Famous people in sports, entertainment, music and even through reality shows on television tend to have several traits in common. In a very recent study published in 2013, researchers may have found a hidden connection between the desire or drive to be famous and the prevalence of depression and mania. Not all famous people have this trait, but given the prevalence of addiction and substance abuse there may be a significant number that have it in common.
The study, which included 103 individuals, was developed around surveys that the study participants completed. Within the group of 103 people there were 27 that had a prior diagnosis of bipolar disorder, more correctly known as manic depression. These people, compared to others in the study, tended to report very high expectations of what they would do in their life.
These high expectations and grandiose future plans included things like regularly appearing on television or being a millionaire during their lifetime. This set of very high future goals has a double edge for the individual. Yes, it does drive them to try to achieve more than what most people consider “reasonable”, but it also sets them up to have a more profound sense of failure when those goals are not realized.
When goals are not realized there is a decrease in self-worth and self-esteem, which we know is linked to depression. Also, along with depression, comes a higher risk of self-medication with drugs or alcohol to attempt to treat the feelings of sadness, loneliness and low self-worth that are the hallmark of depression. Bouncing back and forth between the extremes of setting high goals and suffering incredible lows if those goals are not met may be a huge trigger for addiction problems in those that are driven by fame, fortune or the desire to be loved on a global scale.
Understanding just how manic depression may factor into a person’s desire for fame is certainly an area for future study. It may well be that helping overly high achievers set more realistic goals may be a strong preventative option to avoid depression and the subsequent addictions that are so common.
Sherry Gaba LCSW, Psychotherapist, Life, Love & Recovery Coach is featured Celebrity Rehab on VH1. Sherry is the author of “The Law of Sobriety” which uses the law of attraction to recover from any addiction. Please download your free E book “Filling The Empty Heart” and your “Are You a Love Addict Quiz?” at www.sherrygaba.com Contact Sherry for webinars, teleseminars, coaching packages and speaking engagements. Take Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the Empty Heart: 5 Keys to Transforming Love Addiction.