Obsessed with the UK royal wedding? It can lead to mental health issues
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Obsessed with the UK royal wedding? It can lead to mental health issues

Are you keeping track of all the developments in the upcoming royal wedding of Britain’s Prince Harry with actor Meghan Markle? You may want to rethink your obsession, as experts warn of its effect on your mental health.

fitness Updated: Apr 19, 2018 12:08 IST
Soma Das
Soma Das
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Britain royal wedding,Meghan Markle,Prince Harry
Prince Harry and American actor Meghan Markle will get married on May 19, at Windsor Castle.(HT file photo )

If you are a fan of the British royal family, like us, then you will be super-excited about the upcoming nuptials of Prince Harry and American actor Meghan Markle (on May 19, at Windsor Castle).

As new details emerge about the wedding preparations — the official wedding cake will be a lemon elderflower cake baked by chef Claire Ptak of Violet Cakes in London, there will be lots of peonies (Markle’s favourite) supplied by London-based florist Philippa Craddock, but there is no consensus on which tiara Markle will wear at the wedding — you may be forgiven for thinking that you are a part of the royal entourage, or even an esteemed guest.

After all, the fairytale love story of a prince and his Hollywood bride has drawn the attention of millions. But counsellors warn that there is a dark side to this fantasy: it may become an extreme and potentially dangerous obsession, and eventually damage your mental health. Such concerns were raised by mental health professionals since Harry and Meghan announced their engagement in December 2017, when royal fans’ avid fascination with the UK royal family reached an all-time high.

Mental health experts warn such an obsession could lead fans to lose touch with reality. Sue Varma, a psychiatrist and clinical assistant professor at New York University Langone Medical Center, says that fandom can intensify into a mild obsession, but when it deepens, it can raise red flags. “I absolutely don’t have a problem with somebody having an obsession with the royal family. I don’t think that’s the problem in and of itself,” Varma told Reuters.

“It’s the lack of other activities, the lack of flexibility, the fact that you’re taking away time from something else. Is this time that you could have been spending with your kids? Is this time you could be talking with your partner?” Varma said, adding, “When you start socialising with people that you don’t know, when you don’t have a reciprocal relationship, this is called parasocial. It’s one-sided. This is a problem when you’re living in a fantasy world at the expense of creating real relationships,” she said.

Varma also warned that celebrity obsessions can lead to body image issues, such as body dysmorphic disorder. “People become obsessed with celebrities and, a lot of times, they start having body image issues, they start feeling like they need to get plastic surgery,” she said.

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First Published: Apr 19, 2018 12:07 IST