Fame Junkies

Personality Disorders and Fame
It takes a special kind of person to thrive off fame.   There are always those who are thrown into it and adapt to their new reality, but those who want it, those who crave the attention and seek it out, they all have something in common: the excessive need to always be in the spotlight.   However, this obsession with attention does not necessarily equate to narcissism, as Jake Halpern suggests in his book, Fame Junkies.  
In an article for Suite101.com, author Kate Le Page describes some of the characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder (NPD):   an unusually high opinion of one’s self, the belief that one is worthy of extra-special treatment, and the obsession with needing constant attention from other people.   At first glance, this seems to be a fairly accurate description of most celebrities, however, if you do a little more research you’ll find that histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is more common, and a more fitting representation of the majority of fame-seekers.   Le Page identifies HPD sufferers as being overly sensitive to criticism and rejection, having an obsession with their physical appearance, wearing provocative or inappropriate clothing, and, as with NPD, continuously needing to receive attention from other people.  
There are two characters from Fame Junkies who immediately come to my mind in regards to the two disorders:   Ariel Barak and Eddie Powell.   Ariel does seem to be the classic narcissist, with his senses of entitlement and self-importance, and his belief that he is unique.   At one point he says to Halpern, “…I don’t doubt myself, and I never look down on myself – never” (49).   Eddie, on the other hand, displays the characteristics of HPD.   His reason for wanting to become a celebrity: “…at school I’m just a common person.   The popular kids…like to make fun of me” (33).   He believes fame will boost his image and cause his peers to show him the respect he deserves.   In fact, most of the aspiring...