But while Ms. Lassez might be the most visible person to go public with her struggle she is not, psychics and self-described addicts say, the only one suffering from it. The impulse to consult the paranormal for guidance in life can, like gambling fever, strike people of any level of education, intelligence or social status. It can become a form of faith healing for people suffering anxiety, particularly in professions like acting, where the swings of fortune can be sudden, mystifying and sometimes cruel.
Ms. Lassez's first taste of the paranormal came a decade ago on location for a film in Detroit, when -- on a whim -- she dropped in on a tarot reader to get her mind off a breakup and an argument on the set. The psychic spread out 10 cards on the kitchen table in a Celtic cross, a standard tarot pattern. The 10th card, which supposedly augurs the subject's future, was the Star. To any young actress the meaning would be clear. By the time she left Detroit, she had her own tarot deck.