Psychologists say the emotional pain that follows celebrity deaths can be very real and personal; an occurrence termed “Mourning sickness,” which can leave entire groups of people in a situation of finding answers to deeply uncomfortable existential questions.
Experts in the field had different views on the grief-like-reactions after studying various incidence that followed the deaths of some public figures in history, with the catastrophic emotional imbalance and suicidal behaviors that were recorded.
Michael Brennan, Liverpool Hope University sociology lecturer, told AFP:
“Individuals often form deeply effective relationships with celebrities with whom they have never had a face-to-face relationship. This does not invalidate the grief-like reactions individuals may experience.”
Japantoday talks about the car crash that killed Princess Diana in 1997, also, a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in 2000 confirmed the dramatic increase in the number of suicides recorded in England after her death; an incidence believed to have triggered the first public mourning for celebrity.
“Mourning of public figures might be taken less seriously by some, said Carie Schuster, a chartered psychologist from Wiltshire, England.”
“The event, and others like it, may be “enough to cause some individuals catastrophic emotional imbalance,” Carie added.
Brennan also said:
“The fans mourn not only the loss of the celebrity but other aspects of their personal life which have become bound-up with the celebrity.”
Another expert, Hamira Riaz, UK based Clinical Psychologist also talks about the emotional pain that followed the demise of Prince Rogers Nelson, an American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist; how his fans mourned his sudden departure on various social networking sites.
The expert emphasizes that those born between the mid-1960s and early 1980 would be hardest hit, as his death would bring the memory of the past, and regret for dreams that never materialized.
Each celebrity death shatters our wish to never let go off the memory we’ve had, and the joy of having such beautiful and talented icon in our generation.