worshipEveryone is aware of the problems that many celebrities have with addiction, but what about the average person that becomes obsessed or addicted to a famous individual? Is this a true addiction or is it a simply a way for people to feel a part of something famous and special?

In fact, there is a mental health diagnosis that is recognized as Celebrity Worship Syndrome. There is actually a scale that has been developed to rate just how obsessed a fan may be over a famous person. The object of the obsession can be a movie or television personality or star, a sports figure or a true celebrity; but they all have in common the fact that they are all individuals that are highly visible.

Celebrity addiction or celebrity worship often starts out rather benign, just like the admiration most of us have for someone famous. However, once it grows from this harmless pastime the individual begins to be obsessed. They spend excessive amounts of time learning every detail about them, watching them and attempting to have some type of interaction. This could be through following the celebrity on social media, sending emails or letters or attending events where the celebrity is a known guest or regular.

Not everyone that develops Celebrity Worship Syndrome or CWS has a mental health disorder but there is increasing research that suggests that along with the symptom and behaviors of CWS there is a high rate of anxiety, depression and stress. Often as the obsession progresses into a true addiction the individual will begin to believe there is a real relationship with the celebrity. This can lead to detailed fantasies that could potentially escalate into more dangerous behaviors and delusional thoughts.

Treating people with CWS is no different than treating any other type of addiction. My book, “The Law of Sobriety”, stresses that it is essential to see yourself living the way you want, in this case free from the envy and desire to be in a relationship with the celebrity, as one of the major components of recovery. Looking for the positive aspects of that celebrity in the people around you and learning to focus on what is already in your life is a key factor in breaking this addiction.

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.


More from Beliefnet and our partners