When you’re high it’s tremendous. The ideas and feelings are fast and frequent like shooting stars, and you follow them until you find better and brighter ones. Shyness goes, the right words and gestures are suddenly there, the power to captivate others a felt certainty.
-Kay Redfield Jamison
Charlie Sheen is experiencing a bonafide manic episode right now. I have watched several of his interviews and the speed of his speech, arrogance, creativity and grandiose statements all provide irrefutable evidence. He took two drugs tests recently and passed them so this isn’t some drug induced media blitz. Obviously when he actually is high and intoxicated it only exacerbates his condition but by people thinking that he may only have an addiction to drugs and alcohol leads to armchair diagnosis.
The way Sheen describes his brain and thoughts is an incredibly accurate description of a manic episode. Mania is delusion with bits of truth intertwined. The intelligence, wit, stamina and charisma Sheen has exhibited in his twenty-plus radio and television interviews is deceptively engaging.
This public breakdown has been very entertaining. But that is the problem with mania. It can make you very charismatic but eventually you will approach god-like delusions. Soon your thoughts will lead to behavior that can be harmful to yourself and others. In the information age of 24hr news coverage both the public and media are providing Sheen with the perfect platform to receive the attention he is so desperately craving. A manic person especially in a position of power, wealth or influence won’t be able to be honest or self-aware about destructive behavior.
My manic episodes have never approached Sheen-like levels. Maybe because I didn’t have cameras recording me or millions of dollars at my disposal but I did act irresponsibly. I walked on building ledges and subway tracks, engaged in spending sprees on clothes and porn, overindulged in food and was sexually promiscuous. Luckily I didn’t commit any criminal acts, fall off any ledges or move any porn stars into my mansion.
Bipolar is the real drug that Charlie Sheen is on. He looks physically exhausted but his manic-induced brain won’t let him stop, breath or slow down. I’m hoping that Sheen for the sake of his kids gets treatment and becomes a stable individual again. It happened with Robert Downey Jr. and it happened with me as well. Hopefully next year’s Oscars won’t have Charlie Sheen on the screen for the in memoriam segment of the show. What are your thoughts?
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