Does Gregory House have BPD? (+3 Contributing factors)

This interesting post will be answering if House has BPD and also checking out the other mental health issues that Gregory House depicts in the series ‘House’, along with a few contributing or causal factors.

Does Gregory House have BPD?

No, House does not have BPD. Gregory House who appears as the main character in the medical drama series ‘House’ is never confirmed to have Borderline Personality Disorder. However, this theory is often accepted by viewers due to House’s actions and behaviors in the series.

In taking a close look at the personality and the traits represented by House in the series, it can be clearly seen that he does not have Borderline Personality Disorder. These have been discussed in detail as follows,

  • House definitely does not have a fear of abandonment, which is a true sign of BPD. He really does not care if someone close to him tries to leave him or abandon him. He does not panic and only puts minimal effort to win people back.
  • His self-image of who he is and what he can do is quite clear and also very consistent throughout the series. Distorted self-image is a very characteristic sign of BPD, and is truly absent when it comes to House.
  • House does show a number of reckless and problematic behaviors in the series, but none fit the description of impulsivity in BPD. House is a very rational person and clearly understands the consequences of his actions.
  • He also does not show any self-harming behaviors in the series. He definitely tries to electrocute himself at one point, but this is not exactly suicidal in nature.
  • House’s emotions do not swing wildly from one extreme to another, as commonly seen in Borderline Personality Disorder, which is another reason why this theory does not properly stick.
  • He also does not show the shifts between idealization and devaluation as often seen in BPD, also called splitting. House is pretty steady in his perceptions of relationships and does not change his idea of a person unless there is solid proof.
  • House’s life may seem ‘chronically empty’ to many. But, the character himself does not feel that way. He is very interested and thrives when he gets a new puzzle and seems to enjoy his life.
  • Dissociation is another common symptom associated with BPD, and this is also lacking when it comes to House.
  • House does have his issues with anger and this is a pretty solidly known fact. However, these outbursts are quite rare and actually understandable.

While House may certainly not have BPD, some fans and viewers have come up with alternate mental health diagnosis for the character. The alternate mental health disorders and issues that can be pinned on House have been described in the points below.

  • Depression: House is often touted to have depression, given his misanthropic beliefs and his addiction issues. In fact, he is even diagnosed with clinical depression in one of the episodes, which further confirms this theory.

The main reason for House’s depression is due to the pain caused by his leg infarction. House deals with this by walking with a cane and using Vicodin to numb the pain. This diagnosis was given by Dr. Darryl Nolan, House’s treating physician at the Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital.

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder: Another common theory is that House may actually have Antisocial Personality Disorder. More specifically, the character has High-Functioning ASPD, as a result of which the signs and symptoms are not so overt.

House indeed shows many signs of ASPD, such as,

  1. He constantly breaks rules and has no regard for societal norms
  1. He is quite impolite and seems to have a genuine contempt for other humans
  1. He even tends to deceive and lie to others, and justified this by revealing that his actions are for the good of others
  1. He has definitely been involved in a fight or two. Physical aggression and violence is definitely a sign of Antisocial Personality Disorder.
  1. Looking at House’s history, it can be seen that he is not capable of staying in a job for a consistent amount of time. He also does not like following the rules and regulations of his job, and only does the tasks that he is genuinely interested in.
  1. He also seems to be quite irritable and frustrated all the time. While this is countered by others more than once, House mentions that his irritable nature is all because of the pain in his leg. But, he seems to be this way even before his leg infarction.
  1. He does not take the safety of others highly into regard, and neither does he worry much about his own safety
  • Psychosis: House also shows a number of psychotic symptoms throughout the series, which leads many fans and viewers to vocalize that he definitely has some psychotic disorder. This can be mainly seen in Season 5 of the series.

He frequently experiences hallucinations of Amber Volakis and also seems to suffer from bizarre and strange delusions. One of the delusions that House has is that he has completely stopped his habit intake of Vicodin.

It is after these psychotic symptoms that House actually checks into the Mayfield Psychiatric Hospital and receives a diagnosis of clinical depression. The psychotic symptoms appear once more towards the end when House uses heroin, but are in lesser intensity.

Cause of House’s mental health issues

Gregory House from the series ‘House’ is a brilliant doctor who is obsessed with solving mysteries and puzzles using his knowledge and knack for reading the human body. This main character is often compared with Sherlock Holmes, who himself has a number of issues.

House definitely struggles with his physical health as well as his mental health in the series. Most of the fans who have studied the series and the character have felt that he definitely has Antisocial Personality Disorder.

The series itself confirms that House has clinical depression. Some of the causal or contributing factors to House’s mental health issues and depression have been described as follows.

House’s father abused him

House always stated that he indeed loved his mother, but hated his father. His father was in the military and left House with his grandmother for long periods of time. House initially mentioned that he endured a lot of abuse at his grandmother’s house.

Later, he clearly says that his father was the one who physically abused him. Childhood abuse and trauma in this period are often root causes of personality disorders like Antisocial Personality Disorder and even Borderline Personality Disorder.

He does not know his real father

House hated his father due to the main reason for his abuse from him. He also felt deep inside that his father was not his true parent. As a result, he constantly searched or looked on the outside among other family friends and relatives for a true father figure.

In fact, House’s father was never actually revealed in the series. A DNA test clearly shows that Thomas Bell, who raised him, was not his biological father. Not knowing who his father is could have definitely affected him mentally and emotionally, even as an adult.

His leg infarction

The main source of his depression is because of his leg infarction. House has an infarction which leads to a necrosis of his quadriceps. His then romantic partner, Stacy Warner, approves of a surgery on his leg which leads to a chunk of flesh being removed which leads to his limp.

The pain never actually goes away and only becomes worse. House needs a cane to walk and is dependent on Vicodin to eliminate his pain. He even shows addiction issues with the Vicodin and also shows constant irritability due to the pain.


This interesting post has answered if House has BPD and also checked out the other mental health issues that Gregory House depicts in the series ‘House’, along with a few contributing or causal factors.

If you like this post, please leave your comments and questions in the space below.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!