What Is Erotomania, The Disorder Joe Goldberg Has In ‘You’?

Joe Goldberg is back! Well, it’s Jonathan Moore now but he’s back in Netflix’s ‘You‘ brand new fourth season to wreak havoc. After fleeing across the Atlantic, he is determined to reconnect with his love interest from season three, Marianne (Tati Gabrielle). He takes up a job as an English professor at a prestigious London university, where he becomes fascinated by some curious members of the British elite. They provide him with new opportunities to satisfy his twisted desires.

- Advertisement -

As if that weren’t enough, Jonathan (Penn Badgley) also falls for someone new, although it should come as no surprise to viewers by now. With his twisted mind and insatiable desire for love and control, he is sure to cause chaos wherever he goes. Without a doubt, the fourth season of ‘You‘ was the most shocking of all. The decision to divide it into two parts was a stroke of genius, as it allowed the audience to believe, during the first half, that the entire story was a thrilling mystery, full of clues to uncover the killer’s identity. However, everything was turned on its head during the second half, with a massive plot twist that left viewers reeling. Now, the question is, what causes Joe to be the way he is.

Read more: Is Netflix’s ‘You’ Based On A True Story?

All About The Mental Health Condition Erotomania

Diehard fans of ‘You‘ are aware that the show’s lead character has a tendency to develop intense fixations on various women. These obsessions have frequently resulted in stalking, violence, and even murder of his love interests. However, the latest season sheds light on the root cause of Joe’s compulsions: erotomania, a mental health condition. Erotomania is a type of delusional disorder and a serious mental illness that poses a potential threat to the object of the individual’s affection.

- Advertisement -

Erotomania, also referred to as Clérambault’s Syndrome, is a type of psychosis characterized by a delusional conviction that another person is in love with oneself, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. It is a rare condition, with a lifetime prevalence of only 0.2%. Individuals with erotomania tend to obsess over someone of higher social standing, typically a stranger, as the focus of their delusional love. This could include a celebrity, influencer, employer, or simply someone with a higher socioeconomic status.

In case you missed: Why Jenna Ortega Didn’t Return For ‘You’ Season 4?

Does Joe Have Erotomania On ‘You’?

Joe shows several signs of erotomania throughout the series. He has a tendency to address his love interests as “you” even before meeting them, as though they share an intimate connection that only they are privy to. He also believes that his crushes are sending him secret messages through their behavior or social media activity, when, in reality, no such communication exists. In the fourth season of ‘You‘, Joe convinces himself that he and Rhys Montrose, the object of his affection, are close friends due to the information he’s gathered from social media posts and interviews online. In the previous seasons, Joe had a similar pattern with all his love interests.

- Advertisement -

In a stunning plot twist that will go down in television history, the eighth episode of ‘You‘ reveals that Rhys Montrose (Ed Speleers), the writer and politician with whom Joe develops a twisted relationship, is not the real Rhys. Joe becomes fixated on Rhys after spending hours poring over his memoir, deeply researching his social media, and watching his interviews, leading him to imagine interactions with him. Although hallucinating another person is not a typical symptom of erotomania, believing that someone is sending you cryptic messages through their social media posts and interviews is a common symptom, which Joe convinces himself is happening.

You‘ fans are well aware of Joe’s tendency to stalk his love interests, so when he becomes obsessed with the “rags to riches” success story Rhys, it’s not surprising that he starts showing up at the Indian restaurant the real Rhys frequents and other events to get closer to him. Joe also engages in cyberstalking of Rhys, which is a common behavior exhibited by those with erotomania. Although the writers of You did research on erotomania, it is also safe to say that they took liberties in their portrayal of the condition on the show.

You might also like to read: ‘You’ Backstory Explained: What Happened To Joe Goldberg As A Child?

- Advertisement -