From a teen in Argentina: For the past few months, I have become obsessed with a male celebrity. As a result, I am constantly browsing for videos, interviews and photos of him. The fact that there is new material of his to watch almost everyday makes it even harder to stop obsessing. It’s such a strong infatuation; he’s a highly educated, smart and funny man and I am often fantasizing about being a part of his life. They are generally romantic fantasies (never sexual), and I also invent conversations where either one is displaying some sort of intimacy, or sharing each other’s problems, and comforting one another.
I have been diagnosed with depression and generalized anxiety and have been struggling with it for more than three years (and have been on medication since then). Basically, it is due to poor self-esteem/self-image, self harm, and a tense/abusive/neglectful relationship with my parents. Never have I seen any displays of affection between them, nor have I experienced any from them. There have always been, however, very high academic expectations that I could never fully compel to, in spite of the fact that I was a very good student. In short, I’ve never had their approval, and I’ve never related on an emotional level with them. I strongly believe that my obsessions are linked to this lack of recognition and affection.
This hasn’t been my first celebrity crush, but it has probably been the most intense. I take up his same interests, I find out what he likes, how he thinks… There is a part of me that, deep down, does things because he does or has done. In some way or another, it all traces back to gaining the approval I never had from my parents.
I’m always imagining ways of meeting him and eventually being a part of his life, which is highly unlikely. The problem is that I’m even considering other career choices just so I have a chance at being close to him. It has gotten to the point where it’s just childish and ridiculous. I just want his life to stop being the center of mine.I Am Obsessed with a Celebrity
I Am Obsessed with a Celebrity
The most important statement in your letter is that you understand that your obsession is out of control and that you want it to stop. That tells me that you are probably not suffering from psychosis but rather from a form of OCD. In your anxiety and perhaps loneliness, you have landed on this obsession and the compulsions that go with it as a coping mechanism. By fantasizing about a relationship with the celebrity, you give yourself the involvement and affection that your parents aren’t able to give.
You state that you are on medication, but you didn’t mention whether you are engaged in talk therapy. If you are not, I urge you to find a counselor you can trust and to work through the pain and disappointments of your growing up years. Fortunately, it really is never too late to have a happier life. With good treatment, you can learn how to disengage from your parents and to find other older, wiser people (real in your life adults, not fantasy figures) who can give you the support and involvement that everyone needs. You can also learn how to parent yourself constructively.
If you are already in therapy, I hope you have discussed the extent and seriousness of the obsession with your therapist. A therapist only has the information you share to work with. It might be helpful for you to take a copy of your letter and this response to your next (or first) session to advance the conversation.
You have already taken important steps toward healing by taking medication and by writing to us here at PsychCentral. I hope you will take the next steps and do the hard therapeutic work you need to do to give yourself the life you deserve.
I wish you well.