She may have once been Hollywood’s highest-paid actress, starring in movies like Ghost and Charlie’s Angels, but these days, Demi Moore seems to be crumbling under pressure.
The 49-year-old is in “total lockdown,” according to E!, at the Cirque Lodge in Utah, a rehab clinic known for treating the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Eva Mendes and Mary-Kate Olsen. Reports indicate she’s being treated for anorexia and addiction.
Since her November 2011 split with husband Ashton Kutcher, Moore, who popularized the term “cougar,” and was known for her ageless physique, has been spotted acting erratic at parties and looking “skeletal” on red carpets.
“When people use the word ‘lockdown,’ it means a locked psychiatric unit where they don’t have the right to leave without giving advance notice, and sometimes without the agreement of the staff that you are ready to leave,” said Dr. Keith Ablow, a psychiatrist and Fox News Channel contributor who has not examined or treated Moore. “People end up in a locked psychiatric unit if they generally are thought to be unable to care for themselves – to the point where they could die, or if they are suicidal or homicidal. But, many psychiatric facilities only have locked units, and many people go to them and sign away their right to them when they enter.”
“The key question that haunts people and leads them to depression and anxiety is whether they have value – if people treated them as value-less.”
Moore reportedly entered Cirque the week of Jan. 23, after friends called 911 to report Moore had “smoked something . . . like incense . . .and she seems to be having convulsions of some sort.” The female caller described her as “semi-conscious” and “barely” awake. During the phone call, Moore’s breathing is described as “not-so-normal," and the caller added Moore was “burning up.”
Moore’s friends told paramedics she was inhaling nitrous oxide, or whip-its, TMZ reported.
"Because of the stresses in her life right now, Demi has chosen to seek professional assistance to treat her exhaustion and improve her overall health," Moore’s rep, Carrie Gordon, told FoxNews.com shortly after she reportedly checked into Cirque. "She looks forward to getting well and is grateful for the support of her family and friends."
On Monday, Gordon told FoxNews.com, “We have no comment beyond our initial statement.”
Moore’s problems may have stemmed from early on in life. Her mother, who died in 1998, was a “hard-drinker,” and the man she called her father committed suicide, according to People Magazine. Moore was treated in the mid-80s for alcohol and drug use – and sources told People one of the reasons for the split with Kutcher had to do with her prescription drug problem.
One source told the magazine Moore was spotted with a bottle of Adderall, which treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and her diet consisted of “Red Bull and nothing else.”
Ablow said one of the side effects of Adderall is weight-loss, and the drug, which contains methamphetamines, can become addictive.
But, perhaps a quote from Moore in Harper’s Bazaar may provide us with a look at Moore’s real insecurities: She admitted she’s scared “that I’m going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I’m not really lovable, that I’m not worthy of being loved.”
“This tells me that Demi Moore is not unlike many people who seek counsel from psychiatrists where the core question is ‘Are they lovable?’ or ‘Are they worthless?’ because one or more people treated them – usually early in their lives – as if they were worthless,” said Ablow. “The key question that haunts people and leads them to depression and anxiety is whether they have value – if people treated them as value-less.”
Ablow said these are the types of people who seek fame, money and admiration – but if you have deep questions of being worthless and unloved, that is when drugs and alcohol come into play since they can numb the painful feelings.
“And the truth is, these people were always completely lovable--it was the people around them who couldn’t show them that,” Ablow said. “I think Demi has tried most things a person can try not to address those terrible core doubts that perhaps she can now address for the first time since all the other defenses have failed. She seems to have tried alcohol and drugs, she seems to have tried seeking eternal youth, she seems to have tried fame . . .but when you are not sure you deserve anything, there’s no solution other than really finding the source of self-doubt.”
Ablow said for a person who doesn’t believe he or she has value, a loss – like the one Moore suffered during her split with Kutcher – could feel like a “complete calamity exposing you to a black hole of despair.”
Cirque Lodge is a health-care accredited addiction treatment facility, which is founded on the 12-step modality, according to its website. Treatments include cognitive behavioral therapy and independent counseling, among others. It’s based upon a 30-day residential program, with continued outpatient care after leaving the facility.
A typical day at Cirque may include Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, art therapy, journal writing and working out.
Ablow added that sometimes psychiatric medicines are needed to treat these kinds of issues.
Moore’s apparent anorexia could imply a variety of underlying issues, Ablow said.
“I haven’t examined her, but one obvious possibility is that when you feel you have no obvious control, you look to achieve control over something,” he said. “If it’s micromanaging your food intake, it can become dangerous. And the appearance of being starved – the question for Demi Moore is, what are you really starved for? What has emptied you out? The answer will be found, if she looks at her life story in detail with courage.”