Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Seth Meyers, Clinical Psychologist

Friday, May 2, 2014

POP CULTURE: James Franco's Psychological Breakdown?

The posting of a highly sexualized photo of himself from actor James Franco - one which was deleted soon after - is troubling considering other erratic behavior from him recently. In the photo, he's standing nearly naked, hands in his underwear, and is visibly sweaty. The photo, posted at 1:00 a.m. Friday morning, reflect a man whose eyes and expression appear vacant, almost empty, suggesting the possibility that he was under the influences of a substance.

The photo was clearly posted on impulse, and this impulsivity was similarly manifested in his recent attempt to get together sexually with a 17-year old. His reaction to that scandal has been provocative and defensive, and likely set off profound feelings of embarrassment or even anger. Though I have never assessed the actor, this type of erratic behavior in another individual would be consistent with a hypomanic or manic episode, or even an agitated depression - any of which could be substance-induced. Keep in mind that depression sometimes looks different in men than in women.

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