The Celebrity Therapist

The Celebrity Therapist

The Blame Game Of Celebrity Addictions

posted by sherrygaba

mjWhile the Michael Jackson ongoing civil action is perhaps the best known celebrity wrongful death issue, there are others that occur whenever a star dies due to a drug overdose or addiction complication. The family, the fans, and just the casual observer all want to be able to blame someone for failing to prevent the tragedy from occurring.

In the Michael Jackson civil suit the family is suing a range of different entities involved in his professional and person life for failing to address the addiction issues that led to his death. The latest lawsuit, filed by Michael Jackson’s mother Katherine Jackson, alleges that AEG Live LLC, the huge concert promotion company, did not properly check out Dr. Conrad Murray, the physician that was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in Michael’s death. She further alleges that they were aware of his addiction and his illness and they failed to take any corrective action or to get him the help he needed.

In the same lawsuit Mrs. Jackson reports that the family was concerned of his use of pain medications for back issues and that they had attempted interventions but Michael denied the need for help. According to the mother Michael Jackson denied any addictions to pain medications and even reported to her that he was not using any types of medications prior to his death from a lethal combination of propofol and pain killers.

It seems that everyone wants to have a person or group to point to and to blame for an addiction. While this may be a natural response it is essential to realize that the only way that an addiction can be treated is for the addict to acknowledge that he or she has a problem and to make changes in lifestyle and behaviors to address the problem. Ultimately, regardless of your celebrity status, the decision to live a clean and sober lifestyle boils down to personal accountability and choice.

Reaching out for help may be more difficult when you are in the limelight, but it is the only way to prevent the pain and suffering for loved ones when a tragedy occurs. More stars and celebrities discussing addiction and recovery will help raise awareness in the industry and hopeful prompt managers, promoters and fans to be more supportive for stars that want to make positive lifestyle changes in their lives.

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 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 Went Wrong? The Tragic Death Of Cory Monteith

posted by sherrygaba

CoryIt seems all too often that adoring fans of a particular star are shocked, surprised and devastated by the news of a celebrity death due to an overdose or addiction. This is often the case when the addiction has been kept under wraps or only hinted about in the media. However, in some cases, the death seems even more senseless and tragic because the addiction was not just hinted about; it was openly discussed and even treated.

Such is the case with Cory Monteith, the latest celebrity to publically discuss his addiction along with his history of rehab and attempted addiction treatment. In this particular case it was only a few months ago that Cory Monteith had given an interview saying that he was going to voluntarily go back into rehab to help prevent a relapse into the addiction that had been a part of his life since his early teens. Unlike some stars, Monteith did actually follow through and went through a drug treatment program in April of 2013. He had previously gone through an addiction treatment program in his early adult years as well, but he reported that he really only did that for his mother.

Just a few months out of his latest rehab Cory Monteith was found dead in a hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia. The coroner reports that the death was due to a lethal combination of heroin and alcohol. There were no signs of foul play and the three people that were with Mr. Monteith the night of his death have been working with authorities.

So why, with this history of acknowledgement of the addiction, voluntary rehab, and a seemingly perfect life, did this tragedy occur? It was not lack of support; his fiancé and co-star was very supportive of his addiction recovery. It wasn’t lack of ability to afford a drug treatment program; he could afford any treatment that he chose from anywhere in the world.

Stars, just like average people, have to deal with the root issues of their addiction before they can truly enter recovery. This means looking at a painful past and dealing with issues through hard work and personal honesty, rather than through the escape and avoidance that drugs offer. Anyone, regardless of their life situation, needs to address multiple issues in addiction, it isn’t just a behavioral change, it is a complete change if it is to be lifelong and positive.

What went wrong and why Mr. Monteith used that night will probably never be known. Regardless of why it is a tragedy and one that is truly devastating for so many friends, family and fans.

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 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 Your Diet Making You Depressed?

posted by sherrygaba

diet depressedIt is important to realize that depression cannot be treated, controlled or cured by eating specific foods, but there are foods that can help as part of your treatment. In fact, research has shown that most people with depression do not eat a balanced diet which may contribute to inflammation, malnutrition and metabolic conditions that can increase the severity of the symptoms of depression.

Eating healthy is not difficult if you know what to eat. Choosing convenience types of foods including fast foods, high carbohydrate foods and snack types of food over healthy choices not only leads to weight gain but impacts overall mental health. Making good food choices will reverse this process and help you to get back into a healthy state.

Foods to include in your diet include:

1. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be made in the body; they have to be consumed. Good sources of Omega-3 include salmon, tuna, flaxseed, walnuts, dark green leafy veggies, as well as soybean and canola oil. In studies of dietary habits in different groups of people it has been found that those that don’t eat a high level of Omega-3 rich foods are more likely to have depression in all age groups compared to groups that ate fish and Omega rich foods on a regular basis.

2. Healthy Carbohydrates

Switching from processed carbohydrates to whole grain alternatives can help in treating depression in several ways. First, whole grain products have high nutrient levels and they are also very rich in antioxidants. Second, whole grain foods tend to have lower amounts of sugar paired with high fiber levels which help to control blood sugar. Controlling blood sugar helps in maintaining healthy body functioning and decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, both which are often linked to people with depression.

3. Lean Proteins

Lean protein consumption helps to boost levels of tyrosine in the body which is a precursor to norepinephrine and dopamine, both which are mood controlling chemicals found in the brain. Lean proteins are not just meats like lean beef, fish and poultry; they also include beans, low fat dairy, as well as foods containing soy.

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 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.


Anna Nicole Smith: The Price of Fame

posted by sherrygaba

ansBy Sherry Gaba and Whitney Ashton

 Mary Harron’s “The Anna Nicole Story” biopic premiered on Sunday to record ratings and mixed reviews on the Lifetime Movie Network. Known for wanting to be “the next Marilyn Monroe,” the former Guess girl turned reality TV personality died of an accidental drug overdose in 2007.

Smith’s time as a reality star on E!’s “The Anna Nicole Show” fueled rumors that the star had a substance abuse problem. The show was abruptly canceled after two seasons. In the Lifetime film, Smith (Agnes Bruckner) pops champagne and pills simultaneously. Her peers casually supplied the goods she needed to perform what some would describe as “a circus act.”

In 2006, the model and actress gave birth to her second child, a baby girl named Danielynn Hope Marshall Stern. Tragically, three days after the birth, Smith’s 20-year-old son Daniel was found dead of a drug overdose in her hospital room.

Less than six months later, Smith, 39, was found dead in her Florida hotel room. Although investigators found no illegal drugs in her suite, they did find several prescription drugs, including methadone, Provigil, Xanax and fentanyl according to the New York Daily News.

Methadone is a powerful pain killer, and can remain in one’s system for up to 59 hours – making overdose a high risk. According to media reports, Smith was seen drinking heavily in the hotel bar hours before her death. The cocktail of painkillers, antidepressants and alcohol was a recipe for disaster… a deadly combination.

Unfortunately, celebrity overdose is not new in popular culture. Many musicians and actors have died untimely deaths from addiction and many more will die in the continuing drug and alcohol epidemic.

As a LCSW, psychotherapist, author and life coach, I have worked with countless celebrities who have had to face the same demons that Smith fell prey to. Staying sober for celebrities versus the average person may be an even tougher battle. These stars are fighting an uphill battle when drugs and alcohol are the norm – but it is not impossible. Sobriety is a life altering decision. It will take effort, work and the ability to recognize a dangerous situation before it is too late.

For more information about the death of Anna Nicole visit:

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 Contact Sherry for  webinars, teleseminars,  coaching packages and speaking engagements. Listen  to Sherry on “A Moment of Change with  Sherry Gaba” on CBS Radio Take  Sherry’s quiz for a free eBook Filling the  Empty Heart: 5 Keys to  Transforming Love Addiction.


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