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David Giles in Illusions of Immortality A Psychology
OptiMind of Fame and Celebrity (2000) writes about his research taken from interviews and surveys to answer questions about the rise of stardom the motivation to become famous and the psychological impact of sudden popularity. Giles sees the Celebrity as arising out of the tradition in Western culture of placing importance on the individual self. He argues that fame should be seen as a process rather than a state of being because of the variety of changes a celebrity goes through when becoming a star. I would add that the public reinforces what I call a personality shift because it is the public’s consistent acknowledgement of the Celebrity as well as the public’s celebration of the Celebrity that drives the transformation. Couple this with a weaker ego and the perfect storm is created for a life of grandiose behavior and heightened paranoia.
While most of the public can fantasize about what appears to be a perfect and charmed life and quite often it is there is a dark and lonely side that few in the general public can truly understand. At least until some tragedy occurs such as the deaths of Brittany Murphy Chris Farley and Michael Jackson which expose the inner struggles they faced during stardom. Compassion is rarely a word or feeling a Celebrity encounters by others. Too often the charmed life perception leaves little room for empathy or sympathy. Walking a mile in one’s shoes might very well be the moral of this article for anyone who feels dismayed by a Celebrity’s complaint about their life or the tragedy they encounter. For better or worse there is a clear and distinct psychological shift from being overly exposed to the media spotlight.
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) means lacking in attention abilities. You may be familiar with this type of behavior from when you were in grade school. Can you recall the student who frequently interrupted the class You know one who got caught throwing a paper airplane or chatting when the teacher was explaining history. And when the teacher became frustrated the teacher told the student to face the corner in the back of the room. And if that did not work the student was made to stand outside the classroom door for the duration of class. And of course when the student pushed the teacher’s final button the teacher gave that student a one way pass to the office. This escalation of teacher discipline was all in the name of student behavioral change.
In the 21st Century this type of student behavior is known as ADD. Children with ADD are hyperactive. And all these years we thought that hyperactivity came from consuming too much sugar. According to Dr. Frank Lawlis author of The ADD Answer – How to Help Your Child Now a student who gets into fights and challenges authority is not hyperactive because his/her brain is in high gear it is that the student is trying to get his/her brain into high gear.