Lindsay Lohan’s real issue

Lindsay Lohan's real issue

Lindsay Lohan’s real issue

The following is an edited copy of responses, analysis and insights by Celebrity Life Coach and Human Behavior Expert, Patrick Wanis Ph.D. to a reporter’s questions about Lindsay Lohan. And while many people were predicting that Lindsay Lohan would not show up to jail to serve her sentence, Patrick Wanis PhD accurately predicted on TV “I guarantee, 100% she will show up.” Patrick Wanis PhD also offers unique insight into why Sandra Bullock kisses Scarlet Johansson during the MTV Movie Awards.

Watch the TV interview Patrick Wanis PhD gave to WSFL The Morning Show about Lindsay Lohan:

Reporter: The probation report of Lindsay Lohan reveals that she’s approved to take a number of different medications; Lindsay  is a known addict, has had problems with addiction and yet she’s taking this combination of Zoloft and Adderall and Dilaudid.

She’s got the Dilaudid for some oral surgery she had months ago but has been taking it as recently as just a few weeks ago. For somebody who’s already wearing a Scram Bracelet and who has clearly had issues in the past with substance abuse, is it wise to have her on all this medication?

Patrick Wanis: Is it wise for her to be on all of these medications?  This has been the same situation repeated so many times of celebrities who are given multiple medications. Heath Ledger, I think Brittany Murphy was another one: people who have been given multiple medications and it becomes a deadly cocktail.  So, the first thing is no, I don’t agree with a mixture of medications, a cocktail of medications if you will, number one.

Number two, I’m not in a position to prescribe medication.  I always believe the answer is to seek the root cause of the problem rather treating the symptom.  And you’ll also notice that with a lot of rehab clinics, they take the patient off the medication immediately.

Reporter: Yeah.

Patrick Wanis: So, usually and I know Dr. Drew does this: as soon as someone comes in to his clinic, the first thing he does is, he cuts them off all medication.  So, it does seem quite strange that if she’s had a problem with substance abuse the people on hand say ‘we’re still going to put you on medication’;  because the medication can lead to some sort of abuse or some sort of addiction, which is not uncommon. The other concern is that anytime you put someone on medication, there are numerous side effects. If you’re multiplying the medication, you’re multiplying the side effects.

So, who knows if some of her irrational, erratic behavior has not been due, in part, to the medication she’s on?

One of my colleagues Doctor Peter Breggin who’s authored two books on the dangers of prescription medication or psychiatric medication warns of multiple and very serious side effects whilst on the medication and, in some cases, he claims medication can lead to even acts of violence.

[Listen to Dr. Peter Breggin speaking with Patrick Wanis PhD here:  

or read the transcript here: ]

You recall that it was Jack Nicholson who warned Heath Ledger about Ambien:

“I almost drove off a cliff once. I don’t take sleeping pills but somebody said ‘take this, it’s mild.’

“I got a call in the middle of the night, kind of an emergency, and I almost drove off a cliff 50 yards from my house, and I live up in the mountains in Aspen. So I warn people about it.”

Yes, Jack Nicholson had gone through a bad episode with Ambien where he was driving and he didn’t know what he was doing; he was almost sleep walking; almost like becoming a zombie; in other words, finding yourself awake and doing things but later not having any recollection of it.  So, my point here is again, there are probably three key issues here for Lindsay.  One: the medication is only making things worse; I don’t think it’s making her better. The second is that she doesn’t have any sort of stability in her life.  She has no real support system. Her mother and father claimed that they want to support her; I don’t believe that they are necessarily interested in her best interests as much as they are in their own interests. And the third thing is: she’s in the Hollywood lifestyle which adds to and complicates her problems, and she hasn’t yet fully dealt with her core emotional issues. And I know that you’ve read some of my comments regarding Britney Spears.

Now, Britney Spears has done a complete turnaround.  Why? Because she started to face her real demons. Now, we know she went out of control, and she was shaving her head and she was doing all sorts of stupid, erratic, irresponsible things, but what everyone missed, particularly the media was the real cause of her problem. It wasn’t just being subjected to the limelight or the pressures that come with stardom – all of the delusions of grandeur and denial – what I call “The Fame Factor” – it goes back to her core emotional issues, which was the dysfunctional relationships she had specifically with her father and partly also with her mother.

“The Fame Factor” or “celebrity factor”  – delusions of grandeur, power and invincibility. Think OJ, Michael Vick, Governor Spitzer, Christian Bale, Naomi Campbell, etc. All of them have fallen victim to the fame factor and have engaged in grand acts of delusions of grandeur, power and invincibility.

Britney Spears had said that one of her core issues was her father.

In 2007, Britney Spears told The New York Post “I am praying for my father. We have never had a good relationship. It’s sad that all the men that have been in my life do not know how to accept a real woman’s love. I am concentrating on my work and my life right now.”

And no one realized that was her core issue.

Now, how can we verify that that was her core issue? Because when her father came back into her life and they started to have meaningful conversation and she allowed him and trusted him to get involved in her life; I believe they sat down and started healing a lot of her issues, and that’s why now she seems to be so much more balanced.

What’s also interesting about Britney (and I believe that this is where Lindsay can learn from), is that Britney was guided, I don’t know if she was pushed or forced but, she was definitely guided into the entertainment showbiz world from a very, very young age as a child.

Reporter: Right.

Patrick Wanis: Possibly, because her mother was more interested in becoming a star than she was with her daughter becoming a star i.e. it’s possible that her mother was interested in living vicariously through Britney, but the conclusion that Britney made was ‘I don’t want my children to be in showbiz.’ And this is something she’s just recently said.  She said, ‘I don’t want my children to be in showbiz.  I’m not going to let them. I want to lock them up instead of letting them become famous.” Why? Because she realized the dangers of being exposed to this.

And I’ve said it before, as far as childhood stars are concerned, it is extremely dangerous because the first thing that happens to them is their childhood gets taken away; they don’t get to be children.  You can watch the video of the interview I gave about “Loss of innocence  – Why child actors suffer so much”Corey Haim, Andrew Koenig, River Phoenix, Freddie Prinze, Brad Renfro – each one former child actors who suffered tragic deaths as adults from drugs, depression or suicide; watch the TV interview I give to the Morning show revealing the factors and reasons so many child actors end up with destroyed lives as adults.

Reporter: Right.

Patrick Wanis: Number two; what also happens is that child actors start to get exposed to a completely different lifestyle; drugs, alcohol, is something that’s part and parcel of being in the showbiz world.

Number three: not only has their childhood been robbed from them, but all the people around them sometimes even their parents want to take a piece of the pie.  So, no longer are these people allowed to be children. The same applies to Michael Jackson, the same applies to Gary Coleman; they’re not allowed to be children and everyone wants a piece of them.

Reporter: Yeah.

Patrick Wanis: And when they become adults everyone still wants them to be the child that they never even really were anyway.  Like Gary Coleman, even when he was an adult, right up to his death, we kept walking around saying, “Whatcha talkin’ about, Willis?”

Reporter: Right.

Patrick Wanis: We all wanted to see Gary Coleman as a child.  We weren’t willing to recognize he’s an adult now, that he’s a man.  So, I’m using these examples to say that I think Lindsay’s real issue relates to the dysfunctional relationship with her father and her mother and the pain.  And you know, Michael Lohan has now engaged an attorney and he wants to take over Lindsay’s life.  I think the term is conservatorship.

Reporter: Yeah.

Patrick Wanis: But one still has to ask the question, “What are his real motives?” Does he need to do that and how’s that going to help? Having said that, I think, yes, Lindsay Lohan actually needs to spend some time in jail because maybe in jail they’ll take her off the medication, and maybe she’ll have the chance to actually look at her life from a completely different perspective, cut off, isolated from the parties, the glitz, the temptation, the seduction and hopefully even the medication.

Reporter: Yeah.  And do you think that you have to be ready for that or is that something that you can be shocked into?

Patrick Wanis: Sometimes we have to be shocked into things that we’re not ready for. I personally almost never engage in intervention because if the person doesn’t want to do it, you can’t put a gun to their head and make them do anything. However, you can help someone as you used the term ‘shock’ them into it, if suddenly she’s cut off from her world. You see with intervention you’re walking into someone’s house, someone’s workplace with their friends but they still have access to their existing, present lifestyle. However, when someone’s put in jail and they’re cut off from medication and they’re cut off from access to the outside world, to all the parties, the glitz, the glamour, and the constant temptation and access to drugs now, they have a real opportunity to look at their life.  And another person I would like cite that is probably a good example and someone who could actually help Lindsay is Robert Downey Jr.

(Read more about how to perform an intervention here: )

And the reason that I’d like to cite him is because the difference between Robert Downey Jr. and Lindsay was when he got up in front of the judge he admitted his powerlessness over the drugs and addiction even though it was killing him.

Wikipedia writes “Downey was arrested numerous times on drug-related charges and went several times through drug treatment programs unsuccessfully, explaining in 1999 to a judge: ‘It’s like I have a loaded gun in my mouth and my finger’s on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gunmetal.’ He also explained his relapses by claiming to be addicted to drugs since the age of eight; his father was giving them to him as he was also an addict.”

But Robert Downey Jr. made a conscious effort to break it.  The difference was he was what I call ‘aware’ – he became cognizant that this is destroying my life. I don’t know if Lindsay is cognizant that it’s destroying her life, because again, her entourage, the people around her that I call parasites, the same people that were parasites to Michael Jackson are happy to feed her whatever she wants, whatever she says she needs (even though she doesn’t really need it) just so that they can keep living off her, and that’s what destroyed Michael Jackson.

And I would be very curious and interested to know who is giving Lindsay Lohan these various medications and mixing them when they know she has had a substance abuse problem, when they know she’s got a problem with alcohol.  And are they really just dealing with the surface issues – the symptoms? What about actually dealing with her real issues, her real pain? What about teaching her how to handle what is happening around her? I know I’m going on quite a lot here, but when someone like Lindsay Lohan who realizes the parties are creating a lot of problems for her, when she keeps returning to the parties, that tells you she doesn’t know how to control herself; she can’t say no; she doesn’t have discipline; she doesn’t have self-control; she’s not able to stop her own behavior; she’s not in control of her life.

My final comment about Lindsay Lohan relates to her nail polish.

And I’m wondering particularly: why did they took a picture of it as she put a hand over her mouth – was she putting her hand over mouth to stop because that’s a body language message that says, I might be hiding something or I’m holding back something or I don’t want to say something.  There are words that I’m holding back.  Or, was she putting a hand up knowing that the cameras will get a photo of it because she’s really angry, frustrated and resentful towards the world.

And most likely towards her father and her mother and therefore, she’s saying, you know, I hate all of you.  Go to hell.  F..k you.

Reporter: Yeah.  And I know it’s hard to tell.

Patrick Wanis: It might be a combination. It might be a combination of saying, You know what?  I’m really angry.  I’m out of control.  I’m tired of people trying, you know, getting involved.  I’m tired of people following me around.  I’m tired of this scram bracelet.  I’m tired of getting in trouble, so to hell with all of you.  And it can be also a situation of I’m frustrated with myself because I have no control of my life.  And so, what she’s doing is lashing out in anger.

Reporter: Interesting. I like that. I never heard that before but, you know, It certainly was a very odd choice at best.

Patrick Wanis: What’s surprising to me, with all due respect to all of the media journalists, is that they don’t know what they’re looking for. They report on things and they don’t know what they’re looking for.  Everyone missed this.  I just want to add this about Sandra Bullock because I have a lot of respect for her.  But no one made a big deal about Sandra Bullock kissing Scarlett Johansson on the stage during the MTV Movie Awards. And my question is, why not? That was completely out character for her.

Reporter: Right.

Patrick Wanis: This is the girl-next-door, the sweet, the innocent, the elegant, the sophisticated lady.  There’s nothing wrong with kissing a girl but she’s not the kind of person who would kiss a girl on stage during the Movie Awards.  So, what that tells you is that she’s either trying to do what she thinks people wanted her to do, she’s trying to shock people or she’s trying to please people and say, Here, approve of me, you see I’m cool, I’m hip.  Either way, it’s not in balance; it’s not in alignment with who she really is and what her ideals and values are.

And the media loves her so much that they’ll never look at her and say, “She just did something that really is wrong for her.”

Reporter: Well, no, I mean, it clearly seems like she is almost like acting out: I can be bad too, or, what you’re saying which is, so this is what you want, maybe this will get you to stop talking about all the other stuff

Patrick Wanis: Yeah, and if you notice most of the roles that Sandra Bullock has played are always roles where she’s sweet, innocent, and trying to please everyone; and here she is doing the same thing in her life.

Reporter: Yeah.

Patrick Wanis: And I mentioned in one of my earlier press releases that I think she hasn’t yet got in touch with her real pain over what has happened with Jesse James.  Because every single one of us, no matter how cool we are, how elegant we are, how sophisticated or classy we are, we all experience pain, loss, and grief. There’s a specific grieving process and the first step of the grieving process is known as Denial. The next is Anger. The third is Bargaining. The fourth is Depression.  The fifth is Acceptance and the final is Hope – where you now get back on with your life and you feel good about yourself.  She hasn’t gotten in touch with any of her pain, and I know her new adopted son is going to give her a lot of pressure, and a lot of joy, but nothing will be able to stop her from eventually feeling and having to face that pain of what Jesse James did to her.  And I think she’s trying to hide it from the public but I think she’s also hiding it from herself and I wonder if that’s not why she was acting out by kissing Scarlet Johansson.

Reporter: Yeah.  Now, that’s interesting.  I should have called you around then…

Patrick Wanis: Well, feel free to call me at any time; my perspective is different; I don’t come from the perspective of diagnosing people. I don’t come from the perspective of labeling people.  I don’t come from the perspective of, you know, that there’s something wrong with them that they’re broken and need fixing. I come for the perspective that everything we do has a motivation behind it and I ask “What is that motivation?”  There’s always a root cause. Most of us tend to just try to treat or deal with the symptoms and we forget the real root causes.

Reporter: Well, thanks Patrick.  I really appreciate your help.

Patrick Wanis: You are welcome.

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