Social media has brought us closer than ever to some of the most famous people in the world. Thanks to Twitter and Facebook, we get unfettered access to what stars think about everything from their fans to tabloid reports to the sneakers they just picked up.
Last week pop star Rihanna Tweeted to her followers that she was crazy. So we’ve decided to take Rihanna at her Twitter-word and see if she’s publicly exhibited any classic symptoms of mental illness.
This is what we uncovered.
1. She Tweeted that she’s crazy
I’m crazy, and I don’t pretend to be anything else
— Rihanna (@rihanna) April 18, 2012
When someone flat out says they’re crazy, it’s a classic cry for help. It would be criminal to not believe them and try to get them the help they need. Always better safe than sorry with these things.
2. Her proclivity for S&M
In fairness, the only demonstrable affinity to sadomasochism is in her single “S&M.” But let’s roll with that. The American Psychiatric Association define sexual masochism, as a mental disease, to be “[o]ver a period of at least 6 months, recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors involving the act (real, not simulated) of being humiliated, beaten, bound, or otherwise made to suffer. The APA says sadists are the same but, “in which the psychological or physical suffering (including humiliation) of the victim is sexually exciting to the person.”
Rihanna’s song was on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for 25 weeks. That is six months and one week of inescapable fantasies revolving around “S&M.” It adds up.
3. All those angry exchanges
The Internet’s go-to for self-diagnosing your ills, WebMD, lists “strong feelings of anger” as a symptoms of depression. One thing about Rihanna, both on Twitter and in interviews, is that she always takes the bait. From commenting on MTV’s commentary of her alleged marijuana use at Coachella to getting into a Twitter fight with a fan who disagreed with her collaboration with Chris Brown to “abruptly ending” interviews when she’s asked about her love life.
She’s become so notorious for her fevered comebacks on Twitter that Buzzfeed made a list of her 10 Best Twitter Comebacks — most of which is dominated by smack downs and exclamation point riddled insults.
It’s not just depressives who react to any sort of criticism with rage — it’s also people who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder. Which brings us to…
4. The incessent Instagram, Twitter and Facebook photos
It’s fun to take pictures of yourself, but Rihanna seems to do it on the constant. She’s even posted topless pics of herself on vacation in Hawaii to Facebook. That’s behavior that’s slightly outside of the norm. It’s arguable, based on her constant need to broadcast herself, that she “need[s] constant attention and admiration” — three of the A.D.M.A. traits of narcissistic personality disorder.
5. Her continued association with Chris Brown
We have to go there. Domestic abuse is a very serious issue that could lead a woman to suffer from any number of mental health issues, including post traumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, depression, substance abuse, decreased self-esteem, chronic anxiety…the list goes on, based on the individual woman.
In cases of physical violence, like that of Rihanna and ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, it is largely considered unhealthy to continue an association with your abuser. Continuing a professional relationship with Brown, even to be publicly shocking, is also very possibly related to how their abusive relationship changed the way she thinks, her sense of self-worth and idea of personal boundaries. It is not normal or healthy behavior.
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence says 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. If you or someone you know need help, or just more information, call them. 1-800-799-7233
-Courtney E. Smith, CBS Local