Grief is defined as the primarily emotional/affective process of reacting to the loss of a loved one through death. The focus is on the internal, intrapsychic process of the individual. Normal or common grief reactions may include components such as the following:
Numbness and disbelief.
Anxiety from the distress of separation.
A process of mourning often accompanied by symptoms of depression.
Grief reactions can also be viewed...
"You have a confluence of forces coming together in technology and the
media to make it happen and it's worldwide and it's multiplying like lice,"
says Stuart Fischoff, PhD, spokesman for the American Psychological Association
and professor emeritus of media psychology at the California State University
at Los Angeles.
Indeed, from the international mania of the New York Post's Page
Six, to increasing circulation of celebrity-driven publications like
People, US, OK, and In Style, to the cult
star status of gossip reporters like Entertainment Tonight's Mary Hart
and the New York Daily News' Rush & Malloy, there is no question
that all-things-celebrity have captured -- and are keeping -- our attention
like never before.
But what drives our endless fascination with celebrity worship? And more
importantly, can its enticing seduction ever be harmful to our health?
The answer, it seems, depends a lot on who is doing the worshipping -- and
the reasons why.
"Like most things there's a dimensional approach here; there are some
people who are fascinated by celebrities lives, but also involved in meaningful
activities and relationships in their own lives, and for these people star
watching is usually a harmless diversion," says Eric Hollander, MD,
professor of psychiatry and director of the Compulsive, Impulsive and Anxiety
Disorders program at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.
For others, however, things don't go quite that way.
Hollander says there are an increasing number of us for whom the fascination
with celebrities is a substitution for real life -- with the focus on
a celebrity replacing the focus that should be on our own lives. And that, he
says, is the point at which some folks begin to get into trouble.
Depression, anxiety, and a decrease in self-esteem are just some of the
documented problems that can result when we take the focus off our own lives
and instead focus all our energy on the life of a celebrity.