie her shoes, her mom was never really a mother figure, “I made you lunch,” Kimmy says. She never knew her father, her mom gave up looking for her to go ride roller coasters. Her attachment problems are seen throughout the season, but it is finally Andrea (Tina Fey) who points out her problems

In “Kimmy Sees A Sunset!,” Kimmy sees a marvelous sunset as she realizes that Andrea will have to leave for rehab because Kimmy has failed to help her. Kimmy is upset that she has failed, and blames herself for Andrea’s drinking problem. Andrea forces her to see that her abandonment issues are rooted in a toxic cycle of blaming herself for things that are in no way her fault. “It’s not your fault,” Andrea insists to Kimmy twice—and then once more, Oprah-style. Kimmy needed to be told that it’s not her fault that people leave in order to really understand where her attachment issues come from.

How does this apply to attachment theory? When Kimmy’s mom left, she developed major abandonment issues, that “stink up my relationship with other people.” Kimmy tries to help people because she was always helping her mother, and Kimmy feel like it is her fault when she fails to help them and then they, of some reason or another, leave. I believe that Kimmy has insecure ambivalent / resistant attachment type. Here is why: Kimmy, helps one person at a time, and spends so much time with them that while they are the ones who seem clingy and dependent it is actual Kimmy who is clingy because she refuses to see them fail, and she is dependent because Kimmy depends on their success to feel good about herself. Kimmy has difficulty moving away from the person she is trying to help. Finally, when Kimmy is unable to help, she honestly believes it her fault the other person fail. While some of the things are Kimmy’s fault, the person’s success or failure were results of the individual person.

Kimmy finally realizes this in “Kimmy Sees a Sunset!,” and goes out to find her mother and develop better attachment styles, because if she doesn’t she will not be able to truly be in a healthy relationship. Like Andrea says, “It’s called a pattern.”

The season ends with Kimmy getting over some of her mommy issues, only to find herself facing her PTSD. Season three comes out on May 19.


Well, technically, you’re not a king

Hello readers! I hope your new year has been… well manageable up till now. If not, the year is still young, which means it could get worse or it could get better, but as always,  “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” Or James 1:2-4.

Any who, cause insomnia is paying a visit tonight, I am up!!! It’s one in the morning so why not. Okay, so like I said before I am going to write about characters who have mental disorders. Right now, I am watching two movies: Mrs. Doubtfire and Shrek. I had the best childhood! Anyway, I was thinking umm… Lesley, maybe you should write about one of these two movies. But which one, Lesley? (Yes, I often refer myself in the third person, allows me to think.) So, I am looking deeper into the two movies, and guess what? In Mrs. Doubtfire, while Robin Williams does cross-dress, I don’t think the DSM5 considers this as a mental disorder.

So, turns out that cross-dressing is in the DSM5 called Transvestic Disorder. If interested go check out the link!

I am going to focus on Shrek, cause why not? It’s an awesome movie. So, there are a couple of characters in Shrek that if they did come to my psych office (when I get a psych office), I could diagnosis with many and various issues! Shrek: social phobia, antisocial personality disorder, anger issues, etc. Donkey: shows signs of having ADHD, anxiety, suffers from loneliness, and possibly hidden depression. Fiona, haha she is a jar of wonders suffering from anxiety, loneliness, PTSD, and body dysmorphic disorder. However, the character I want to talk about is someone who cut short from the film and played a small part in the movie, although he had major impacts. Additionally, this character, sadly for him, could never measure up to be king. Yep! I am talking about this guy:


Lord Farquaad! Trying saying that name five times fast (I cannot with sounding inappropriate, haha!) Anyway, for those who don’t know who he is or have not seen the movie: Farquaad is the comically short-in-stature, ruthless ruler of Duloc. Several times in the film it is commented that, in his capital city Duloc’s towering height, Farquaad may be compensating for something.

In his pursuit of perfection, Farquaad attempts to rid his Kingdom of Fairy Tale creatures, offering a bounty for their capture and then exiling imprisoned creatures to Shrek’s swamp (mistake number 1). However, because Farquaad is not of royal stock, he cannot become a king until he marries a princess (enter magic mirror where there is ad for Fiona…wait…what???) MISKATE NUMBER 2! However, Princess Fiona can be the must first be rescued from her tower which is guarded by a fire-breathing dragon.

Obviously, Farquaad won’t recuse her, cause well height, and he only cares for himself “That is a sacrifice I am willing to make” when he talks about how many men will die in this task. He holds a tournament to discover the knight who will rescue Princess Fiona. Enter Shrek and Donkey and the one of my favorite songs “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Shrek and Donkey defeat the knights, so Farquaad decides to send Shrek on the quest. Farquaad agrees to move the Fairy Tale creatures out of Shrek’s swamp if he rescues Fiona and grant deed to the swamp to prevent any future squatters or resettlements on his land. Shrek delivers Fiona to Farquaad and he immediately proposes, unaware that she becomes an ogress at sunset (talk about desperate and mistake number 3). Shrek later disrupts the marriage ceremony, delaying a kiss between Farquaad and Fiona until after sunset.

Fiona makes the transition from human to ogress form, upon which Farquaad rejects his new bride, banishing her back to the tower and claiming the title of King (I don’t think that’s how it works since the marriage never was completed, but I am not sure). He also sentences Shrek to death at that time, but before Farquaad finishes his claim of becoming the new King, the dragon who had guarded Fiona, and who developed a crush on Donkey while Fiona was being rescued from her castle (wow that sentence… Go watch the movie if you have not already), crashes through the window in response to a beckoning whistle from Shrek. She then devours Farquaad and burps out his crown. Farquaad was apparently not well-liked in Duloc; when he is eaten, the citizens laugh and cheer.

Okay, Lesley, what’s up with this short little guy? Well… he has Histrionic personality disorder!

What is that?

Good question!

Histrionic personality disorder is characterized by a long-standing pattern of attention seeking behavior and extreme emotionality. Someone with histrionic personality disorder wants to be the center of attention in any group of people, and feel uncomfortable when they are not. While often lively, interesting and sometimes dramatic, they have difficulty when people aren’t focused exclusively on them. People with this disorder may be perceived as being shallow, and may engage in sexually seductive or provocative behavior to draw attention to themselves.

Individuals with Histrionic Personality Disorder may have difficulty achieving emotional intimacy in romantic or sexual relationships. Without being aware of it, they often act out a role (e.g., “victim” or “princess”) in their relationships to others. They may seek to control their partner through emotional manipulation or seductiveness on one level, whereas displaying a marked dependency on them at another level.

Individuals with this disorder often have impaired relationships with same-sex friends because their sexually provocative interpersonal style may seem a threat to their friends’ relationships. These individuals may also alienate friends with demands for constant attention. They often become depressed and upset when they are not the center of attention.

Right so now symptoms to show that he does have HPD!

  • Is uncomfortable in situations in which he or she is not the center of attention:
    • Farquaad made himself to be ruler of his land, heck he even built a massive castle.
  • Interaction with others is often characterized by inappropriate sexually seductive or provocative behavior
    • In the movie we sometimes see him like this: shrek_973_300_200_90
      • Additionally, like he is looking for a princess
  • Displays rapidly shifting and shallow expression of emotions
    • He is an emotional and I don’t really understand why. Like he goes from giving a great speech to cutting the legs off Gingerbread Man. Seriously, man get help. Well… he got eaten but still.
  • Consistently uses physical appearance to draw attention to themselves
    • Physical appearance he is after all 4 feet tall and wears A LOT red!
  • Has a style of speech that is excessively impressionistic and lacking in detail
    • He gives great speeches but really is one big circle of nothing, with more questions than answers (like this guy:how-much-donald-trump-makes-in-speaking-fees-compared-to-everyone-else

Sorry… I couldn’t help myself!

  • Shows self-dramatization, theatricality, and exaggerated expression of emotion
    • Farquaad IS GOING TO BE KING! KING! Self-dramatization at its finest and he so such a drama queen… drama king? DRAMA KING!
  • Is highly suggestible, i.e., easily influenced by others or circumstances
    • This isn’t really shown in the movie but we can see that he uses the circumstances of his height and his status to influence what he does, and the mirror mirror on the wall has a major influence on him.
  • Considers relationships to be more intimate than they actually are
    • He is in bed just smiling about the idea of having Fiona as a bride (she is younger and he does not know her yet)

Because personality disorders describe long-standing and enduring patterns of behavior, they are most often diagnosed in adulthood. It is uncommon for them to be diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, because a child or teen is under constant development, personality changes and maturation. Like most personality disorders, histrionic personality disorder typically will decrease in intensity with age, with many people experiencing few of the most extreme symptoms by the time they are in the 40s or 50s. This fits Farquaad since he appears to be somewhere around ages 25-35.

Researchers today don’t know what causes histrionic personality disorder. There are many theories, however, about the possible causes of histrionic personality disorder. Most professionals subscribe to a biopsychosocial model of causation. The causes of are likely due to biological and genetic factors, social factors (such as how a person interacts in their early development with their family and friends and other children), and psychological factors (the individual’s personality and temperament, shaped by their environment and learned coping skills to deal with stress). This suggests that no single factor is responsible; it is the complex and likely intertwined nature of all three factors that are important. If a person has this personality disorder, research suggests that there is a slightly increased risk for this disorder to be “passed down” to their children. Good thing he won’t be having any children.

That was mean…

So, what do you guys think? Does Lord Farquaad have histrionic personality disorder?

By the way and fun fact:

Alan Rickman was originally offered for the role of Lord Farquaad, but he turned it down to play Severus Snape in the Harry Potter film saga instead. Good call Alan!

I wanted to Prove I could do things Right

Hello, readers, and welcome to 2017. For those who don’t know me or my blog I am Genius and Insanity why? Because, I am that Line. In March of 2016 one of my friends said, “Girl, I can’t tell if you are a genius or just insane.” To which I, with 100 percent sarcasm, replied, “There’s a fine line between the two, I am that line.”

This blog is about facts, research, and resources on various mental health conditions. I will post poems, pieces of writings, pictures, and other neat little artworks from the various authors (including myself), related to the topics being discussed.  There will be sadness, there will be “lectures,” but there will also be humor. Knowledge is fundamental and this blog provides both the fun and mental. Anyway, check out the rest of my post and you will know what I mean.

The start of the year has allowed me to reshape my blog and one way I am going to do it (after seeing the success of Art of Depiction and Into the Mind Palace of Sherlock Holmes) I have decided to take a character from a show or movie and analyze their psychology and any psychological illness that connect back to my topics. Good idea, huh?



Okay Dory, you can stop now. Most if not all characters will be around the SuperWhoLock trinity, Disney, Marvel, or random shows that I watch or characters that I study if I want to make a specific post.

To start off the year I am going to do a post on my favorite Disney princess…. Drum roll please! (pause of readers to do drum roll)! MULAN!

Mulan: my spirit Disney Princess

Okay for those have watched Mulan great! For those who have not, drop everything and go watch it now! I promise you, you will not regret it! If not here is a quick summary of the movie:  During the Han Dynasty in ancient China, the legendary Great Wall fails to keep out the notorious Hun army and their ruthless leader, Shan Yu. The alarm is raised, and the Emperor entrusts General Li with mobilizing an army to protect China.

Fa Mulan, the daughter of a farmer Fa Zhou, nervously prepares for her meeting with the village matchmaker. Though clever and kindhearted, Mulan is a tomboyish klutz who has little faith in her ability to become a poised and dignified bride. Mulan is deemed a “disgrace,” and is told she will never bring honor to her family. Deeply ashamed, Mulan returns home and laments that she is not the daughter her parents deserve (enter the song Reflection).

Pause! Go watch the movie!

The Emperor’s councilman, Chi Fu arrives at Mulan’s village to draft one man from each family for the imperial army. Knowing her father will die if put in combat again, Mulan makes a desperate decision. After her parents are asleep, she cuts her hair short, dons her father’s armor, and takes his draft information before riding out to the camp in his place. Fa Zhou and Fa Li awaken and discover with horror that their daughter has left to join the army. They cannot go after her, for impersonating a soldier is a capital offense, and Mulan would be executed if her identity was revealed. The statues of the ancestors come to life to deliberate over what to do about Mulan. Mushu the dragon, a former guardian who was demoted to gong-ringer, is sent to awaken the Great Stone Dragon, the most powerful guardian, to bring Mulan home safely. Mushu accidentally reduces it to rubble. Mushu plans to make Mulan excel in the army, thus earning back his place among the ancestors as a guardian.

Mulan arrives in the camp and accidently starts a fight trying to be manly, but her commander, Shang is unimpressed with the sloppy new recruits, especially awkward Mulan, who presents herself as Fa Zhou’s little-seen son Ping. Mushu supports Mulan as she struggles through training, which is especially harrowing because her fellow soldiers are still angry with her for the camp-wide fight on their first day.

When the training (the best song in all of Disney: I’ll Make a Man Out of You) is over they are headed to the Imperial City, but when they reach the mountain pass, they find General Li and his entire platoon slaughtered. As Mulan, Shang, and the troops progress through the snowy mountains, Mushu accidentally sets off a cannon and gives away their position. The Huns immediately attack, and it is evident that they greatly outnumber the soldiers. As the Hun army charges toward them, Shang instructs to aim their last cannon at Shan Yu. Quick-thinking Mulan swipes the cannon and fires it at the mountainside, causing a huge avalanche that buries the Huns. The soldiers run for safety, with Shang and Mulan narrowly avoiding falling to their deaths over a cliff. Shang thanks Mulan for saving their lives, and gets her medical attention for an injury she sustained from Shan Yu’s sword. Mulan can no longer hide her gender, and she is ousted to the rest of the troops. Chi Fu pressures Shang to execute Mulan immediately, but Shang, while angry at Mulan for her deception, refuses to kill her and leaves her in the mountains with her horse and supplies.

Mulan miserably tells Mushu that entering the army was a mistake, and that she was fated to dishonor her family. They are all about to give up hope when they discover that Shan Yu and many of the Huns “popped out of the snow like daisies” Mulan, Mushu, Khan and Cri-Kee rush to the Imperial City to warn of the coming attack.

Mulan states: “Maybe what I really wanted was to prove that I could do things right.” (Cries and sobs cause this literally everyone I know).

In the city, Shang and his troops are being hailed as heroes for defeating the Huns. Mulan, presenting herself as a woman again, confronts Shang during their victory parade and tells him what she saw in the mountains. Shang dismisses her as a liar, and members of the crowd are deaf to Mulan’s words. On the steps of the palace, the Emperor is kidnapped by the Huns, who beat Mulan to the city. Shan Yu threatens to kill the Emperor if he refuses to bow to him and accept him as the new leader of China. The Emperor stoically refuses, but Shang leaps to his aid just in time. Mulan then attracts Shan Yu’s attention by proving herself to be the soldier who started the avalanche, and Shan Yu turns his wrath from Shang to her. Mulan lures Shan Yu to the roof of the palace, before Mushu arms himself with an enormous firework rocket which he launches at Shan Yu. The Hun leader is blasted to smithereens in a colorful display, and Mulan drops to safety on the palace steps.

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rarest and beautiful of them all” (so…I’m beautiful? You’re beautiful? We’re all beautiful/handsome/cute??)

As the chaos subsides, Chi Fu verbally attacks Mulan for her actions. Shang angrily defends her until the Emperor appears. He explains to Mulan that, despite her fraud, she has saved the entire nation of China. In the ultimate display of respect, the Emperor bows to Mulan, as do the countless people in the attending crowd. He then offers Mulan a job as his council, but Mulan respectfully declines and expresses her wish to return home. The Emperor gives her his medallion and Shang lowers the expectations of men by like a lot… She saved CHINA and all he could say was “You fight go?” Oh the idea man! Yu’s sword as gifts to honor the Fa family. This is also the part where Shang Mulan returns to her family and they are happy to see her alive.

Okay, so what?

Chill out, I’m getting to the point, keep your horses or: dishonor on you, dishonor on your cow (horse?)!


So here it is, and food for thought as many of you venture to new year’s resolutions. Mulan has a few psychological issues that I would love to talk to about. First, she has dissociative identity disorder (this was also known as multiple personality disorder as we can see when Mulan references herself as Ping and Mulan), schizophrenia (she believes that a small pocket size dragon is helping her, and she talks and answers her horse as if she can understand him), and anxiety that causes atelophobia.

For my first post, I will be talking about her anxiety that causes atelophobia. Okay, so what is atelophobia:  is classified as an anxiety disorder as are most phobias.  Atelophobia is the fear of not doing something right or the fear of not being good enough. Quite simply put it’s a fear of imperfection. Persons suffering from this psychological disorder may be often depressed when their perceived expectations do not match reality. This fear of imperfection can inhibit them from doing anything productive at all because they are afraid that may not do it right and disappoint those around them and themselves.  People who are atelophobic often have an inability to relax as their mind is constantly being bombarded with thoughts of possible failure. They often suffer from insomnia which leaves them unable to sleep at night. This disorder of the mind is also often found in persons who are suffering from anorexia or bulimia (more on these two disorders later).

Okay so does my favorite Disney Princess have atelophobia? Well… Let’s see! She believes that she is not good enough for her family or a husband and she questions her worth. (The song Reflection). She runs and joins the army to one save her father, but to also find her place in the world. Additionally, even while in the army she is thinks she is not good enough as well. She even strives to be the idea solider, which luckily for this fear of imperfection, Mulan can climb and get the arrow. She is always tense and unable to relax. Mulan believes that she needs to fit into the perfect role or her family will be dishonored. She places all the pressure of honor and dishonor on herself. Finally, Mulan is the stressed like 98 percent of the movie. She starts the movie stressed and does not stop being stressed until literally the last two minutes of the movie.

So what does this mean? Well… maybe of you are starting new year resolutions, and I am here to tell you, that you are perfect the way you are. You’re reflection only shows the outside (a later post), it’s what is inside that count. Be the Mulan in your story (no don’t change your name cross-dress, talk to horses, and demand perfection) be the Mulan at the end. The Mulan who sees that perfect is imperfect and you with all our flaws are good enough, because at the end “The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rarest and beautiful of them all.”

What do you guys think? Does Mulan suffer from atelophobia?

Let me know what you guys think and I welcome ideas of which character I should diagnose next!

Happy New Year and:


“Get off the roof, get off the roof, get off the roof!”

Ranting of a Mad Woman #4

I found the GOOD in goodbye

A lot has happened since the past post about Sherlock. First…Well… I have graduated from college. Additionally, the year is almost ending, and while I write this 7 days in advance, I know I won’t get another chance to write to you before the year is up. So here is my chance. As always bear with me as I invite you to visit into my mind palace. Welcome to another ranting of a mad woman i.e. ME!

I would first like to say goodbye to Columbia College. While I will be visiting the college weekly, I have finished my studied there. Goodbye Dear Columbia College, white as the gleaming stars above, no stain shall touch the purity of my Columbia College. While a student there you have shown me, my mission is to light the way with a learning mind, gentle heart, breath of love, and never ending faith. You have developed in me the courage to stand firm in my belief, the confidence to know that I can achieve anything I set my mind on, the commitment to change the world one person at time, and the competence to know who and how to change the world. I pray that the world is gentle to you and that you do not fall away from your values and traditions. Hold fast my dear knowing that this departure of mine is not goodbye forever, but a see you later.

Second, I would like to say goodbye to the year 2016. Dear 2016, I am so glad you will finally be over. It has been real, it has been fun, but it was never real fun. 2016, I thank you for the good that has come of this year, my research, my blog, the friends that I have made including the discovery of my best friend. With all being said, however,2016, I thank God above that you are finally over. The screaming to mask the tears is over, the searching to find meaning has been completed, the struggling to keep up has finally ceased. I have in the mist of the pain found myself, and for that 2016, I thank you. It is still hard, not knowing, and wondering if I will be better or worse in 2017 than I am today. Actually… regardless of what happens, I know I will be better off, if and only if, I will no longer be in the den of rotten snakes. This is goodbye forever 2016, and while I have had a great adventure with you, I will not be missing you.

Next, because what is a ranting without humor? And what is humor without poking fun at our government… Goodbye America, or as is common now ‘Merica (for those not in America, I am as confused as you are, but I have heard a lot of people here call America, ‘Merica). If anyone knows why or how this horrid trend came about please let me know. Anyway, with D. Trump being the next head of the whole country, it is fitting for me to say GOODBYE my beloved America. (Regardless of who had won, I still would have said goodbye to my beloved country. We are entering dark times here in America, and while in my mind we will always be the greatest country on earth, I know that greatness cannot forever. So it is a matter of time before America, the Roman Empire of the West falls. I pray to God that 2017 is not the year it falls, but that God blesses America, if only for the sake of the few.


Finally, I would like to say goodbye to someone who I have held very close to my heart and my life. Guys it is 2:00 a.m. and I am saying goodbye to myself. NO, I AM NOT COMMITTING SUICIDE. I could never do that to you guys. I am saying goodbye to my former self. The self who was selfish and only thought of herself, yet I am also saying goodbye to the weak Lesley who allowed everyone to step over her and abuse and use her. I am saying goodbye to the former me who was afraid of her own shadow yet acted like she could conquer the world. I am throwing aside the former me who would cry day and night because she allowed the abuse of loved ones to get to her. Don’t get me wrong, I am still kind and compassionate and loving, but I will no longer stand for the abuse that was occurring in my life. No longer will I allow my life to be manipulated. I know this sounds harsh, and if you know me in person, you will see the changes, but fear not, I am doing this for not just me, but for you as well. My dear readers, worry not, I will still be your fine line between genius and insanity.

This is my final goodbye to those who called themselves my friends and family but have failed in one or both of those occupations. This is goodbye to those who were poisoning me with their toxicity and venom. This is goodbye to those who used the word love, friendship, and family in vain. HOW DARE YOU? From my mind palace, you have been removed, from my heart, you have been forgiven and forgotten. So, this is goodbye, and if I never see you or the former me again it will be too soon.

It is now close to 2:30 a.m. and I, being human, need sleep. Good night dear readers. God bless.

“I will not try to convince you to love me, to respect me, to commit to me. I deserve better than that; I AM BETTER THAN THAT…Goodbye.” Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

Into the Mind Palace of Sherlock Holmes

Good morning readers, and by morning, I mean it is 1:30 a.m. here in South Carolina. Sorry for not writing in ohh… a month. I didn’t forget, I just have been really busy with school. I like to refer to November as hell month, because it is my busiest month. After November we have hell week and then exam time. So I’ll be going AWOL for the next two weeks, but hey, if you guys want to wish me luck on my exams, PLEASE DO!!!!

Anyway, so for my psychology of personality class, I had to write an eight page paper discussing a character, and you guessed it right, I did Sherlock, cause why not?

So the first thing I need to do is for those people who don’t know Sherlock, please watch it is on BBC and Netflix.

Sherlock Holmes was born in the United Kingdom, most likely is a town outside of London. He moved to London where he currently lives and solves crimes. Sherlock is a very determined man and will do very brave, yet often, board line stupid things to solve a case with no regard for his life. Sherlock is a unique young man, around the age of thirty, with a mind like a ‘racing engine’. He is highly intelligent and very observant which makes him arrogant and selfish. He has an older brother, Mycroft who is pretty much “the British government.”


Sherlock, throughout the series, lacks social graces and therefore has struggles forming relationships. He has a deep fascination with Irene Adler, the Woman. His interest in her come from her being able to be the only one, aside from his brother, to be able to outsmart Sherlock. Sherlock does, at one point, have a girlfriend but we find out later that he is only using her to solve a case. Sherlock’s best friend is Dr. John Watson, an Army doctor who craves action and danger. Sherlock is a brilliant man but is often aloof, rude, and insensitive. He has set himself up as the world’s only consulting detective, whom the police grudgingly accept as their superior.

Okay, so some background on personality theory cause I know I have no covered it in earlier post. 

Id, Ego, Super-Ego

(I am so sorry that I am writing about Freud. Fellow B.F. Skinner fans, please forgive me.)

Freud saw the psyche structured into three parts: the id, ego and superego, all developing at different stages in our lives. Although each part of the personality comprises unique features, they interact to form a whole, and each part makes a relative contribution to an individual’s behavior. The id is the instinctive component of personality. The id is the source of our bodily needs, wants, desires, and impulses, particularly our sexual and aggressive drives. The id knows no judgments of value: no good and evil, no morality. It is the dark, inaccessible part of the personality. The relationship of the ego to the id is, at the same time, a mutually beneficial one and a submissive one. The id remains juvenile in function throughout a person’s life and does not change with time or experience. The id is not affected by reality, logic or the everyday world, as it operates within the unconscious part of the mind. The id engages in primary-process thinking, which is primitive, illogical, irrational, and fantasy-oriented. This form of process thinking has no comprehension of objective reality and is selfish and wishful in nature. The id operates on the pleasure principle which is the idea that every wishful impulse should be satisfied immediately, regardless of the consequences. When the id achieves its demands pleasure is experienced, when it is denied tension is experienced.

The ego seeks to please the id’s drive in realistic ways that will benefit in the long term rather than bring grief. The ego separates out what is real. It helps to organize thoughts and make sense of the person and the world. The ego develops in order to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. It is the decision-making component of personality. The ego operates according to the reality principle, working out realistic ways of satisfying the id’s demands, often compromising or postponing satisfaction to avoid negative consequences of society.  Like the id, the ego seeks pleasure and avoids pain, but unlike the id the ego is concerned with devising a realistic strategy to obtain pleasure. The ego has no concept of right or wrong; something is good simply if it achieves its end of satisfying without causing harm to itself or to the id.

The superego incorporates the values and morals of society which are learned from one’s parents and others. The superego reflects the internalization of cultural rules, mainly taught by parents applying their guidance and influence; it is also known as conscience. The Super-ego can be thought of as a type of conscience that punishes misbehavior with feelings of guilt.  The super-ego works in contradiction to the id. The super-ego strives to act in a socially appropriate manner, whereas the id just wants instant self-gratification. The super-ego controls our sense of right and wrong and guilt. It helps people fit into society by getting them to act in socially acceptable ways. The super-ego’s demands often oppose the id’s, so the ego sometimes has a hard time in reconciling the two. The super-ego also has the job of persuading the ego to turn to moralistic goals rather than simply realistic ones and to strive for perfection. The superego consists of two systems: The conscience and the ideal self. The conscience can punish the ego through causing feelings of guilt.  The super-ego can also reward through the ideal self when the person behave ‘properly’ by making him/her feel proud.

Defense Mechanisms

repressing-emotionsFreud also coined the term ego defense mechanisms. If the ego fails in its attempt to use the reality principle, and anxiety is experienced, unconscious defense mechanisms are employed, to help ward off unpleasant feelings or make good things feel better for the individual.

Repression is an unconscious mechanism employed by the ego to keep disturbing or threatening thoughts from becoming conscious.  Thoughts that are often repressed are those that would result in feelings of guilt from the superego.

Sublimation takes place when we manage to displace our emotions into a constructive rather than destructive activity. Sublimation for Freud was the cornerstone of civilized life, arts and science are all sublimated sexuality. This is not a very successful defense in the long term since it involves forcing disturbing wishes, ideas or memories into the unconscious, where, although hidden, they will create anxiety.

Regression is a movement back in psychological time when one is faced with stress.  When we are troubled or frightened, our behaviors often become more childish or primitive.

Birth Order

Frank Sulloway and various other psychologists like Alder have shown that there seems to be a relationship between birth order and a how a person behaves and their personality. While the eldest child is programmed for excellence and achievement, the middle child is raised to be understanding and conciliatory and the baby seeks attention. The eldest child will have had so much control and attention from their first-time parents, they are over-responsible, reliable, well-behaved, careful, and smaller versions of their own parents. They are high achievers who seek approval and are perfectionists. The middle child is most likely understanding, cooperative and flexible, yet competitive. They are concerned with fairness. Though often a late bloomer, middle children find themselves in power careers that allow them to use their negotiating skills. The youngest child has more freedom than the other siblings and, in a sense, are more independent. As the youngest child, they also have a lot in common with the oldest sibling, as both feel special and entitled. The range of influence for youngest children extends throughout the family, which supports the child both emotionally and physically. And as the baby of the family, they have had less responsibility, and therefore don’t attract responsible experiences.


The early work in twins is suggestive of the possibility that eventually, with enough knowledge about human DNA, scientists will be able to discover a specific gene for, well, for anything related to personality, preferences, intelligence, or physical characteristics.

Okay! Now that you have all the facts  and boring stuff, time for the fun! Sherlock’s Personality! Warning: As the great River Song would say, “Spoilers”

            Typically, a person has all three-psyche structured: the id, ego, and superego. Sherlock, however, is only the ego and therefore for balance to occur others need to id and the ego. Sherlock’s id is Professor Jim Moriarty. Moriarty is a consulting criminal. He fixes people’s problems by “taking care of” them. This is one example of how the id is the source of our wants, desires, and impulses. The id knows no judgments of value: no good and evil, no morality. It is the dark, inaccessible part of our personality. He is ruthless and does anything he can to get what he wants, he has no regard for human life, and as long as he can Sherlock to play his games he has no problems using other people as pawns and toys to keep him from getting bored. Moriarty has had an obsession with Sherlock since the start of the series claiming “I am your biggest fan” and “I love you.” This an example of the relationship of the ego to the id which both a mutually beneficial one and a submissive one.

Sherlock is the ego.  He only ego. Sherlock solves cases that Moriarty has set in motion for him. To Moriarty and Sherlock, it is a game, where Sherlock has constantly said: “the game is on.” While Moriarty does not create all the cases for Sherlock, there are a few key ones like The Lady in Pink and The Great Game. During the Great Game, we see that Sherlock is bored and apparently, his id (Moriarty is too). So, Moriarty kidnaps people wraps bombs on them and then has Sherlock go on a massive clue hunt to save their lives. Sherlock is not the super-ego because Sherlock is pleased and welcomes the challenge. Sherlock is an example of how the ego seeks to please the id’s drive in realistic ways by saving lives rather than taking.

There are various super-egos in Sherlock’s life. His brother Mycroft could be considered one. However, Dr. John Watson, per The Abominable Bride is Sherlock’s super-ego. During The Great Game, Moriarty attaches bombs to John. This is an example of how the super-ego’s demands often oppose the id’s, so the ego sometimes has a hard time in reconciling the two; it was Sherlock who went to save John from Jim. The super-ego controls what seems right and wrong and guilt. It helps need the social graces that Sherlock lacks, which is another example of why John is Sherlock’s super-ego. Finally, in The Abominable Bride, we see into Sherlock’s mind, where Sherlock and Moriarty are battling on a cliff. Sherlock is losing to an out of control Moriarty, but John comes to save Sherlock and it is John who pushes Moriarty off the cliff resulting in the super-ego’s victory and the id’s defeat.

The ego has defense mechanisms that Sherlock uses. The first mechanism is repression. Sherlock states that he does not know how many planets are in the solar system because he deletes useless information for his brain to store up more knowledge. This is ideal, until a small fact of Sherlock is known. Sherlock, who was the youngest of three, saw and could have caused the death of his eldest brother, Sherrinford. Mycroft being the middle and caring child he was, had to make Sherlock forget the existence of Sherrinford. Mycroft replaced Sherrinford’s memory with the memory of a dog. This is a perfect example of repression or blocking the memories of something traumatic that happened. Sherlock, to deal with the sudden death of his eldest and favorite brother, developed a drug addiction. To keep from abusing drugs, Sherlock needs cases to solve. Sherlock has displaced his emotions into something productive and effective rather than destructive, also known as sublimation. Finally, when Sherlock Holmes is bored, he starts to act like a child in order to avoid causing chaos or using drugs. He goes from a mental stage into a lower one also known as regression.

In His Last Vow, we see the effects of birth order coming into play. Sherlock is a lot closer to his mother than his brother Mycroft is. In various episodes, Mycroft uses their mother’s emotions to get to Sherlock. Additionally, we see that Sherlock’s parents visit Sherlock once a month, but they hardly very see Mycroft. Much like the youngest child, Sherlock has a better relationship with his parents than Mycroft does. This explains why Mycroft cannot be the oldest. His relationship with his parents is distant, eldest and youngest children have a close relationship with their parents, even if there are only two siblings. Mycroft also holds extreme power but is understanding and caring of Sherlock, which in turn causes Sherlock to think he can get away with murder, which he does.


Finally, genetics plays a key role in the Holmes family. Mrs. Holmes was a mathematician who gave up her career to have a family. It is believed that Sherrinford, the eldest brother, was extremely smart and very perfectionist. Additionally, Sherlock knows that he is the dumbest of the others when in His Last Vow, he tells John that Mycroft is never wrong. Mycroft is constantly calling Sherlock stupid making bets with Sherlock based on wit, again another reason Mycroft fits more a middle child personality than first-born. Genetics have an impact on Sherlock’s personality as he strives to prove himself to be as smart or smarter than his mother and brother Mycroft. This trying to prove himself causes him to overcompensate.

Sherlock shot a man without really thinking twice about it, very much like sociopaths, who in general, tend to be more impulsive and unpredictable in their behavior. Sherlock has very few friends and relationships that include: the Woman, Dr. Watson, and Mary, this is because while also having difficulties in forming attachments to others, some sociopaths may be able to form an attachment to a like-minded group or person. Based on these personality traits and analysis it is safe to conclude that Sherlock is a high-functioning sociopath.