Narcissism may show up as a sense of entitlement, and feeling of immunity from normal human responsibility and consequence.
It is something that can affect many talented people who gain celebrity status.
Before Lindsay Lohan was arrested one time, she reportedly commandeered a car and took three men hostage, according to video interviews with those men.
She drove 100 mph on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, and boasted, “I can’t get in trouble. I’m a celebrity. I can do whatever the f**k I want.” [From a TMZ.com post.]
As noted in the article Acquired Situational Narcissism, by Stephen Sherrill [NY Times, 2001], “We all know that movie stars, professional athletes, rich people and politicians often act like complete jackasses, but Robert B. Millman, professor of psychiatry at Cornell Medical School thinks he knows why.
“The cause, he says, is acquired situational narcissism, a psychological dysfunction that Millman was the first to identify and that he treats in his celebrity patients.”
Classical narcissism is “a personality disorder whose symptoms include lack of empathy, grandiose fantasies, excessive need for approval, rage, social isolation and depression.”
And, the article explains, “People who aspire to stardom tend to be more narcissistic than others, but they don’t develop a true narcissistic personality disorder until they begin to achieve success: the first platinum album, the first appearance in Vanity Fair’s ”Young Hollywood” issue, the first public fling with Winona Ryder.”
Sherrill adds that “fame, money and, even more, the pheromone-like power of fame and money” provide the situation for Acquired Situational Narcissism.
Keira Knightley confirms that idea, saying, “Once you become famous you get completely dehumanised. I think people forget there is a person in there trying to deal with it. Partly the way you deal with it is by not reading, not looking and seeing any of it and burying your head in the sand. It is the only path to sanity.” [BBC News bbc.co.uk 28 August 2007]
Part of the fame and money package for many stars like Lohan is their entourage and guards [like in the top photo], who may provide needed safety, but also function to keep them too isolated and privileged.
Martin Sheen recognizes Lohan’s challenges may be maintained by the groups of bodyguards and others connected with many celebrities: “The bottom line is you have to get through the entourages that surround these celebrities who are spinning out of control. [These entourages] don’t want to let it go, this is their meal ticket.”
When his son Charlie was battling addictions, Sheen says, “I literally disarmed [his entourage]. Some of them had guns, literally.”
Sheen’s advice to Lohan’s ‘people’: “You get in there and fight for life. You get between her and the grave and you say, I won’t allow it.” [TV Guide Jul 26, 2007]
Beverly Hills psychologist Jenn Berman suggests “Lohan’s dysfunctional family and role as a child star have created much of the trauma in her life.
“People who don’t have the tools to cope turn to food, alcohol, drugs and compulsive behavior,” she said. “I don’t believe anyone does this consciously, and if anything, it’s a cry for help that comes from a very unconscious place.”
“When the child starts to earn more money than the parent and supports the family, there is a shift in power,” Berman said. “The parent is on the child’s payroll and loses power. That makes the life of the child boundary-less.”
If Lohan does not seek help, warns Berman, “she will ultimately self-destruct.”
“Drew Barrymore really got it together,” Berman notes. “But she had a strong sense of self and was a real fighter.” [ABC News 7/25/07]
Dr. Berman is author of the The A to Z Guide to Raising Happy, Confident Kids.
Lindsay Lohan is supposedly developing a book of sexy photographs to be titled â€œNarcissist.â€
In his article Addiction to Fame and Celebrity, Sam Vaknin, PhD writes, “There is a set of narcissistic behaviours typical to the pursuit of celebrity. There is almost nothing that the narcissist refrains from doing, almost no borders that he hesitates to cross to achieve renown… what is important is to be in the public eye.”
Brad Pitt is very aware of the privileged life that can encourage narcissism: “We are treated as special,” he once commented. “We get away with things that other people can’t. And you start to believe the lie that you are special, that you’re better than other people. You start demanding that kind of treatment.
“Most of the time I fight it because I know I’m going to get older and it’s going to go away, but at times I succumb to it. I’ve got a couple of friends that might as well be family, and I’ve caught myself just ordering one of them to do something because you get accustomed to people doing things for you… It’s the money and the power, it just crushes everything.” [Vanity Fair, Dec., 2001]
Of course, you don’t need to be a celebrity to have a dysfunctional family, or deal with narcissism in yourself or others.
Article publié pour la première fois le 19/04/2014