The second season of Fox’s break away hit “Empire” gets crazier with each episode. While the storyline centers around mental disorders, misplaced violence and eery familial competition, the ratings have consistently dropped by millions each week.
Atlanta-based psychologist Dr. RJ offers five telltale signs of bipolar disorder on the show. According to Dr. RJ, it’s not just Andre who suffers from bipolar disorder; in fact, it could be the entire Lyon clan. Here are five signs that prove the Lyons could all suffer from bipolar disorder.
1. Mania: Mania is described as uncontrollable outbursts. Hakeem displayed this during a violent outburst on his joint video set, destroying his brother’s cover. Andre experiences mania from time to time as he cries helplessly with his wife or even during rants where he pleads for his father’s acceptance.
2. Sadness: Lucious’ flashbacks of his mother’s dementia create a sense of obvious sadness that he isn’t able to conquer. In Andre’s baptism scene, Lucious is unable to stop the painful memories and exits the church.
3. Being out of touch with reality: Lucious and Cookie both demonstrate being out of touch with reality. Their brand of loyalty doesn’t vibe with that of most families.
4. High risk behavior: Drugs, sex, and alcohol abuse are all signs of high risk behavior. Again, this symptom seems to plague every Lyon, from Andre to his wife to little brother Hakeem. Hakeem sleeping with his father’s wife in an attempt to get back at his father is an example of high risk sexual behavior.
5. Disorganized thinking: A sign of disorganized thinking is when someone’s thoughts seem erratic or all over the place. Again, both Andre and Lucious exhibit signs of disorganized thinking. At times, the “Empire” plot as a whole seems a bit all over the place as storylines jump erratically from week to week.
Whether writer Lee Daniels meant to exhibit mental illness in the entire Lyon family remains to be revealed. What is certain is that the show has gone far beyond the titillating sex, lies and scandal that are guaranteed to captivate today’s audience. “Empire” is television’s first series that suffers from bipolar disorder and quite possibly dementia and schizophrenia, too.