Help for Teens Obsessed With Celebrities
If you have a teenager living under your roof, there's a decent chance you're being kept abreast of all the latest celebrity news from your pop-culture-loving child 3. It's likely that you, too, remember the days of hanging the dreamy poster in your room or screaming your head off at a concert. Iif you are worried that your teen is developing an unhealthy interest in the celebrity world, intervention and treatment may be necessary.
Celebrity Worship Syndrome
Together with a team of researchers from universities in the United States and Britain, James Houran, a psychologist with the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, studied the unhealthy interest of celebrities in 600 people -- a psychiatric condition called "celebrity worship syndrome." This isn't a condition confined to teenagers, and these researchers believe one-third of the population has it to some extent 1.
When to Intervene
It is normal for your teen to be interested and even fascinated with celebrities, to a certain degree. Houran says that when a teenager begins to fantasize about celebrities and believes that a celebrity is aware of him, he falls into the most severe degree of celebrity worship syndrome, called "borderline pathological." If your teenager feels he has a close, personal connection with a celebrity, it may be a cause for concern -- especially if he is withdrawing from family or demonstrating symptoms of depression 13.
Celebrity worship syndrome may be a clue to something deeper brewing 123. John Maltby, a researcher at Britain's University of Leicester, believes that borderline pathological celebrity worship is an indication of depression, anxiety and stress 1. Teenagers showing an unhealthy fascination with celebrities may also have a strained relationship with their parents. Be sure to give your teen encouragement and positive feedback to help build his self-esteem, and seek professional help if you believe your teen needs counseling or medication to treat severe depression or anxiety.
If your teen hasn't yet reached the depths of full-blown celebrity obsession but is showing some preoccupation, there are steps you can take to prevent matters from going further. Make sure your teen's fascination isn't a result of boredom, and encourage him to become involved in an extracurricular activity or get a part-time job. Limit his time online -- where he has access to all the latest celebrity news -- and make plans to do activities together as a family. Be open and honest with your teenager about your concerns, and make sure that you are setting a healthy example for him by refraining from scouring the tabloids and latest celebrity news yourself.
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