In Crime and Punishment, Raskolnikov demonstrates symptoms consistent will multiple psychological disorders. These disorders include anxiety disorder and a somatoform disorder.



An anxiety disorder is characterized by unusually high levels of anxiety that interfere with ones functions. Cognitive problems include difficulty concentration and excessive worry. Behavioral problems include: avoiding people or other stimuli that are anxiety provoking. Raskolnikov is unsocial and avoids people: “He was so immersed in himself and has isolated himself so much from everyone that he was afraid…of anyone at all” (1)... “Raskolnikov was not used to crowds” (11)... “ He had decidedly with drawn from everyone, like a turtle into its shell, and even the face of the maid who had the task of serving him, and who peeked into his room occasionally, drove him into bile and convulsions” (28)…“Raskolnikov cramped and low ‘ships’ cabin” (142).


Somatoform disorders are characterized by individuals with complaints of symptoms that have no apparent cause. Types of somatoform disorders are hypochondriasis, in which an individual is pre occupied with his or her own physical health despite a lack of symptoms, and conversion, in which an individual has dramatic physical symptoms for which there is no apparent cause. Raskolnikov demonstrates symptoms consistent with a conversion somatoform disorder. Raskolnikov becomes ill after murdering the Alyona: “He’s had a fever since yesterday” (92)… “Sick with fever I am” (97)… “Externally he seemed to resemble a wounded man or a man suffering from some acute physical pain: his brows were knitted, his lips compressed, his eyes inflamed” (222).