Who is the most famous drug addict

Celebrities, drug use and addiction

Prominence and drug affinity

Celebrities are considered to be particularly drug and, as a result, addictive. Well-known musicians, artists and actors are said to have a strong relationship with alcohol or drugs. Most well-known music starswho died in the last few years before the age of 30 strong problems with drug use, whereby of course alcohol is also to be understood as a drug. Interestingly, they mostly engaged in polyvalent use, in which they took several substances at the same time or one after the other.

But is the suspected closeness of celebrities to drugs correct or is it a myth of the rainbow press to keep a voyeuristic sensationalism and thus the sales machine running? As a long-term employee psychotherapist I now have many people with exactly this double profile, Celebrity status and psychological problems with substance addiction, treated. This is of course done in complete discretion and confidentiality. Against this background and with the reception of the international research at hand, I report on the topic in this article and will Perspectives on problem development, prevention and possible help point out.

Celebrities rarely come - many are creative

The following statements essentially refer not only to celebrities, but also to particularly artistically gifted people. Because celebrities rarely come and there are many views on what celebrity really means. Highly creative people sometimes - but not always - become famous because of their special talents. The life situation of a creative, non-celebrity person is of course very different from that of a creative, prominent person, so these differences in terms of Lifestyle and everyday behavior must be taken into account. Spitzweg - artistically immortalized in 1839 - poor poet may have been highly creative, but never made it to public awareness. The Consumption motives however, in terms of drugs can be similar. This should definitely be taken into account in prevention and therapy.

Fame and mental abnormalities - from insane queens and kings

However, celebrities' mental health problems are not entirely related to themselves Addiction disordersbut the whole range mental illness. They were especially frequent too depressive and delusional tendencies described. Personalities like King Ludwig II of Bavaria (1845 - 1886) with his bizarre, emotionally unstable and delusional episodes are well known and make it clear that in feudalism there is an increase in the official succession to the throne through inbreeding-like connections Hereditary diseases came.

It is not always the genetic effects that have led to a mental illness - especially in the areas Schizophrenia and depression. Often they were unwanted poisoning (e.g. through the widespread use of mercury and later also lead) or Consequences of poison attacks (e.g. with arsenic). There were also many of them Consequences of organic diseases (especially syphilis), which led to delusional and demented diseases. But are also important the psychosocial life course influences on the respective persons, such as accidents, injuries, miscarriages and premature births.

Contemporaries or later historians have their own characteristic of individual personalities psychological abnormality as a stigma permanently added, for example to the Spanish one Princess Johanna (1479 - 1555), the third child of the Spanish royal couple Isabelle of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon. Due to her schizophrenic illness (the clinical picture as such was not yet known at the time) Johanna the madwoman called. After all, as the Spanish queen (mostly not ruling alone) and mother of two later German emperors (Charles V and Ferdinand I), she had a major influence on world fate. She became herself because of her Eccentricities held captive for decades.

Prominence and conspicuousness today - drugs are becoming more and more important

The life stories of historically prominent personalities and their reception, but also taboos, show how psychological disorders are dealt with in different epochs. The following look at the Present situation illustrates the historical change up to the present. And also in the future there will be changeable evaluations and discrimination. One of these changes can be seen in the now widespread use of Drugs with celebrities. A sufficient one Reason for this report.

What is celebrity?

The expression Prominence (lat .: prominentia = the outstanding, the outstanding) is mostly used as a designation in everyday life of outstanding personalities used. But it can also be what has been acquired extent individual public awareness describe. In the last few years - parallel to the spread of the internet first and then social media - is a inflationary use of the term "prominent" to be recorded, which in turn for sorting into categorized with letters Prominence levels Leads (A Celebrities, B Celebrities, etc.).

These Inflation and diffusion of the concept of prominence contradicts the original idea and watered down - in the spirit of the socially propagated equality of different people - the concept of elite. So a person who excels belongs to an elite in terms of certain characteristics. Ultimately, the process of postulating equality with the simultaneous presence of very unequal people creates even more confusion and competition, especially between would-be celebrities. True celebrities but doesn't have to worry about their popularity. Many outstanding people do not want to be known at all - especially nowadays - because this status is also associated with a lot of inconvenience and a real celebrity stress.

Addiction to being celebrity

On the other hand, many people compulsively strive for prominence and are ready to use almost any means. Be it through the Use of your own body and erotic means, especially in the film industry, be it by almost slave services towards older politicians and opinion leaders, in order to build a protection and career ladder by building networks, the ways to Celebrities without any major competence or being conspicuous through talent, there are hardly any limits.

Time and again, people who are driven by the selfish and narcissistically motivated desire to be known use all-encompassing ways and means that they cause self-shame on closer self-reflection could to satisfy their over-valued desire for notoriety. One is then rightly referred to as one Addiction to being celebrity. It is an exaggerated, no longer controllable desire to which almost all values ​​and moral attitudes are subordinated. However, this is usually the case no permanent celebrity reached. They are temporary, often self-harming forms of fragile pseudo-prominence. These people should check their drive for fame and prominence, recognize the compulsive background of striving, and develop more composure.

Celebrity Inflation? No - only fake celebrities

To Pseudo-prominence or - based on B-Movies- B celebrities called, people are counted in everyday language who make headlines through public scandals, spectacular television appearances or other events - often only for a short time A stir irritatewithout, however, also Look at to win. Mostly it is about calculated, emotionally arousing taboos in public. The sensational press then does its best to spread the word about it. How very anxious people have to overcome taboos or how impulsive people are repeatedly encouraged to break taboos remains in the dark.

Cervelat celebrities - Society loves its would-be celebrities

In Switzerland there is based on the cervelat (a form of boiled sausage that is only known in Switzerland and that can also be grilled) Cervelat celebrities. This refers to locally known people who sometimes have talent and competence, but never become known beyond the local area. A lovable but also provincial form of celebrity. They are hardly known internationally, but are only known in special circles or through individual events or broadcasts. Lesser-known people who are more likely to attract attention from time to time because of an inherited or more frequently acquired title of nobility or through affairs with celebrities are also included in such C-celebrities.

The media industry uses a large reservoir of would-be celebrities and harms those affected

Countless television formats how "Germany seeks the superstar", „Big Brother ", „I'm a star - get me out of here! "Etc. or scandals exaggerated by the media generate such a high number of supposedly prominent people that there is increasing talk of "C-celebrities", "D-celebrities" to "Z-celebrities", ie people whose prominence is perceived as even more fast-paced and insignificant than the so-called B celebrities, who at least still hope for the ultimate Rise to the elite of celebrities can do. The modern media industry needs a large reservoir of people who - ideally addicted - strive for prominence, but will never reach it.

With the pseudo or would-be celebrities there is an illusionary one Compulsion for particularity, fame and excessive admiration in the foreground, often in excessive, uncontrolled form. Classical activities or characteristics that could establish real celebrities are hardly recognizable here, never existed, or they are long ago, which is especially true for the candidates for shows such as "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!" is recognizably often the case. Often it is about the appearance and physical attractiveness of people, i.e. characteristics that are subject to rapid change. The boom area in plastic surgery for problems that do not require treatment (“beauty market”) has expanded tremendously in the meantime. In 2018, more than 385,000 cosmetic surgeries performed, mostly breast augmentations and liposuction. More Would-be celebs and celebrity addicts often get involved in self-humiliating stagings. The associated psychological processes - including psychotraumatic consequences - often lead to depression, suicidality and addiction.

True celebrities? - statistical

Prominence can only arise where there are masses, from which some individuals stand out. A basically simple social psychological effect, already 100 years ago from Gestalt psychology as Figure-ground effect described. Something has to differ or stand out from the background in order to be considered in the true sense of the word "outstanding“To be noticed. In terms of statistical normal distribution, there can only be prominence in the sense of the extreme. Anything that is more than two, even better three, standard deviations from the mean has what it takes to be special. Whether these people then become prominent, is far from certain. In any case, they are special. With regard to individual skills ("perfect pitch in music", "the math genius speaker", "the outstanding footballer") it is usually not more than 0.1% of all people who meet this criterion. This corresponds to a distance of three standard deviations from the respective mean.

True celebrities? - content

The input marks for "celebrity" are nowadays often beauty and sportiness (Physical appearance and strength), which distinguishes people from other people. These directly observable features are sometimes the entrance to the area of ​​prominence, if further on Talent, commitment and effort join in. A large portion is sure to play a role Coincidence or luck a role. The phrase “to be in the right place at the right time” certainly contains a basic wisdom on the path to prominence. In earlier times it was ancestry and wealth that almost inevitably led to prominence.

Other people made it over in the feudal age extreme courage, greatest talent, extravagance and strong sophistication to prominence. This brings us to the hidden, but no less important, requirements for celebrities. Mostly these are one special talent, a resilient personality, courage and the will to rise, so motivation. Usually also helps a clear goal orientation, a robustness towards oneself and others as well as a not to be underestimated optimism.

Prominence brings upward mobility, positive discrimination, stress and loneliness

In the background there is often a striving for social advancement combined with becoming famous, general acceptance and admiration. The Striving for othernessDifferentiating oneself from the mass of people in the same social class is an old human need and relates to increasing self-worth. People demand equality from others, but usually want to be something special to themselves. In the literal sense of the word, prominence means sticking out of the uniform crowd, which is then something that is conspicuous Admiration and affection from others has the consequence.

As a result, there is discrimination against others, which is nothing else than the distinguishability from the crowd means. The original meaning of the word discrimination was accordingly a positive one. Often, however, the prominence of individuals follow envy and resentment through others, which is experiencing inflationary spread and publicity through the social networks of the Internet age. Prominence is even more important today than it used to be Loneliness and social isolation result. Nowadays, celebrities have to suffer more often and more intensely from these negative consequences of being a celebrity if they even face these networks. It takes then a strong resilienceto put away the often very emotionally derogatory and destructive hostility.

Creative celebrities

The term `` prominence '', which is widespread today, illustrates the inflationary use of this term, which originally was “standing out” from the crowd, a term used in the formation of the elite. A large part of real celebrities (from now on they are meant when using the term) are creative workers - actors, musicians, artists, writers, etc., who actually have special skills. These show heaped abnormal handling of substances. They often use the functions already described to achieve their goals: Increasing performance, stimulating before appearances, dampening and calming down, self-medication for depression and anxiety, etc..

In the area of ​​creativity in the narrower sense, substances are mostly used for self-medication, e.g. for writing inhibitions or extreme stage fright. They help in the short term, but not causally, i.e. they do not eliminate the causes of the problems. Drugs only cover up the symptoms, concealing the real reasons for blockages and crises. These can be in Hyperstress, exhaustion, alienation and depression lie. The solution then usually lies in a change in behavior and lifestyle and in reflecting on the deeper causes. Unconscious motives and schemes (concepts of life) should be recognized and revised. The schemes can go back to the earliest childhood, e.g. for an actor who had a famous father as an over-valued, seemingly unreachable role model. Psychotherapy and coaching are suitable offers in order to cope with these conflicts in a fundamental and sustainable manner.

Functions of drug use in creative people

Behind every drug use lies a purpose and a goal. This is called the functionality of drug use refers to and relates to the immediate, acute effects of the substances on the consumer's organism, especially the brain. The functionalities are mostly unaware, but are still effective and latently control behavior. Psychoactive substances are particularly effective in people in creative professions two functions: On the one hand, the effect of the substance increases the sensitivity by artists - and thus indirectly also theirs creativity.

A purpose that was initially desired and then often sought after again and again.On the other hand - especially sedating substances such as opioids and alcohol - Hypersensitivity, extreme emotions and stressful cognitions (“Worries and fears”) and thus enable further creative work, at least for a short time. The motives for substance consumption are - as with all users - diverse and dependent on personality and situation. The ones for creative people - even if they are not yet prominent, which applies to the majority - main motives to substance use Stress reduction, anxiety reduction and increase in endurance and performance.

And there are artists who use drugs to get more creative.

There are also numerous artists who consciously use drug consumption to become (even) more creative. This is one of the narcissistic motives of consumption, as they are unable to creative crises and setbacks out own power to endure, to relate them constructively to oneself or even to learn from them. Some feel that they are too deficient in the background to make it without drugs. There is a lot of material, especially about those people who have been prominent and successful for a long time and then resort to substances because of a creative crisis - some of them produced by those affected themselves.

This is often found among writers, such as Ernest Hemingway or Truman Capote. They hope that the effects of the substances will allow them to build on old creativity and earlier successes. This, of course, is a fallacy since the causes of the crisis are to be solved. American experts have listed which ones in a detailed list famous 20th century drug abuse artist operated and also those who died directly or indirectly from it.

Peculiarities of drug use among celebrities

The American list reads like a “who's who?” Of 20th century culture. The consumption of drugs has been found in avant-garde circles to a greater extent than in the general population for a long time. Maybe that is Drug use cause and concomitant circumstance avant-garde ways of life. Avant-garde literally means "vanguard". The term originally comes from the military field, which was used to describe advance scouting troops and special troops. Later the term was transferred to cultural innovations. The oriental custom of the, which became known in Egypt after the Napoleonic campaign Hashish consumption was then used in 19th century France as an anti-bourgeois form of cultural innovation by so-called avant-garde groups. The became known Club des Hachichins ("The Hashish Eater Club") in Paris from 1844 to 1849. The social discrimination function of such behavior creates, in addition to the desired function of differentiation, elitist awareness and leads to a particularly high level of group cohesion.

Ways to get addicted to celebrities

While some affected their Way to celebrity with drugs go and under the influence of the substance acutely in hyperstimulated states of the nervous system, it works the other way round. Someone gets prominent because of their great ability and then develops one risky consumptionbecause he cannot cope with the constant stress or suffers from increasing anxiety. Affected people then often develop below those belonging to the prominence Everyday stress a pattern of behavior, dealing with substances to calm down and to stimulate (depending on the situational requirements).

In the longer term, such everyday consumption often results in a dependency problem, which - as with all addicts - is usually not noticed at first or suppressed with regard to the symptoms (see specialist text on the defense mechanisms in addiction disorders). In essence, then, it is a Emotional andStress regulation problemwhat is denied and repulsed at the same time. Celebrities represent a great challenge and also a stress factor that many celebrities are unable to cope with in terms of their personality and stability. True prominence requires a mature, stable personality, which is increasingly rare these days. That is why personality coaching is a particularly important preventive accompanying measure, especially when celebrities are emerging.

Some celebrities who have risen quickly cannot cope with the admiration they receive in masses. You did not want to bake any more small rolls, to put it colloquially, but you are up the stress and restlessness, which is associated with the status of a new celebrity, is not prepared. In the background there is often a narcissistic motive: I finally want to be admired and there is no way I can stop it! I want more and more of it and basically get along with it less and less.

Elvis Presley was that guy. He was dying to hold on to being famous and prominent, was afraid it would end and ended up in one Stress anxiety drug use trap trapped and addicted to practically all levels of behavior (alcohol, drugs, food, relationships). By the way, food addiction and relationship addiction are not that uncommon among celebrity stars, because on the one hand larger amounts of high-calorie food (especially with a lot of fat, sugar and salt) quickly and effectively change the state of mind and emotions and on the other hand, more and more admiration comes from the social environment got to.

However, some simply cannot cope with the stress of everyday life, want to take everything with them and overwhelm themselves with it. Incidentally, this also applies more often to politicians. There are studies among members of the Bundestag which show that alcohol and drug consumption is above average in this group too.

Mental disorders and celebrities

There is often one close relationship between mental health problems and prominence. The advantage of being mentally ill can be about yourself little about social conventions to take care of yourself more non-conformist to behave and thereby ideally receive admiration and affection. Even if these reactions suggest the audience's secret wishes, the principle of prominence lives from the fact that these projections happen. The celebrity, on the other hand, is unconsciously programmed to the admiration of the audience and suffers from the fear of losing it, or even has to cope with it in real life. There is such a thing narcissistic trap from the attributions of the audience and the artist's secret fears.

Celebrities can be fatal

American studies on the Celebrity status (“Celebrities”) have shown how dangerous this life can be for the celebs themselves. While 92% of the total population die from natural causes, they are among celebrities only 49%. The rest dies Accidents, suicides, addictions and stress-related illnesses. Musicians, for example, died 20 times more often as a result of addictions than people from the general population. Her risk of dying from suicide was four times higher. Many experts consider that drug-related deaths among celebrities for concealed suicides. Of course, it's not just the circumstances and consequences of being a celebrity that create danger. Certain personality profiles involve higher behavioral risks, such as hyperactivity, impulsiveness, risk appetite, aggressiveness, etc.

Celebrities live risky lives - prevention and assistance are part of professional behavior

Overall, the above facts and figures make it clear that life as a celebrity can be not only exciting and exciting, but also risky and dangerous. Therefore, early help for affected celebrities is particularly important, regardless of the risks and dangers involved. Because the shame, yourself Getting help and admitting weaknesses, who is particularly strong in this group of people, help role modelswho come out, and psychoeducational informationto understand that the problems are not just of an individual nature.

The everyday life of celebrities is more likely to bring it with it, especially due to the increased Role and performance stressthat mental problems arise. If this then permanently suppressed, denied or repulsed will be the Substance abuse even more likely. Unfortunately, these phenomena are in Germany hardly known, not even in the affected circles. It is especially among artists and celebrities Tendency to become taboo and Defense of the subject enormously strong. The situation is completely different in the USA, where celebrities - as soon as their problem becomes known - tend to take the "flight to the front" and publicly admit to their problem. That usually brings them acceptance and admiration.

Life as a prominent person is often an ambivalent roller coaster ride made up of excitement and admiration on the one hand, and stress, fears and worries on the other. Basically - and that's mine Results from many psychotherapies with those affected - life as a celebrity succeeds best with British Understatement, a lot of optimism and hope and joy on one's own abilities and talents. And when there are problems and conflicts in the "inner life" of the psyche there, in the best case scenario, people can get through it intensive examination of yourself, its unconscious parts and its life story to even greater depth and intensity to lead.

Bibliography: Köhler, Thomas (2017). Fame & madness. Mental disorders of known personalities. Stuttgart: Schattauer.

Further facts:“Famous Drug Abusers” contains an overview of the most important US celebrities and their use of drugs.

Posted in GeneralTagged Drugs, Drug Use, Loneliness, Prevention, Celebrities, Mental Illness, Stress, Addiction, Addiction Prevention, Addiction Disorder