Wicked Good - Did Sherlock Holmes have Asperger's syndrome?

7 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

     In 1887, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle introduced the world to an isolated, socially-awkward and eccentric man named Sherlock Holmes. Under Conan Doyle’s pen, Holmes was obsessive and compulsive. He didn’t seem to have conversations but rather single-minded discourses. He had no friends other than the dedicated Watson.

     Could it be, as others have suggested, that Holmes had Asperger’s syndrome?

     As a writer, what interests me is how Conan Doyle created Holmes. Was he based on one person he knew or on a compilation of many? Conan Doyle was a doctor. Was the character of Holmes inspired by a patient of his or from an article he had read in a medical journal? Did Conan Doyle first describe Asperger’s syndrome more than fifty years before Hans Asperger, the Austrian physician, first reported on the syndrome?

     I know there are a legion of Sherlock Holmes fans out there who can offer an opinion on Holmes’ diagnosis but whatever it may be – Sherlock Holmes appears to be the fore-runner to some modern day fictional scientists and doctors of TV fame, namely: House, Monk and (my favorite) Bones. Like Holmes, all appear to exhibit qualities associated with Asperger’s syndrome.

Amy and Joanne