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Psychology of Celebrity Addiction

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008 Psychology of Celebrity Addiction

With reference to a study reported in Current Research in Social Psychology, celebrities are twice as likely as non-celebrities to have alcohol-related problems - fact. Since addiction is an equal-opportunity problem, being famous in and of itself cannot cause an addiction. However, certain components of fame – including personality and environment – can make it a risk factor for addiction. As reported by Sarah Harper (07 08 08).

According to Dr Alastair Ross (Glasgow) personality type plays a role in the link between star status and addiction. There also appears to be a link between fame, self-consciousness, self-esteem, and, by conjecture, substance abuse. A study of Kurt Cobain, Cole Porter, and John Cheever – all famous addicts – found that these individuals became more self-conscious, and more self-destructive, as their fame increased. Subsequent studies found that high self-consciousness and low self-esteem, which go hand in hand, predict increased substance use.

Equally, the environment of the celebrity has to be considered.On the road, a celebrity is often cut off from the support of family and friends, surrounded instead by people with a stake in the star’s success and who may prefer to maintain appearances by concealing the addiction. Such analysis can only be useful in understanding the celebrity perspective.

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