Abnormal Psychology of Sheldon Cooper from the TV Show Big Bang Theory

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The client chosen for analysis is Sheldon Cooper, a character on the sitcom, “Big Bang Theory.’ Sheldon is a 30-year-old male and an American national. He is a physicist working at CIT. Additionally, he is married to Amy Farrah Fowler and expecting children in the future. His religious views include mythology; one that he supposedly invented and atheism. Sheldon’s IQ is on the genius level. However, he shows a glaring deficiency of social skills, has difficulty in acknowledging sarcasm and irony in other individuals. Paradoxically, he uses both irony and sarcasm. Moreover, he has a tenuous understanding of comedy. Sheldon displays a general lack of empathy, toleration, humility, and his largely idiosyncratic tendencies. For some audiences, Sheldon exhibits characteristics that are consistent with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Asperger syndrome. This paper will highlight Shelton as the primary character from the sitcom with the basis of DSM-5 prototype psychological disorder.

Relevant DSM-5 Symptoms

In the DSM-5, there are some necessary adjustments to Autism Spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. Now, there is only one diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Thus, it replaces different subdivisions. It was an inclusive autistic, Asperger, and pervasive developmental disorder. Experts diagnose ASD on the premise of difficulties in two aspects. These aspects are restricted from repetitive interests or character and social communication. For an individual qualified to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, he or she must have issues in both targeted areas. Additionally, they must have possessed symptoms from an early age even though they may not have been picked up on in their younger years. Initially, a person diagnosed with ASD must display signs of difficulties in social communication (Blevins et al., 2015). Symptoms include not responding when spoken to, not utilizing facial expressions regularly when communicating and failing to participate in imaginative play. Moreover, such an individual may barely make use of language when communicating with other people and may not comprehend or understand gestures profoundly.

A person should also exhibit difficulties in the aspects of interests and behavioral conduct. The individual speaks over and over and has extremely intense and narrow interests. He or she also indicates sensory sensitivity, such as not liking the labels on items like clothes. Additionally, the person faces difficulty in adjusting from one activity to another and needing things to occur the same way often. The ASD diagnosis also comprises of a severity ranking that is used to indicate the support that affected individual needs. It has rankings that project the fact that several people have medium to high ASD symptoms. Asperger’s Syndrome is one that Sheldon exhibits; it is considered a milder form of ASD. It is a bit different from the other because of somehow average intelligence and language.

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As it is, Sheldon has a high IQ of 187 and is therefore considered a genius. However, as much as, molecular diagnosis is required for it, unusual use of language and clumsiness in terms of physicality are familiar — the symptoms related to Asperger’s Syndrome conduct and issues with social interaction. Sheldon is intensely detail-oriented and displays annoying qualities such as lack of common sense and extreme stubbornness. He sometimes strangely uses slang. Additionally, he has germophobia making him uncomfortable with physical contact with others. It also makes his hugs, which are rare to be intensely painful- looking and awkward. He displays himself as a repetitious and limited character when he knocks. He knocks thrice simultaneously saying the person’s name and must repeat the action at least three times.


For the treatment of the ASD symptoms, particularly Asperger Syndrome that Sheldon exhibits, I would primarily recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). It places attention on adjusting and challenging unhelpful cognitive distortions that include attitude, beliefs, and thoughts. It also consists of enhancing emotional regulation and formulating personal strategies in coping. CBT is mostly recommended, along with medications for treating other disorders (Briere & Scott, 2014). These disorders include intense obsessive-compulsive conduct psychotic and bipolar disorders. A standard CBT program would potentially have face-to-face sessions that take about an hour, followed by several booster sessions. Asperger syndrome treatment aims to control distress and to give lessons on vocational skills and appropriate social communication (Prins et al., 2016). It is important to note that professional qualifications are not automatically obtained at the time of development. There is no single package of treatment to treat this disorder. Treatment also includes intervention in social communication that majors on speech therapy to assist with the exchange in a normal conversation.

In conclusion, it is crucial to note that a section of autistic people have pushed for a change in how ASD’s are perceived, from diseases that must be cured to more sinister and complex syndromes. The basis of autistic rights is rejecting the idea that there is a standard way in which the brain function and therefore operates. Treatment may also include Applied Behavior Analysis therapy, which directly zones in on types of behaviors and common cognitive and functional skills people display daily. It can also be translated as the support of parents or guardians in strategies of character management to utilize at home, school, work or in any other environment or atmosphere. The symptoms of DSM-5 disorder have been discussed concerning Sheldon Cooper in the movie Big Bang Theory. Anyone affected should be taken through treatment processes which includes the management of social communication skills. CBT is necessary for the process of monitoring beliefs and attitudes. The differential diagnosis possibilities are essential for the improvement of social observation.

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Abnormal Psychology of Sheldon Cooper from the TV Show Big Bang Theory [Internet]. WritingBros. 2020 Dec 28 [cited 2021 May 14]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/abnormal-psychology-of-sheldon-cooper-from-the-tv-show-big-bang-theory/
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