I have been sorta-kinda watching the Charlie Sheen meltdown for the last week or so. I say sorta-kinda because frankly, I could care less, but itís hard to avoid.
I watched a few of the manís movies in the 80s and was unimpressed. Watched exactly one episode of Two-and-a-Half Men because Iím an 80s kid and liked Jon Cryer back then. I was even less impressed.
I found the show to have exactly zero redeeming features, being as it was ó like most prime time sitcoms these days ó a celebration of sex and body function humor.
Donít get me wrong, Iím male. I have no problem with sex, and flatulence is always funny. Iím just not sure prime time is the place for either and I thought that show was way over the top.
Sheenís father Martin is a talented enough ó if somewhat self-important ó fellow, and perhaps thatís where Charlie got his ego. Or perhaps he just started believing his own press releases. I donít know.
What I do know is clean or not, heís crazy.
Not a little crazy. Bat-crap, danger to himself crazy.
Whatís worse is the media, instead of trying to rein this idiot in, seems to be encouraging him.
Encouraging you say? Poppycock!
Indeed, encouraging. If the media were not offering him multiple interviews and venue after venue in which to go on his rants, perhaps his family could get him the help he needs.
He claims to be clean and drug tests seem to bear that out, but oi vey, you wouldnít know it from his behavior.
In which case he has larger issues since sane people do not act like he is.
What I suspect, having experience with a family member who is severely mentally ill and has recently had their own very public melt down, is that Sheen is bipolar, and like most with untreated bipolar disorder heís been self-medicating all these years.
You see, those with untreated and undiagnosed bipolar disorder are often on drugs or functioning alcoholics. They turn to these things in order to feel right. Or at least try to.
Unfortunately, what often happens is what weíre seeing with Sheen ó they get clean and sober and then REALLY go off the deep end because of the untreated mental disorder. Generally they then relapse because they donít like the way they feel.
So far as Sheen goes, I have less sympathy for him than I do for his father and brother. Theyíre going through a special kind of hell only those of us who have experienced it can understand. Watching someone you love destroy themselves while refusing help and cutting themselves off from you is brutal.
So for whatever itís worth, Martin, Emilio ó Iíll be praying for you two.
All IMHO, of course.
(Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Columbus Advocate and the Baxter Springs News. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.)