Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

I'm not laughing

Mental illness isn't funny. Mania is really not funny. This isn't funny. I don't understand why people think watching someone break down is entertainment. I didn't laugh when it happened to Anne Heche, Margot Kidder or Britney Spears. I certainly didn't laugh when it happened to my son. These people are all sick. They are neurologically damaged. Charlie Sheen's behavior is certainly a precursor to towards work suspension and the loss of his children. But this is tragic, not funny.

This is a man who has done some rotten things. No doubt about it. But he is out of control based on his neurological damage. Nobody behaves as he has without some kind of mental illness lingering in the background, Yes, he uses drugs. This is called self-medicating, something that is wildly popular amongst men with mental illness. They self-medicate with alcohol and illegal drugs because of the stigma of mental illness. If Charlie Sheen were "just" an alcoholic, nobody would be talking about him round the water cooler. But not only was there alcohol abuse, there was drug abuse (although he tested completely clean during his breakdown last week), and there was acting out sexually. The combination of sex, drugs, and alcohol clearly points to a man in deep emotional pain. It is not funny.

I don't follow Charlie Sheen's career. I know he's on a mediocre sitcom on CBS. I know he had a very difficult divorce from Denise Richards. And that he is Martin Sheen's son and Emilio Estaves's brother. He is the parent of 5 kids, including twin boys. That's pretty much all I know, and I really don't need to know any more. The Charlie Sheen Show that is now playing all over the media isn't my business and I certainly do not feel comfortable giggling about all his ravings this last week.

The guy is sick. He's unhappy, he is out of control and probably in the midst of a manic episode. So lets not laugh at him. Let us hope that he gets the help that he needs to turn his life around.

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OpenID dannymiller said...

Very well said. The problem is, the media outlets who are giddily lapping up every "Charlie Sheen exclusive" are simply not going to turn down such a ratings juggernaut. The only hope (and it's a longshot) is if people decide to turn away and let this guy's sad drama play out in private. Anyone laughing at his antics clearly has never been through the trials of a family member with mental health issues or chemical dependencies. Sigh.

2/3/11 2:09 PM  

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