On Sam and Dean’s “antisocial behavior” and a happy ending
Absolutely. We discussed this a long time ago, I think. I’m especially disturbed by some fans’ demands for a “happy ending” lately and the notion that “normal” is something that either of them could actually maintain in any kind of successful or satisfying way. (I loved Dean’s thoughts about the bunker as a home and how it differs from suburbia in your fic.)
Whether the boys are actually sociopaths can be argued, but they certainly behave like they are. They may have honorable impulses, but they live outside society and lack communal connection to it. They are violent and largely remorseless at this point. They lie and cheat and prey on ordinary people to achieve their goals.
Is it so wrong that I like them just way they are? 😉
There is nothing wrong with that at all 🙂 Isn’t the point of being a fan of the show to do just that. If you want them to be different aren’t you really a fan of some other fictional character?
And as a therapist I would have to say no. I don’t think they are sociopaths (antisocial personality disorder is the clinical term). At a first glance they might seem to meet the criteria but personality disorders like this are dependent on context. Given the circumstances of their life I would not claim that their lies, frauds and aggressuíveness are a sign of a disorder, rather that it is a necessity for survival and thus normal. They also do not show the lack of remorse or the disregard for responsibility that I would expect in someone with APD.
( Warning: psycholog rant ahead)
I would however diagnose them both with PTSD.
And as for Dean; Dean’s baseline is to blame himself. He consistently turns things inward which is a typical trait in people with depressive personalities. He can also quite easily go from this self blaming, passive state to a very active type of behavior. Excessive drinking,eating, fighting and fucking, Because of this I suspect Dean would be diagnosed with some sort of mood disorder. Most likely Bipolar II,where you have episodes of depression accompanied by hypomanic episodes which are less severe manic episodes. People in a hypomanic state are careless and arrogant but also charming, carefree and funny. He most likely also has a substance abuse diagnosis.
Sam too shows signs of having a depressive personality but without the hypomania.He does however seem to have a touch of obsessiveness to him. I would also guess he falls somewhere on the dependent/avoidant personality disorder- or the borderline personality disorder spectrum, not sure if he would qualify for a diagnosis though. He is revenge driven, emotionally unstable and manipulative. He fights for his independence but at the same time he is unable to really function on his own. Fearing abandonment and once the abandonment is a fact he falls apart to an almost psychotic degree. He also seems to have the narcissistic rage that often is seen in people with bpd when they feel rejected or stepped on. Dean also has these traits but to the same extent.
The dependent/avoidant trait in Sam is clear in the way he rather runs away than fight. He doesn’t even defend himself when beaten by his brother unless he is under the influence of something. He didn’t even do it when he was soulless which, given his superior size and strength is notable.
Sam has this idea of himself as fundamentally bad where as Dean has an idea of himself as fundamentally worthless and they are both trying to compensate for this subjective “fact” resulting in overcompensation in both cases. Sam desperately trying to do the right thing and Dean just as desperately trying to make his life mean something, both to the point where it becomes destructive.
On top of all this you have the codependency. Now you don’t really need to be a shrink to see why these two would have trouble existing in a “normal” environment.
End of rant 🙂
OMG, I love you, Tess! See sometimes I throw shit at the wall to see if it will stick. It doesn’t, but someone tosses back a shiny, golden globe of wonderful.
- Sam Winchester: Vengeful Psychopath or Skillful Hunter? (supernaturallydevoted.wordpress.com)