Psychopathology in 50 Shades of Grey

Valentine's Day just passed. Awhile ago, I passed by a movie house where the film, "Fifty Shades of Grey," are being shown in almost all of its cinemas. I caught myself wondering, the seeds of the future addict or mentally ill are again sprouting in the soil of culture and film.

Incidentally, prior to this, I read psychiatrist Dr. Miriam Grossman's letter to young people about that film. She said there's nothing gray about 50 shades of grey -- it's all black, toxic, and unhealthy. I agree. The film's images or imprints are viewed as harmful to youth and women, who are already often confused about love. It can poison the minds of men about sex. This psychiatrist is making a lot of mental health sense!

The characters in the film are Christian Grey and Anastassia Steele. Mr. Grey is a bachelor billionaire. Powerful, sexy, and handsome, he has a helicopter. He has a chaffeur and luxury cars. A company is named after him. The media loves him. He plays the piano. Anastassia, on the other hand, is an A-student college girl majoring in literature, who went to interview Mr. Grey in his office for a college paper. Ignoring the red flags, Anastassia eventually fell for an abusive, violent sexual relationship with Christian, complete with whips and chains.

Christian Grey does not need a woman to heal from his internal demons or wounds. Anastassia Steele does not need to accept abuse, pain, or violence just to prove her love for a man. Both Christian and Anastassia have dark places inside them that are not being attended to. Individually, they need to see a psychotherapist or pastor. They need healing in their deepest places.

Perverted sex, love, or relationship, as depicted in the film, is not concerned with the well being or happiness of another person. It seeks passion, drama, or ecstasy through violence, abuse, and manipulation. It is therefore very selfish. Very pathological - psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually. As noted author, Stephen Arterburn, put it, the film can be a "gateway drug" to adultery, sexual perversion, and mental illness in real life.

Although it is tempting to cast all blame on contaminated culture or film like "Fifty Shades of Grey," the fact is, we all have freedom. Our choice of seeing the film and/or acting it out in real life is no accident. We all are responsible for our own decisions and actions. Our core beliefs or thoughts do not begin just because there is one unhealthy film. Our selection tends to emanate from a preexisting source or pattern already embedded inside us. 

If you're reading this post, may these "black and white" thoughts make you more aware and encourage you. I hope, no shades of gray.