Corey Haim’s tragic death on Wednesday highlighted the plight of many actors who start in the business at a young age. Dr. Joseph Haraszti, a California psychiatrist consulted by RadarOnline.com, said that actors like Corey have trouble dealing with youthful fame and an adult career that isn’t as successful.
“They can’t handle the pressure. Everybody wants a piece of them. Society wants a piece of them. Everybody wants to meet them, wants their autograph, it can just be overwhelming.”
Dr. Haraszti, who did not treat Haim, said that this situation is typical of child stars. “What I see as the common theme is they get all this adulation for their performance but they lose out on their childhood because often times they become the bread winners for their family. They don’t go to regular school, they didn’t go to the prom, and they didn’t go through the social angst. That is a tremendous loss. Someone who misses out on that is impaired. Then they try to make up for it as adults. They try to go back and have a childhood because they never had a childhood or adolescence. Then they go wild, sooner or later they turn to drugs because they just feel out of control, they can’t handle their anxiety.”
Corey Haim struggled with addiction over the years, entering rehab multiple times for substance abuse. Dr. Haraszti said being a star whose career is on the downward cycle is rough. “Once the music stops, then they feel a tremendous sense of inner emptiness, then they don’t have the skills emotionally and socially and interpersonally to reach out and to start a normal life. What they have experienced is not normal, they can’t redeem that. There are many younger stars who come along and take their place and they become has-beens and after a while people forget their names even.”
Dr. Haraszti said the traps of Hollywood that seem so glamorous and desirable are what cause the downfalls. “Too much money, too much fame, everything too soon just results in overwhelming problems.”
He said that the tragedy about the loss is that it could have been avoided if Haim had found the right help. “It seemed like drugs were his only friend.”