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Celebrity Psychological Issues No. 11, 12 – Loss of intimacy, delusion & lack of boundaries

Here are issues No. 11 and 12 of the Top 20 psychological issues of being a celebrity. Click here for the previous article, for issues 9 and 10.

“You waste a lot of energy on strangers to make a good impression.” – Michael Douglas

11. “You love me, you really, really love me” – Loss of intimacy & delusion
In the movie, The Mask, Jim Carrey parodies a famous, though misquoted speech by Sally Field, when he is accepting an award and emotionally cries out, “Thank you! You love me. You really love me.”

And though both the parody and the real Oscar acceptance speeches are directed at other Hollywood stars – the people who vote for the Oscars – the desire to be liked, loved and accepted is universal but much more exaggerated for celebrities.

And as the world of fame and all its trappings takes over (including the isolation, the loneliness, and the distance it creates with family), you turn to the fans to quest the thirst for intimacy – sometimes their ‘love and attention’ are much more overpowering and appealing than family since they are so vocal, abundant and constant; it is hard to resist the way they worship you – the deep well of cards, flowers, fan mail, cheers, loud thundering applause and constant attention.

“Why do I care what people think? But I do. I just can’t pretend I don’t care. I get really insecure about it. The world makes an opinion of you without ever meeting you. That worry should not bother me, but it does. It bothers me.” – Jennifer Lawrence, 2015

“When you are younger you care what other people think. And you take the person closest to you for granted. You waste a lot of energy on strangers to make a good impression. When you’re older you focus that energy on the people closest to you, on your family. And you’re courteous.”
– Michael Douglas explaining how he took for granted his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones and focused on the attention and approval of others, thus resulting in the temporary split of their marriage

However, one day you awaken that it is not fulfilling since it is a pseudo-intimacy. It is even a parasocial relationship; it is one-sided with the fans having what they believe is a relationship with you. They don’t know the real you and you don’t know them. They think they know you but they know the image and no matter how much you pour out your heart, they cannot ease your pain or offer you unconditional love and acceptance.

I describe and explain intimacy as ‘into-me-you-see’, and you can never be truly vulnerable and emotionally naked with people who see and want to continue seeing you as a God or Goddess!

Further, the constant barrage of attention and deluge of eyes feels claustrophobic.

12.“I can do whatever I want” – Lack of boundaries
Even if you were raised in a family with strict guidelines, respect for each other, unmistakable morality and clear boundaries, once fame, fortune and power enter your world and take over it, you will lose all sense of boundaries. The lines don’t become blurred; they simply dissolve and disappear. This is the result of ego and entitlement along with the dissolution of reality. The more people cater to your every whim and ceaselessly tell you that you are a God, the more you lose sense of reality and the more you believe there are no boundaries; no one can contain or control you; no one can tell you what to do. You also lose empathy for others.

”I mean, nobody prepares you for what happens when you get famous, and I didn’t handle it well. I was a young, new, hot star and I had the unbelievable arrogance of Ty Webb [the golfer in Caddyshack], the guy who says, when asked how he kept score, ‘According to height.’ As time went on, the strident narcissism and arrogance slowly diminished. But it was definitely there. I’m older now. And a big crybaby.” –  Chevy Chase

For the next celebrity psychological issues, No. 13, click here

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