Skip to main content
Report this ad

See also:

Justin Bieber: A case of arrested development and narcissism

For a famous teenager like Justin Bieber who is mostly concerned with pleasure or comfort now being in the world spotlight then an escape from challenges feels like he can always get away with it by his refusal to accept responsibility which means he also refused to grow up. Growing up was never made to be easy. No matter how much fun you have along the way, the challenges are always hard to cope up with most of the time. Being powerful and famous among his so-called "beliebers"fans also gives him a challenge to be a good role model. It means he has no choice but to act mature around to those who looked up to him.

Justin Bieber: Another case of arrested development
Photo by Handout/Getty Images

But the bitter truth still remains that is, by engaging with these challenges, not running away from them, can growing up occur to become a better man. An escape or flight from the real situation along with a room for growth is lost as development toward maturity is delayed, sometimes even arrested.

Why arrested? Because with each attempt to face these challenges, successful or not, comes a new measure of responsibility. And increase of responsibility that goes with age in years is the measurement of growing up. But when one escape those challenges in life then it results to irresponsibility and immaturity.

This is case of arrested development in a young teenager whose chronological age is nineteen, but whose operating age, based on his lack of responsibility and consequent immaturity, is maybe sixteen or seventeen. Such persistent escape may take him into trouble such as the recent DUI arrest and drag racing. He has to double his responsible ways as a famous teen idol for he is in the public eye of young fans.

What is Arrested development?

Arrested development is an abnormal state in which development has stopped prematurely either physically (medicine) or stoppage of mental development which also means that one is not fully developed psychologically (developmental psychology and psychiatry).

Developmental disorder, a group of psychiatric conditions originating in childhood that involve serious impairment. Sometimes their bodies matured but their minds did not. Such developmental tasks fundamental achievements must be accomplished at each stage of life, coming from critical stages in the maturation of an individual. Now, the successful attainment leads to a healthy self-image and success with later tasks. But then failure to achieve developmental tasks at one stage leads to unhappiness on the individual, disapproval of society, and difficulty in accomplishing later developmental tasks. This is why such irresponsible behaviors of DUI and drag racing proves to be a public disapproval.

Some major primary origins of developmental tasks are physical maturation, social pressures, cultural pressures and privileges. Other origins are those found in the aspirations and values of the individual.We know that Justin Bieber is a product of a broken family and it crippled his ways to make the right decisions as a grown man. Family developmental tasks are those that must be attained to assure survival of the family and its continuance as a unit. Examples include (1) providing shelter, food, clothing, health care, and other essentials needed by its members, (2) establishing ways of interacting, communicating, and expressing affection, (3) maintaining morale and motivation, (4) rewarding achievement, (5) meeting personal and family crises, (6) setting attainable goals for family members, and (7) developing family loyalties and values. Here we can note that Justin Bieber never maintained the moral standards of society expected of him for his individual set of values are not strengthened of his need of a basic family structure.

Where does Arrested Psychological Development come from?

Arrested Psychological Development is being ‘stuck’ in an emotional level of development. Depending on the timing of trauma (childhood, adolescent or teen) determines the symptoms of Arrested Psychological Development. Each developmental stage influences how the latter adult will experience the effects of arrested development psychologically/emotionally.

Causes/affect of Parents Neglect

According to Kohut and others, a normal child grows up out of Arrested Psychological Development through occasions to be emulated by (i.e., gain approval from) his or her parents and to overemphasize (adulation) them, acquiring a more accurate sense of self and a set of personal ideals and values through these two processes. We have to note here that his parents separated when he's just few months old.

Traumas or Disturbances

In the disturbances, parents neglect to provide appropriate opportunities for adulation and emulating, the child remains "stuck" at a developmental stage. Here we have to note that he was raised by his single mother. In traumas such as a hit on the head from a car crash, etc. can also have the same results…

It is a fact that children's personalities are in their formative years from one development stage to another development stage may change considerably by the time they are in their late teens. That is why personality disorders are considered to have their onset in late adolescence or early adulthood. Arrested Psychological Development is generally a symptom of many different personality disorders. Now this brings us to “The Eight Psychosocial Stages of Human Development”.

Dr. Erik Erikson, the famous psychologist (1902-1994) who proposed these Stages found that…Unresolved Childhood Developmental Tasks “leave a life-long residue of emotional immaturity.”

We all go through these 8 stages of development in our physical life. These stages are generally infant, child, youth, adolescence, teen, young adults, adults, and elders. You will notice that even though there are ages assigned to these stages, everyone is different and some people can appear to stay younger longer than others. However, we have to go through these stages eventually or die trying….

1- Psychological development also goes through 8 stages, and if we are healthy the development matches physical development. I believe that we go through the emotional stages of helplessness and need, formation of personality, fear and suffering, responsibility and acceptance, and finally, peace.

2- Again, although we all start at the state of helplessness and need, these stages are not age specific. We all have probably met people who are stuck in one of these stages or another.

More serious issues…central to most personality disorder problems, is arrested emotional development, which is triggered by parental neglect and/or abuse in infancy and childhood (birth-18 years old).In these cases adult development can be accomplished, but it takes time and treatment to mend the core trauma wounds that are inherently at the root of this dysfunction of emotional development. At this point, we can clearly see that the "parental neglect" is a huge factor on the acting out of Justin Bieber at the present.

Personality Disorders

At the present times (2014), there are 2 major theories about the origin and nature of many personality disorders. One theory considers a personality disorder as a form of arrested psychological development while the other considers it as a young child's defense against psychological pain.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is defined specifically as a pattern of grandiosity (exaggerated claims to talents, importance, or specialness) and pathological self-absorption in the patient's private fantasies or outward behavior along with a need for constant admiration from others and a lack of empathy to people.

There are nine (9) diagnostic criteria for NPD. For the clinician to make the diagnosis, an individual must fit five or more of the following descriptions:

He or she has a grandiose sense of self-importance (exaggerates accomplishments and demands to be considered superior without real evidence of achievement).
He or she lives in a dream world of exceptional success, power, beauty, genius, or "perfect" love.
He or she thinks of him- or herself as "special" or privileged, and that he or she can only be understood by other special or high-status people.
He or she demands excessive amounts of praise or admiration from others.
He or she feels entitled to automatic deference, compliance , or favorable treatment from others.
He or she is exploitative towards others and takes advantage of them.
He or she lacks empathy and does not recognize or identify with others' feelings.
He or she is frequently envious of others or thinks that they are envious of him or her.
He or she "has an attitude" or frequently acts in haughty or arrogant ways.

While Justin Bieber is not a bad kid at all, he once showed his grandiosity when he visited the museum of "Anne Frank" where he blurts out if only Anne Frank is alive now, she will also be a "belieber" to him.

PERSONALITY SUBTYPES. Other psychiatrists have noted that patients who meet the DSM-IV-TR criteria for NPD reflect different clusters of traits within the DSM-IV-TR list. An expert in the field of NPD has suggested some subcategories of narcissistic personalities but the "phallic narcissist" fits Justin Bieber. Almost all patients in this "phallic narcissists" subgroup are male. They tend to be aggressive, athletic, and exhibitionistic where they enjoy showing off their bodies, clothes, and overall "manliness."At this point, we can see why Justin Bieber is always shirtless in public that is, to show off his sculpted body.

Treatment Methods:
Some people just grow up psychologically by living life…some psychiatrists have proposed the possibility of some adults whose arrested development is often corrected by life experiences alone. However this is not the case for most.

There is an ongoing controversy about the nature of arrested emotions—whether it is fundamentally a character disorder unchangeable for the life of the person, or whether it is a matter of learned behavior that can be unlearned. Psychotherapists who incline toward the first viewpoint are usually cynical about the results of treatment for patients with arrested psychological development. Most people believe in the latter… that arrested psychological development is learned behavior that can be unlearned into what they call an emotional growing up process stimulated by psychotherapy.

Mental health describes a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder. From the perspective of 'positive psychology' or 'holism', mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. Mental health can also be defined as an expression of emotions, and as signifying a successful adaptation to a range of demands. Good coping mechanisms and well-being leads to a good emotional wellness.

Now, the question remains if Justin Bieber will go to rehab.or not? He just needed an emotional therapy and he needs to be surrounded with good company. Most of his friends are bad influence to his career.

Emotional mental health improvement

Being mentally and emotionally healthy does not preclude the experiences of life which we cannot control. As humans we are going to face emotions and events that are a part of life. According to Smith and Segal, "People who are emotionally and mentally healthy have the tools for coping with difficult situations and maintaining a positive outlook in which they also remain focused, flexible, and creative in bad times as well as good." In order to improve your emotional mental health, the root of the issue has to be resolved. "Prevention emphasizes the avoidance of risk factors; promotion aims to enhance an individual's ability to achieve a positive sense of self-esteem, mastery, well-being, and social inclusion"(Power, 2010). It is very important to improve your emotional mental health by surrounding yourself with positive relationships. We as humans, feed off companionships and interaction with other people. Another way to improve your emotional mental health is participating in activities that can allow you to relax and take time for yourself.

Yoga is a great example of an activity that calms your entire body and nerves. According to a study on well-being by Richards, Campania and Muse-Burke, "mindfulness is considered to be a purposeful state, it may be that those who practice it believe in its importance and value being mindful, so that valuing of self-care activities may influence the intentional component of mindfulness"(2010).


Activity therapies, also called recreation therapy and occupational therapy, promote healing through active engagement. Making crafts can be a part of occupational therapy. Walks can be a part of recreation therapy.

Expressive therapies are a form of psychotherapy that involves the arts or art-making. These therapies include music therapy, art therapy, dance therapy, drama therapy, and poetry therapy.

Alternative therapy is a branch of alternative medicine, which includes a large number of therapies imported from other cultures. It also includes a number of new medicines that have not yet passed through the process of scientific review. Alternative therapies include traditional medicine, prayer, yoga, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy, hypnotherapy, and more.

Meditation therapy is an increased awareness of mental processes can influence emotional behavior and mental health. A 2011 study incorporating three types of meditative practice (concentration meditation, mindfulness meditation and compassion toward others) revealed that meditation provides an enhanced ability to recognize emotions in others and their own emotional patterns, so they could better resolve difficult problems in their relationships.

Biofeedback is a process of gaining control of physical processes and brainwaves. It can be used to decrease anxiety, increase well-being, increase relaxation, and other methods of mind-over-body control.

Group therapy involves any type of therapy that takes place in a setting involving multiple people. It can include psychodynamic groups, activity groups for expressive therapy, support groups (including the Twelve-step program), problem-solving and psychoeducation groups.

Pastoral counseling is the merging of psychological and religious therapies and carried out by religious leaders or others trained in linking the two.

Psychotherapy is the general term for scientific based treatment of mental health issues based on modern medicine. It includes a number of schools, such as gestalt therapy, psychoanalysis, cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.

Let us end this with these words from, "The Helper's Apprentice," where police Officer LaSalle explains this to the young boy who has been trying to escape his troubles in life.

"Running off or running from is all the same. Just running. Further you go never's far enough ‘cause there ain't no away. Whatever's chasing you keeps catching up. No...Running won't keep you from getting caught, not when it's you you're running from. I've seen a lot of runners and I know. Fastest man ain't been made that can outrun his self."

For more information:

Report this ad