SWARM Them with Love

Spoiler Alert! If you have not seen Swarm, this post contains spoilers. So, if you don’t want any spoilers about this thriller, “go head and buzz your way out of here”. Now here it goes!

LOS ANGELES – MAR 12: Dominique Fishback at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, CA

The release of Donald Glover (aka Childish Gambino) and Janine Naber’s thriller, Swarm, has the world “buzzing”. Many of us wonder whether the thriller is based on real-life events and whether the real Queen Bee, Beyonce, has such a powerful influence on her BeyHive. It has been determined that Swarm’s lead character, Dre, portrayed by Dominique Fishback, is not based on an actual person, but her character and actions were inspired by real-life stories.

Many watched the series and said,

“that girl is crazy!”

But let’s be honest. How many of you have thought your romantic relationship has room for obsession? So long as it’s a “healthy obsession”, right? I’ve heard many people say “I want my man (or my woman) obsessed with me? “It ain’t real love if they ain’t obsessed!” After all, what is love? Many of us would describe it as being willing to put someone’s happiness before our own or being lucky enough to have someone willing to do that for us.

But have you ever considered that love, which is typically associated with purity, can sometimes take a dark and malevolent turn? If one does not comprehend the idea of personal boundaries, love has the potential to transform into an obsession quite effortlessly. Dre did just that. Her obsession for Ni’jah drove her to kill many people in the name of love and admiration.

What Dre was likely experiencing is “Obsessive Love Disorder (OLD)”. Yup, there is a name for it! OLD is a mental health condition in which an individual becomes excessively fixated on the person they are in love with or think they are in love with. When experiencing this disorder, they may go to great lengths to safeguard their beloved, which can lead to obsession. Cue in the popular line “who’s your favourite artist?” followed by death!

Here are some signs and symptoms of OLD that Dre experienced in Swarm:

  • Intense attraction
  • Uncontrollable fixation
  • Desire to protect
  • Possessive thoughts and actions
  • Excessive jealousy
  • Low self-esteem
  • Constant thinking
  • Neglecting responsibilities
  • Sacrificing other relationships
  • Willingness to go to extreme lengths
  • Stalking
  • Difficulty maintaining contact with family members

It is essential to understand that individuals experiencing OLD may have difficulty handling rejection, and their symptoms could escalate in certain instances. For example, notice how Dre’s obsession worsened after she bit Ni’jah and the world saw her as the enemy followed by her missing the concert? How could she possibly love Ni’jah after all of that right? Dre had a mission to fulfill after this – to prove her love and devotion – so her obsession only worsened.

Now the question is, what caused Dre to experience OLD. There is no single cause for OLD. It may be linked to other mental health conditions like attachment disorders, borderline personality disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. What we do know about Dre is that her ability to secure a healthy attachment was compromised at an early age due to being neglected and placed into foster care.

As we can see, Dre’s story likely isn’t finished. What we do know is that she was caught and arrested. But is there hope for Dre? Can someone experiencing OLD be treated? The specific course of treatment for this condition is contingent upon the root cause but typically entails a blend of medication and therapy. Therapy frameworks that may be effective include talk-, cognitive behavioural- and dialectal behavioural therapy.

If you know someone experiencing OLD assist them in seeking help.

1 thought on “SWARM Them with Love”

  1. WOW! This was such a well written post. Now Dre’s character makes so much more sense. I saw so many comments online saying her character lacked depth, didn’t make sense, etc etc but I think those people were not examining her with a critical lens. Your post definitely helped to peel back some of the multitude of layers that is Dre. Thank you!

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