People with Fame Addiction often press the ‘pause’ button in their lives and take a vacation from emotional growth, development and meaningful relationships for a ‘hit’ of validation.
— Dr. Reef Karim

Fame Addiction is a growing problem that can impact anyone - from celebrity to the average person

These pictures show people with fame who may or may not have an addiction


What is Fame Addiction?

We are a society spending more time capturing the moment than experiencing it. Many people fear being "invisible" so much so that they post a superficial highlight reel of their life for validation - instead of taking the emotional risks of fully experiencing life to develop a deeper core of accepting and improving who they really are. As a result, some individuals are vulnerable to a condition where they feel bored, lonely, impulsive, anxious, disconnected and unfulfilled and go out of their way to be "seen" or to manage these feelings with pills, alcohol, drugs or "acting out".

This condition is called Fame Addiction.



Fame Addiction is a behavioral condition centered on the desperate need for validation at all costs. It’s a constellation of symptoms causing an individual significant anxiety, mood instability, poor self esteem, identity difficulties and confusion over existential issues including family, friends and life’s purpose.

People suffering from fame addiction often “lose themselves” internally to the external world of fantasy, competition, needing to be recognized and being famous.

It’s a negative pattern of behavior with the sole focus of being recognized, validated and approved by others.

Because of reality television, social media and an over-stimulated, instant gratification society, many more people are finding themselves suffering from the symptoms associated with fame addiction. From Facebook depression to higher levels of impulsivity to self-destructive behaviors, some people stop growing emotionally while desperately hoping to be validated.


Common Characteristics Include

  1. Needing constant validation from family & friends
  2. Underlying anxiety or mood instability
  3. Difficulties with impulse control
  4. Poor self esteem
  5. Rejection Sensitivity
  6. Identity Crisis
  7. Being overly opportunistic with new and current relationships (evaluating usefulness)
  8. Living in a fantasy world
  9. Substance Abuse (alcohol, prescription pills, illicit drugs)
  10. Self-Destructive Behaviors
  11. Impression Management
  12. Attachment Difficulties

Media & Publications

Dr. Reef Analyzes Donald Trump

Facebook Addiction and Depression