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Diagnosing Heathcliff, What Could Be Wrong?

1975 words - 8 pages

Emily Bronte’s, Wuthering Heights, includes the struggle for happiness, like marry like, and revenge. Heathcliff grew up neglected and abused. When he fell in love with his long time friend, Catherine Earnshaw, she betrayed him by choosing another man over him, causing Heathcliff to become bitter and rude to everyone who comes in contact with him. He goes out of his way to make everyone miserable and unhappy just like himself. Although the perspective of Heathcliff is seen as “a mad man,” he is actually suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder, Conduct Disorder, and Depression.
An adult that has Antisocial Disorder normally begins with Conduct Disorder as a child . Children with CD (Conduct Disorder) are found when the child has a history of “repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms of rules are violated, as manifested by the presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past twelve months, with at least one criterion present in the past six months.” These criteria include, aggression towards all living beings, such as people and animals,the defacement of property, deceitfulness and thief, and having no regards for the rules. Conduct Disorder is based on three levels: mild, moderate, and severe. Mild cases are people who lie, skip school, and staying out late without consent. Children starting at the age of 10 must have at least one of the symptoms that make up CD, they would then be categorized under the mild stage since their symptom is deceitfulness and thievery. The moderate form of this disorder includes stealing and defacing property. Severe CD is when a person either acts upon or deeply considers rape, abuse, theft, vandalism, and the use of a weapons (DSM) .
“Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others” (“Antisocial Personality Disorder”). The symptoms of these types of people are having a hard time conforming to what society says is normal and having little respect for these norms or the law, deceitful, they act upon impulse not on a schedule, abusive, reckless with others and self, irresponsible, and a lack of sympathy. All of these symptoms are long term and do not just show up overnight. The patient will start to develop this disorder no earlier than at 15 years of age but is not officially diagnosed till age 18. The reason being is so the patient is not just going through these symptoms as a stage in his or her life (DSM).
Though Heathcliff has most of these symptoms that make up a person with antisocial, he also shows signs of a person who could just be in a state of major depression. Depression is not when you are sad for a couple of days, it is a time in a person’s life when it is hard to eat, sleep, work, and enjoy themselves for at the least two weeks or longer. Also these moods must last through the whole...

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