Are celebrities more prone to addictions than the rest of us mortal human beings who must survive everyday stressors like paying our bills and getting that stain out of the carpet? This is a fair question. And we don’t have an exact answer for you.
But one author-therapist spoke up on the topic, stating clearly that celebrity life includes enormous pressures that most people never experience. Yes, we mortals have severe stress points in our lives. And, yes, the frequent lists on occupations and addictions often names doctors, miners, policemen as very vulnerable to alcoholism and drug abuse. Other lists name forest management, farming, fishermen and sales jobs as high on the list of vulnerable occupations. Seldom do you see celebrities on these lists.
But think of the pressure to be a movie actor, especially one who is the star of the show. If the movie bombs, seldom do the newspapers announce the writer’s career is imperiled. But they frequently write, “if the actor doesn’t find a moneymaker soon to put on his or her resume, their career is cooked.”
What’s the problem here? Stress is in the eye of the beholder to a certain degree. If you like chaos, then chaos is not so stressful for you. And, where does this leave doctors? If they make a mistake, the results could be life-changing – devastating. Tell me an actor has more stress than that?
Los Angeles-based Dr. Jenn Mann, an author of a book on relationships, says that actors are doubly vulnerable simply because they are sensitive, creative and put their creativity out there for the entire world to see. In addition, companies invest millions, often hundreds of millions of dollars, in that actor or actress, which puts a lot of heavy expectations on the thespian’s shoulders.
Big Time Pressure
“You take that sort of personality that is already vulnerable to these issues and then you put them in a situation where there is enormous pressure to perform,” Hollywood Life quoted Dr. Mann as saying. “That is unbelievable pressure that very few people can even comprehend in the regular world, because a lot of people go, ‘oh, you’re just getting paid so much money, who cares?” But this is also putting yourself out there and your work and your future,” she said.
What about Money?
Ah, remember money? That’s supposed to be the root of all evil and sometimes it certainly is. What do you do if you’re having an anxiety attack because you have to perform at work the next day – as a doctor, an actor or a businessperson? You might have a drink to calm your nerves. This can become a habit with anyone who lets the alcohol begin to take control. There may be genetic factors involved. You don’t need too much of a push before alcoholism can be diagnosed.
The actor that sparked the interview in Hollywood Life was unknown to me and his name is irrelevant, but he was one of the lead actors to a mega-huge television show. The interesting points of his case included his descriptions in previous interviews about how the months when his character was getting tons and tons of media attention were his worse moments on the show.
Wait — don’t actors live for that kind of attention? Well, yes and no. It’s a double-edged sword. The attention means you will be eligible for a part in another high paying show. But it also means your every move is subjected to public scrutiny, both on the screen and off.
Meanwhile, all that money not only represents pressure but an opportunity. Everyone wants to be your best pal, be part of your life, buy you a drink or have you buy them one … money, money, money. When your paycheck has six zeroes on it, temptations are affordable. Do you want to take the edge off? Six zeroes can certainly make that happen.
In fact, as Dr. Mann said, when you reach “a certain level of stardom,” you suddenly become surrounded by handlers, people who want your attention, your signature, your time, your endorsement. Life begins to swirl and drugs and alcohol can certainly make that swirling go away for a while before the swirling becomes spiraling out of control.
Make A Call
Are you or someone you love suffering from addiction issues? If so, professional help is a phone call away. Call Pacific Bay Recovery in San Diego at 858-263-9700. Call soon and break the cycle.