The Celebrity Therapist

The Celebrity Therapist

Creativity And Mental Health: What Is The Connection?

posted by sherrygaba

manaloneHave you ever stopped to consider the number of celebrities, stars, entertainers, artists and writers that have reported mental health issues? And, in thinking on the topic, have you ever stopped to consider how this trend seems to be anything but modern?

Looking back on history it seems obvious that some of the most famous people of times long past had mental health problems, although at the time they were largely misunderstood or wrongly attributed to a variety of factors. Historically people such as Charles Dickens, Leo Tolstoy, Ludwig van Beethoven, Vincent Van Gogh, Virginia Woolf as well as Vivian Leigh, Tennessee Williams, Janis Joplin and Jane Pauley all were or could have been diagnosed with depression.

More recently a significant number of stars and celebrities have come forward about their diagnosis of bipolar disorder. Researchers no longer think this is a coincidence and several studies have demonstrated a link between the two. Mental health disorders, particularly those classed as mood disorders, are more common in people with high levels of creativity than in the average population.

In a study at the Stanford University School of Medicine children were shown series of drawings. Some were very simple while others were more complex and abstract. Interestingly enough children that had parents with bipolar disorder or in a high risk group for bipolar were more likely to like the complex, abstract pictures and dislike the simple drawings compared to their low risk peers. This preference for creativity may chart their pathway in their personal and professional lives.

In addition research has tentatively demonstrated that specific types of creative professions tend to draw people that have a higher rate of a specific mental health condition. If this is correct than it may not be the case of the career causing the problem but rather the person with the condition choosing that career.

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.

Is Bipolar Disorder The New Celebrity Mental Health Trend?

posted by sherrygaba

ResentmentGaba.jpgOne of the biggest differences between a medical and a mental health diagnosis is the way that the diagnosis is made. Medical illnesses are determined by measurable and well defined symptoms that are verified by recognized tests. This could include blood tests, x-rays, MRI results, scans or biopsy results to name just a few.

On the other hand, mental health issues are diagnosed through the presence or absence of symptoms that are reported by the individual and/or the mental health professional. This can sometimes lead to mental health diagnoses that seem to come in waves or trends.

Bipolar disorder is one such “trendy” diagnosis among celebrities. This is not to minimize the condition; people with bipolar disorder have very real and very significant symptoms, but not all people that have mood swings have bipolar disorder. Unfortunately, many doctors may be willing to provide a diagnosis, and subsequent medication, to keep their celebrity patients happy. A simple complaint of feeling down and out, unhappy, euphoric or experiencing mild to moderate changes in mood can be used by some doctors to develop a diagnosis of the condition.

Many celebrities, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, have come forward about their bipolar disorder diagnosis and the difficulties it has caused in their lives. However, they do not “become” the face of the disorder, they use their celebrity status to educate and inform.

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. 

What Drives Celebrities To Be Reality Stars?

posted by sherrygaba

ansReality television shows have had a profound influence on our culture, and not always in a good way. In fact, there are very few examples of people that have been considered “stars” on reality shows that have gone on to pursue successful careers in the entertainment industry, or in any type of career.

The desire to be on television, even if shown in a negative light, still drives many people to want to become celebrities, even if it is just for a season or a few episodes. Shows like Survivor, Fear Factor and even the  entire Housewives of (fill in the blank with a city name) series has shown people in a bad light, had them do things they would never do and actual engage in very atypical behaviors.

So why do people like Paris Hilton, the Kardashians, Donald Trump and even professional athletes want to be on television if they become fodder for conversation, negative insults and even disrespect? It may not be as hard for the average person to understand why families that are not rich or famous line up to try to get their 15 minutes of fame, but why on earth would a current celebrity and ultra-rich person put themselves out there?

The reason, in the vast majority of current celebrity based reality shows, is definitely not the money. These people, already worth millions, get paid by the season or episode, but most make considerable less than a quarter of a million dollars per season. This salary includes having their personal lives invaded, putting their most intimate life details online, and making them a laughing stock for the entire world to see.

Many celebrities turn to reality shows when their own personal careers or public awareness factor is on the decline. So, do they do this to boost their public image and status, or just to stay relevant for a bit longer? The fact is that these people may be truly addicted to public adoration and attention, even if it is negative. This is a sad reality for many celebrities that don’t have a specific talent or gift that allowed them to reach the level of celebrity status the obviously crave and desire.

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.

Fame, Mania And Depression: The Hidden Link

posted by sherrygaba

FameFamous 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.

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