Sick Celebrities

drugs, eating disorders

Dennis Quaid Talks About Cocaine and Body Dysmorphic Disorder


dennis quaid all smiles after getting over his cocaine addiction

Dennis Quaid is one of those actors we all know well yet has never really hit the heights his potential suggested he would when he emerged in the 1980s. He disappeared off the radar in the early 90s while he dealt with a serious cocaine addiction. It also appears that Dennis was dealing with anorexia at the same time.

Anorexia isn’t common in males, certainly not publicly at least, so it’s good to see a male celebrity, especially one of Quaid’s standing, talk about the disorder which is a certain killer if not treated through therapy. Many men refuse to believe they have eating disorders because the media has made it appear that it’s an exclusively female illness; a notion very wide of the facts.

Quiad spoke openly of is drug addiction which began in the late 60s and ran through the 70s, escalating into the 80s when he hit critical mass with it. In an interview with Larry King he said he could see himself ‘ being dead in five years [at that time] if he didn’t stop’.

Dennis Quaid ponders his problems
Dennis Quaid ponders his drug and eating problems

He lays some of the blame for drug problems at the feet of Hollywood, “Coming from where I came from – lower-middle-class life, from Houston into Hollywood – and all of a sudden this success starts happening to you, I just didn’t know how to handle that.”

“Cocaine was even in the budgets of movies, thinly disguised…. It was petty cash, you know? It was supplied, basically, on movie sets because everyone was doing it.”

“I’d wake up, snort a line, and swear I wasn’t going to do it again that day … but then four o’clock rolled around, and I’d be right back down the same road like a little squirrel on one of those treadmills.”

His eating disorder is similar in many ways to his cocaine addiction. Both are mental illnesses, often born out of trauma or shock which manifest themselves as dependencies of a kind.

Quaid’s case wasn’t helped by some of the roles he chose and at one point he admitted to being utterly obsessed with his calorific intake and that he was suffering with Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a mental condition that distorts your own perception of your body (often people thinking they’re fat when they’re clearly not).

Now he looks like a recovered man but one thing all addicts and people with EDs do is hide their problems very well, at least until it becomes too obvious that something is wrong. Dennis, however, is looking better than ever.


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