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Top 10 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Q.V. Hough Fame, wealth and complete madness are just a few things that can affect who you ultimately become. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy. For this list, we're focusing on specific reasons why the Hollywood system seems to contribute to the mental instability of stars who gained fame as children. Special thanks to our user roxy for submitting the idea at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy

Fame, wealth and complete madness are just a few things that can affect who you ultimately become. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Reasons Child Stars Go Crazy.

For this list, we’re focusing on specific reasons why the Hollywood system seems to contribute to the mental instability of stars who gained fame as children.

#10: Poor Career Management

In the digital age of instant stardom, creepy agents are no longer scouring coffee shops in search of the next big star, they’re lurking on social media and making promises they can’t fulfill. If you’re going to be manipulated, then why not align yourself with a well-known Hollywood agent? You know, someone who legitimately WANTS to make you a star – and if he or she can make a few dollars in the process, so be it. Ok, millions of dollars. To be fair, there are plenty of respectable agents in the entertainment industry, but far too many wannabes.

#9: Bad Influences / Entourage

We’ve all heard the story: sweet little Susie jaunts off to the big city and suddenly she’s smoking blunts at 10 AM and drunk by noon. Why does this happen? The entourage. The concept was glorified on HBO’s hit series, but in reality, there’s a certain crowd that likes to HAVE influence on aspiring stars, or at least be associated with them. These people “introduce” child stars to the likes of Jack Daniels and Mary Jane, and it’s at that moment when all bets are off, because anything can happen.

#8: Lack of Childhood

Michael Jackson said it best: “have you seen my childhood?” And the answer is no, MJ, nobody saw your childhood, because it didn’t really exist. When you’re raised to be a star, the smaller joys of life such as camping trips and summer shenanigans always take a backseat to practice. “We’ll do it tomorrow,” says Mom or Dad, and of course, that day never comes. Some child stars live with the perpetual agony of knowing that simple dreams will never be realized in order to reach a more complex one. And when that child DOES become a star, he or she regresses into the past rather than looking towards the future.

#7: Sexually Exploited

Unfortunately, this has long been a dark Hollywood issue that keeps victims silent for years. Whether it’s a world-renowned performer or a slimy executive, child stars often fall under the influence of power and become sexually objectified. Some actively lend their bodies with hopes of earning that breakthrough role, while others are simply taken advantage of at a young age. Regardless, the attempts to block out the painful memories naturally become too much to handle either during childhood itself or at an older age.

#6: Fame Came Too Fast

When it comes to being a celebrity, even the strongest upbringing can never prepare one for international fame. It’s just not possible. The attention of admiring fans may seem appealing, but child stars often become overwhelmed with the evolution of their surroundings. Why? Well, because they are children and haven’t been allowed to form their own life perspectives. Instead, their reality is created by their fame, and when one realizes that life isn’t all about public admiration, it can be a major blow to the senses.

#5: Drugs / Alcohol

As noted in our #9 entry, the entourages of child stars can have a devastating effect on their personal lives, but drugs and alcohol always serve as the larger threat. It’s no secret that Hollywood stars have been known to consume cocaine like an appetizer and self-medicate with a steady amount of booze. Addiction never seems to be a problem when the body continues to function, but there’s always that moment when just a little more is needed. And while public breakdowns make for entertaining YouTube videos, sometimes child stars don’t return from their seemingly temporary escapes.

#4: Fame Going to Their Heads

Ok, here’s some breaking news: fame may cause a blurred sense of reality. Of course, it can also make someone cocky as hell. And why wouldn’t someone appear confident when they have the looks, the money and the ability to travel anywhere in the world? Well, in most cases, there always comes a day when a child star realizes that nobody likes an arrogant asshole. Young entertainers may become famous by playing magnificent bastards, but they don’t understand that such a persona doesn’t effectively translate to real life.

#3: Parents

If you’re a parent that boasts about taking care of your kid, well then you’re probably not doing enough, because you’re SUPPOSED to take care of your kid. Some Hollywood parents like to project their failed dreams onto their children, and a few troubled souls view their children’s talents as nothing more than a cash machine. And as child stars land that big time role, it’s only natural for Mom and/or Dad to take control of the bank account and save a few bucks for… “college.” You know who you are, and you’re making your kid crazy.

#2: Wanting to Get Rid of Former Image

When you grow up as teenybopper angel forced to wear a perma-grin, it’s only a matter of years until you say “F THIS.” Seriously. It only makes sense. As one grows into a young man or woman, it’s never easy, especially when not only your parents get on your nerves, but the entire world. Child stars forever become associated with their on-screen identities, and the only way to shatter such an image is to aggressively resist innocence itself. That’s when the entourage steps in to lend assistance with a plate of “goodies” to choose from. And that’s when a child star goes bat shit crazy.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Lack of Knowledge / Naiveté
- Rich to Broke
- Media / Tabloids

#1: Pressure

Hey, life is hard, and even the most privileged of child stars feels pressure. Success depends on public reaction, and one must put on an endless show in order to maintain the Hollywood lifestyle. So, what happens when your latest flick bombs at the box office? Well, the phone stops ringing and the criticism begins. Naturally, it’s never easy to accept social disapproval, especially when you don’t entirely understand the concept. You’re just a kid, and you’re doing what you love to do…or at least that’s what you thought. The lucky ones manage to maintain a normal life and successful career, but far too many succumb to the pressure of being a child star.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite reason why child stars go crazy? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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