His only redeeming quality is his uncanny ability to solve impossible cases, which just happen to save lives.
House’s worldview incorporates a cynical philosophy that "everybody lies” and there in lies the truth.
Patients withhold key facts, missing pieces of a puzzle which if revealed fit into text book explanations for symptoms making an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan possible.
Despite his fear of intimacy he's dependent on his colleagues to bounce ideas off. He makes the personal interaction into a game disguising his underlying agenda of evoking feelings of closeness from a safe distance knowing their participation means they need him.
Saving lives is never enough to stop the self-talk of personal unacceptability. Small victories seem hollow, driving him to the next opportunity for vindication.
Self-acceptance begins in childhood. A parent’s approval activates these feelings but even as an adult House struggles to get what he misses to the point of denying his father is really his biological parent.
The Psychology of Prescription
House is a story of a brilliant doctor who despite his noteworthy accomplishments feels he never measures up. He is a a product of a verbally abusive father who left him with emotional scars he lives with every day of his adult life.
House’s unmet need for acknowledgement makes the memory of his father appear larger than life. Even in death his father has become a puppeteer pulling the strings on his son’s life into adulthood.
House hides behind the self-righteous, unfeeling mask of a narcissist displaying a bedside manner totally void of empathy.
"Man should not strive to eliminate his complexities but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world."
- Sigmund Freud, Psychiatrist
Parents seem larger than life and their negative words can hit as harder than fists leaving emotional scars lasting into adulthood.
By getting in touch with your emotions in the present and questioning where the destructive self-talk comes from opens a door for change.
Recognize parents have limitations and waiting for recognition is an unhealthy dependency.
Letting go of the past, acknowledging yourself as a worthy person based on your accomplishments brings true self acceptance. This feeling allows you the freedom to connect with people in your life in a meaningful way.
Chronic leg pain has driven him to an uncontrollable addiction to prescription painkillers, which serve to numb both the physical and emotional pain but still allows him to function on what he sees as a high level.
Unresolved issues from childhood makes it difficult for him to establish meaningful relationships. When people get too close he immediately sabotages it to avoid the pending pain of rejection and simply moves on.
House leads with his mind not his heart. To keep a distance, logic always trumps feelings to solve the puzzles of people's personal lives.
He uses a diagnostic style that mirrors comparisons to Sherlock Holmes by accurately deducing peoples motives and histories from aspects of their personality and appearance. At the same time denial that he may be sick keeps him from turning his critical eye to his own emotional motives and insecurities.
Negative reinforcement based on his medical track record of saving patients enables House in turn to pull the strings of colleagues and patients lives without feeling any remorse.
He knowingly breaches ethical and moral standards to feed an unconscious obsessive compulsive (OCD) need for order and control to serve his unwavering perfectionisticneed to always be right.