Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
What the heck is going on with Charlie Sheen? It seems the Charlie Sheen crash-and-burn publicity tour is exploding, with him giving the most revealing interviews seen since… well… ever! Some people are speculating that he may be manic-depressive, others that he’s on drugs, and even others believe that he is just leading the lifestyle everyone else wants (he’s just ‘winning!”). So what do I think?
First of all, I am not a psychiatrist, but I have some psychiatry training, mainly back in medical school where I spent several months working in a Maximum Security prison (you can read about that in my upcoming book In Stitches). Although one cannot make a diagnosis based on TV interviews alone, all signs point to me that Charlie Sheen has bipolar disorder (manic depression). This is a psychiatric condition where a person goes back and for between episodes of mania and depression, often with relatively ‘normal’ intervals in between. He currently appears to be in a manic state. What symptoms of mania does he exhibit? A LOT! Here are some:
Appearing ‘jumpy,’ agitated, and wired
Talking very fast, jumping from one idea to another
Being restless, sleeping little
Having an unrealistic belief in one’s abilities
Behaving impulsively and taking part in pleasurable, high risk behaviors.
One scary fact is that bipolar patients have a 60 times higher risk of suicide versus the general population. I hope someone gets through to this great actor before the Charlie Sheen Train crashes and burns.