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When Celebrities Suffer from a Mental Illness - Charlie Sheen and BiPolar Disorder

Updated on August 31, 2012

It is Up to All of Us to Show Responsible Conduct

Charlie Sheen has been giving non stop interviews on tv, radio, and online.  He has been saying outlandish things and been the subject of comedic skits all over television.

Charlie Sheen’s obvious mental breakdown is  being  played out in the public arena  He is not helping the situation by having his own  web show. While it is difficult to diagnose someone from a distance, there is obviously something wrong emotionally. He shows signs of having bipolar, we know he is a drug abuser, and he may have hints of narcissism, as a personality disorder. While he has brought on a lot of the attention on himself, he is not necessarily consciously aware of his behavior.  Whether it is from a mental illness or from drug abuse or a combination of the two, there needs to be some responsible conduct on the part of society instead of exploiting his erratic behavior, and laughing at someone who is unaware of their behavior.  

The Two Faces of Bipolar Disorder

Do We Have Different Standards for People With Emotional Disturbances?

People who suffer from emotional instability should not be made fun of. They are vulnerable members of society who need protection rather than raw exposure.  They need help, but   may not see themselves as having a problem.The media and late night tv continue to poke fun at  his behavior.  Everyone is so busy enjoying his antics, no one seems sensitive to the mental problems he has, or the population of people he represents.   Watching him  demonstrates what a person who suffers from a mental illness is like. It is difficult to get him the proper help,. He denies that he suffers from any of these things.  

Sheen probably has bipolar disorder, and maybe self medicating with drugs. While Sheen is responsible for his drug abuse, and it may be the withdrawl, which could have triggered his most recent episode of  bipolar, his mental illness needs to be respected and he needs help. It is wrong make him a laughingstock. At the very least, his drug abuse is a symptom of some emotional pain that he is trying to dull. Charlie Sheen’s father, Martin said “ if he had cancer, how would we treat him. The disease of addiction is a form of cancer and you have to have an equal measure of concern and love and lift them up and that’s what we’re doing for him.”  

Somehow when we see disturbed behavior staring us straight in the face, we turn away.
When Michael Douglas had his recent bout with throat cancer, he was showered with support and get well wishes, as he should have been. Yet, when a person suffers from mental illness, no one treats them that way. What we are probably seeing with Charlie Sheen now, is manic behavior. Some of the grandiose things he has said may be due to his manic behavior. He may also be narcissitic, which adds to the complication of him getting proper treatment. People in the manic part of bipolar, usually feel good, have an overabundance of energy, go on very little sleep and believe they are really okay. After a few weeks, he may cycle down, and go into a depression. At this point, he won’t feel so good, and hopefully will seek treatment in a rehab facility. When someone has a mental illness, they don’t realize they need help. For people to make fun of his behavior, it is taking advantage of a person who is unaware of their own actions, it is part of the illness.  Society and the media needs to be more sensitive to people who suffer from a disorder that has no visible physical signs. People shouldn’t laugh at the misfortunes of others. And these comedians and popular shows , I believe, should use their platform as a way to offer support for the millions of people who see themselves in Charlie Sheen.  We would be empathetic to someone who has a physical illness. Yet we have different standards for people who suffer from a mental disorder. What messages are we sending to all those and their families who probably feel ostracized and isolated because of a mental illness?  

Millions of People Suffer from Bipolar Disorder

Facing a person with a mental illness makes people nervous and uncomfortable. None of us are quite sure we are normal to begin with. Watching Charlie Sheen is very uncomfortable. While late night television comedians poke fun at Charlie Sheen, the facts show mental illness is no laughing matter.

  • Approximately 25% of the population, or 1 in 4 people is or will deal with a mental disorder in a one year period.
  • When you add in people who are dealing with substance abuse, which is also an emotional disorder, according to the medical community, statistics show that 32.4% of the population suffers from a mental disorder over a 12 month common timeframe. That means nearly 1 in 3 individuals or 75 million people each year, are coping with a mental disease.
Mental illness is all around us, and may affect you, someone you love, a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, a schoolmate, or a well known celebrity. It affects children, adolescents, young adults, middle aged, and the elderly. People from all walks of life, different professions, and from the poor to the wealthy and in all corners of the globe. Mental illness affects people across all ages, ethnicities, religions, and gender. It is one of the leading causes of disability in the world.
  • Approximately 9.5% (nearly 21 million Americans) suffers from a mood disorder, such as bipolar, depressive disorder, or dysthymia. Many of these people suffer from anxiety disorders also, and abuse drugs or alcohol.
  • Approximately 5.7 million people suffer from bipolar disorder.

It is Common for People to Have Substance Abuse Disorder and a Mental Illness

Bipolar disorder causes a person to have vary between extreme moods ( the term polar refers to one end of a spectrum. Bi refers to two) The term bipolar is when a person goes from a state of extreme elation or a manic state to very sad, depressive feelings. Bipolar is also known as manic-depression and is a disease. While the person is in their manic state, they sleep very little, are highly irritable, their mind have racing thoughts, they are easily distracted, have poor judgement. They are unaware that anything is wrong with them, because they feel like they have plenty of energy, deny anything is wrong, and think they are okay, because they are not feeling depressed. When they cycle down, they feel extremely sad, and hopeless. They will sleep all the time, have little energy and can have suicidal thoughts. As a person with a mental illness gets older, they can have more frequent bouts, they stay in their extreme state longer, and are affected more deeply. The highest rate of suicide for mood disorder illnesses increases as the person approaches middle age and beyond due to the extended and greater intensity of each episode.
People with bipolar disorder have a very high rate of alcoholism and drug abuse, as much as 7 times that of the population at large. Studies have found that when one condition worsens, so does the other.

  • Bipolar disorder affects approximately 2.3 million American adult men and women. It is believed that inheritable factors play a role in who suffers form bipolar.

A Number of Factors Can Trigger a Mental Disease

Environmental factors can also impact a person’s mental health. With the economic conditions they way they are, there are many people who are financially distressed, which can lead to emotional distress. If the person has the propensity for a mental illness, environmental, stress inducers and substance abuse can trigger the condition.

  • More than 90% of people who commit suicide have a mental illness or are substance abusers.
  • Over 450 million people throughout the world in developed and third world countries, are dealing with a mental illness. Some are mild cases, and some are serious and debilitating.
  • Of these people, 154 million people have depression or bi polar disorder.
  • 106 million people are substance abusers
  • 15 million being drug abusers
  • 91 million people abusing alcohol.
  • As many as ⅔ of those suffering from a mental disorder do not get treated. Largely in part to the stigma that goes along with a mental illness.

But most of these people can be treated successfully, and would welcome the relief if only they had awareness, access, and support.

  • Mental illness claims lives through suicide and in shorter lived lives due to lack of self care.
  • People who are mentally ill tend to live 25 years less than the rest of the population, because they don’t get proper medical or dental treatment or take good enough care of themselves. Sometimes people who suffer from mental illness are unaware of their self care, and sometimes they can’t afford to take care of themselves if they are unable to work due to their illness, or because they live at the poverty level.

Mental Illness is Nothing to Laugh At

The truth behind mental illness is really very sad. Mental illness can be overwhelming for the families who are trying to help their loved one. For the rest of society, it is easier to bury our heads, gain a chuckle, make a buck and and busy ourselves so we don’t have to face the overwhelmingness of what to do about mental disorders that exists all around us. In this day and age, there is so much unawareness and fearfulness about mental disorders.  

Drug abuse and mental illness often go together.  Sometimes substance abuse can trigger the illness or make it worse. Sometimes the individual is has the mental disorder and takes drugs or alcohol to self medicate as a form of relief from mental illness. Proper treatment involves treating both disorders. But it is not an easy task. Often the withdrawl can exacerbate the mental illness. In addition, as the person goes through the painful process of detoxification, their mental health may decline due to feeling very vulnerable. and the drug or alcohol problem may reoccur.

It is very common for both mental illness and subtance abuse to occur in the same person.  

  • 60% of people who abuse drugs or alcohol, it is believed, also have a mental illness.

In some instances, the drug abuse brought on the mental illness. In some instances the mental illness created the drug abuse. As we learn more about mental illness, evidence points to inheritable characteristics playing an important role in predisposing people to these disorders.  
  • People with disorders related to mood or anxiety may be 2 times as likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.  
  • People with substance abuse disorders are approximately 2 times as likely to be diagnosed with a mental disorder.  
  • Mental illness makes people vulnerable to drug abuse.
  • Drug abuse increases the risk of a mental disorder occurring.
  • Suicide rates have been skyrocketing due to rising unemployment, financial distress is causing emotional distress across the globe.

We Don't Really Mean to Laugh at Another's Misfortune

Intervention is very important to treat the individual. The problem is that most people are resistant to treatment, believing that they are okay,  and the stigma associated with treating these disorder impedes them from getting the proper help.

People who need help are hesitant to get the needed treatment and when the public makes fun of people who do funny things, but are really suffering from one or several disorders, we are perpetrating the problem. Our world would be a better place, if we realized that the things people do, are not always as funny as they appear. We don’t really mean to laugh at people’s misfortune, but somehow for those with a  mental illness it is okay. It is hard to help someone like Charlie Sheen, right now. He doesn’t think he needs help. But it is insensitive and we show a lack of empathy when we expose an ill person at their most vulnerable points.  I feel for the individuals who see themselves in him. Many people with mental illness do not seek help for fear of ridicule or misunderstanding, or isolation.  The stigmas are real and inhibiting, and they and their families suffer in silence. Mental illness and substance abuse are not funny for the people who suffer from it and for the people who love and care about them.

Save One Person, Save the World

There is a saying “Save one person and you save the world” Helping our fellow man should be higher on society’s  list of things to do.  I am not saying it is our obligation to save Charlie Sheen. He has family and people in his life to do that for him. But I am saying we should stop laughing at him. And perhaps we should start realizing there are people all around us who may be suffering in silence, embarrassed and afraid to admit that they suffer like Charlie Sheen is. They don’t want to be laughed at. We have an obligation to reach out and set good examples to others, so that they will feel comfortable seeking proper help. “Save one person and you save the world”. When you realize that laughing at Charlie Sheen is laughing at millions of suffering people, you might find something else to make a joke about.

What Are People Who Have Bipolar Disorder Thinking?


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    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 3 months ago from Minnesota

      Love that I read this five years after the fact. It was hard watching Charlie melt down on national television. I agree with you that mental illness is no laughing matter. I've heard he's doing well these days. Thanks for the informative and caring hub on Charlie and Bi-Polar.

    • letstalkabouteduc profile image

      McKenna Meyers 23 months ago from Bend, OR

      Well said. While it's not kosher to diagnose from a distance, I think it's safe to say Charlie Sheen is bipolar. But mental illness is no excuse for evil, atrocious behavior -- anti-Semitic remarks about his boss, verbal and physical threats to his ex-wives, pornography and prostitution, violence against women, bad parenting. That's just low character, not mental illness. Most people with mental illness lead decent lives and do their best to cope without hurting others.

    • profile image

      JJMFE 3 years ago

      Thanks author, for that cogent mental illness reminder. You've mapped the pieces in C Sheen's life as I have watched it in my own loved ones lives. I confess that I too have gotten caught up in the media blitz on Charlie Sheen, and didn't recognize the tell-tale signs of the underlying disorder. But its really clear. And speaking as one with family members with the same medical problems, when you have family members that fit the behavioral profile, you would do anything, anything to rescue them. We need compassion for the man, and his family. I'm sure they live in fear that he will do something with permanent consequences in either the high or low phase. I know that I have those fears for my loved ones, and would plead for compassion by medical, mental health and law enforcement officials (and public opinion) by those who deal with my loved one. So I echo your counsel, and lets dial back our reaction to the tabloid type reports on Mr. Sheen and instead keep him in our meditations, or prayers.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Celebritie, Thanks for stopping by and commenting. To me it is not a matter of a person being a winner, it is a matter of people getting help, not being made fun of, and leading an optimally healthy life, physically and mentally.

    • celebritie profile image

      celebritie 6 years ago

      Charlie Sheen is a winner

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Thanks for your comments. Charlie Sheen and his family are very talented people. It is a shame what they are going through. I think we are all rooting for him. I just hope this publicity could raise some awareness about mental health, for all the people who no one knows about, and no one is rooting for.

    • Pente profile image

      Pente 6 years ago from Planet Earth

      I have a lot of respect for Charlie Sheen because he is trying to live his own life despite the judgments of society. If two guys can live together, why can't a guy live with two girls at the same time?

      Anyway, I certainly recognize the bipolar psychotic behavior. But could this be a survival mechanism programmed into some of our DNA?

      In conclusion, I am rooting for the guy.

    • SUSANJK profile image

      SUSANJK 6 years ago from Florida

      He is obviously a very talented guy, but his success is also his downfall.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      News about actions like those of Charlie Sheen are always played out in the media as it makes for good ratings...sadly! Rarely are the small kindnesses and good performed by ordinary folks lauded, or if they are, that is more rare.

      Obviously Charlie Sheen needs some help which he is unable or unwilling to understand. Sadly...all the people that were making their livelihoods on that television program have now lost their incomes due to the actions of just one person.

      Good and useful hub and voting it so. Thanks!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Coolmon, You said it all. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 6 years ago from Texas, USA

      It is tragic to watch this man destroy himself and the media using him to boost their rating. Good Article thanks for sharing.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      I am glad this hub is helpful in seeing what I see. It is not about a celebrity, but about people who need help and a safe place to seek it. Thanks for stopping by and contributing.

    • Betty Johansen profile image

      Betty Johansen 6 years ago

      You are very compassionate. The show (2 1/2 Men), especially Sheen's character, is so repulsive that I have a hard time giving him any kind thoughts. (Of course, I haven't watched the show in several years, but I assume it has only gotten more obnoxious.) I do appreciate your putting a different spin on the situation. I haven't paid much attention to Sheen's antics, so your analysis is very enlightening. And your point that others with similar problems will hide their condition for fear of similar ridicule is very valid.

      Thank you for this compassionate, insightful hub!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

      Yea and the saddest part is those around him in his so called "camp" are exposing him and hanging around to drain all the life from him till there is nothing left but a shell to discard. The man is surround by vampires. :) Katie

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 6 years ago from South Africa

      "Helping our fellow man should be higher on society’s list of things to do." This is so true and if we would really use our imaginations and exercise some empathy we would see that it could be ourselves in that situation.

      Thanks for this compassionate and thoughtful Hub.

      Love and peace


    • ImChemist profile image

      ImChemist 6 years ago

      Great hub , rated and voted.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Mike, I am glad you learned a lot. Educating and awareness are the way to help us all feel more comfortable to deal with people suffering with mental illness. It doesn't have to be a stigma.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi PW281, You said a lot of key points, that I agree with. Thanks for the up rating

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Schoolmarm, I am optimistic that he will end up in rehab. The bigger picture is to keep him off of drugs forever and getting him the proper help so he doesn't cycle again and again. Thanks for your kind words about my article.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Aris, Thank you for visiting my hub. People can live to be very old, even with a mental illness. Looking at someone like Charlie Sheen now, you can see he is not taking proper care of himself, he has lost weight, he is smoking, and wouldn't pay attention if something else was wrong with him. Over time, this has deleterious affects on the body.

    • Mike's Corner profile image

      Mike's Corner 6 years ago from Maryland

      Excellent hub, toknowinfo, very comprehensive -- I learned a lot about mental illness, thanks for posting!

    • profile image

      PWalker281 6 years ago

      Excellent hub, toknowinfo, on bipolar disorder that Charlie Sheen appears to be suffering from.

      Compounding his lack of treatment is the fact that he's an adult and no one can force him to receive treatment unless he becomes a danger to himself or others. Hopefully, he will get the treatment he needs before it gets to that point.

      Rated up and useful!

    • schoolmarm profile image

      schoolmarm 6 years ago from Florida

      You did a wonderful job with this hub, truly. Hopefully when all of the jokes stop and the dust settles, he will get the help he needs and deserves.

    • Aris Budianto profile image

      Aris Budianto 6 years ago from Lying along the equator Country

      Financial and economic issues tend to trigger mentally illness but resigned it all to HIM and live life with a mild maybe our lives will not be reduced as much as 25 years.LOL. Btw, Charlie and Michael are my favorite.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Micky, I also have a lot of respect for Martin Sheen. I think that is one of the reasons that compelled me to write this hub. I feel empathy for Martin Sheen. To me, he has come across each time Charlie has needed rehab, as a caring and compassionate father, who is at a loss as to what to do with his son. This has to be affecting Martin and the Sheen family very much. When people make fun of someone else, they forget that they are hurting many people.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Tamarajo, I am glad you feel as I do about this whole media circus around a celebrity and what he may feel like in the future. But people like Brittney Spears have gotten beyond embarrassing moments, so hopefully he will too. Bipolar has many variations to it. Often text book cases don't describe every aspects a person may go through, just general ones. Basically, bipolar disorder is seen when a person goes through manic or hyper cycles and then gets depressed. Bipolar comes and goes, so in between these cycles they may be fine. Also, there are very effective medications available. I don't think bipolar is becoming over diagnosed, but if it is, it might just create more awareness about it, and awareness and acceptance is what I would like to see.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi JB, thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      I've enjoyed many of the movies Charlie has been in. He has been a remarkable actor. It's too bad that his life is so public. His family is full of talent. I love Charlie's kind side. I love the compassion his father shows every day. I wish him the best. Thank you dear toknowinfo!

    • Tamarajo profile image

      Tamarajo 6 years ago

      I agree with you that to find the destructive living of this man entertaining is somewhat disturbing. Secondly I can't imagine having the most insane and embarrassing moments of my my life being beheld by most of the western world.

      I do think that Bi-Polar is very much over diagnosed these days. I have a friend who is text book Bi-Polar with classic symptoms and have seen many people diagnosed with it that bear little resemblance to the text book version of it.

      I agree that whatever the mental or addictive issue is it needs to be addressed.

      Interesting article.

    • Mrs. J. B. profile image

      Mrs. J. B. 6 years ago from Southern California

      What a fabulous hub...

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Dolores, Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my hub. The media looks for the easiest way to boost their own ratings. I just think the power of the press could be used to raise awareness for mental illness. I would like something constructive to come from all of this.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Such a wonderful, informative, and empathetic hub. But I think Sheen has a personality disorder - not much you can really do about that one. The media attention he receives is a bit sickening and maybe a lesson to us all.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Kosmo, It is hard to diagnose someone from a distance, but it is very likely that his drug withdrawl triggered his bipolar. Although we may not want to think of addiction as a disease, substance abuse is classified as such, in the medical manual that is used to diagnose patients. This manual classifies symptoms based on strict standards and the insurance companies rely on this manual too to determine if they pay for someone's treatment. When you go to the doctor for a cold, you get a classification too.

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 6 years ago from California

      I'm not sure clasifying Charlie Sheen as mentally ill is a correct diagnosis. He may or may not be bipolar, of course, but that's no excuse for this bizarre behavior. "Winning!" He is amusing, isn't he? Anyway, he is probably suffering from drug withdrawal, but I don't think addiction is a disease - it's simply self-induced trouble. If he can beat it by going cold turkey - good for him. Others have. I hope Charlie becomes honest one of these days and stops making a spectacle of himself. Thanks for the very interesting hub. Later!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Wayne, You really have a good understanding on what is going on. That is the problem with mental illness, the person doesn't know that anything is wrong with them, so they don't seek help. And your right about him feeling powerful from his successes, so he doesn't want anyone to tell him what to do. I wonder when he comes out of this, what will happen. But if he does have bipolar, we don't know how long each part of the cycle will last, so there are more chapters to this saga. Thanks for the great feedback.

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

      Strong points and very well made. Kudos for this one! This situation is a good example of our poor understanding of this subject. Here is a man in the public eye who has issues but, from our perspective, continues to function on his own and of his own volition. I think that is the part that confuses people...if he is sick, get him off the stage seems to be the mindset. It shows you how helpless we are sometimes when a person who is not thinking logically is still in charge of their own destiny. All we can do is watch them spiral down deeper into the problem. Until Charlie recognizes the problem, it essentially does not exist. The fallout is that his career and his credibility are on the line. Up front, some of his actions seem rather cute and play to his fan audience. Over time, that audience will tire as the antics become more and more bizarre. Eventually, he loses all credibility for his lack of acknowledging his own issues. I think that that would be rather difficult for any of us especially if we had attained the success and financial statue which has been showered over Charlie Sheen. I can hear his mind operating right now, "Wait! You are telling me...the guy with the number 1 television show in the country that I have issues....please!" I can identify with that resistance to accept the facts. He literally does not see it that way which is sad because left unchecked it will create his eventual demise one way or another. Thanks for a good write. WB

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Amber, In an ideal world, I think celebrities and sports figures, and politicians should be held to a higher standard because they are examples to us all. But they are real people and like all of us, have plenty of faults. I just think that the publicity that is going on could be used to help people who have mental illnesses. I think that using him as a comedic punchline, and airing his rants without talking about mental illness is reckless for the people who seek help but feel stigmatized by their illness, and see themselves like him. Our society needs to help people who may not seek help on their own, instead of isolating them.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 6 years ago

      I think that when we look at stories about celebrities we forget that they are real people. The edges get blurred between their on screen persona and the real person underneath. With Charlie Sheen the close correlation between Charlie on screen and Charlie off screen makes making this distinction more difficult.


    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Charlie Sheen is certainly getting a lot of attention. But I wrote this hub because, people with mental illnesses are not getting enough attention. I think the media, by making fun of him, is further isolating a select group of people who are stigmatized to begin with. They way he is being portrayed, makes me think about people who suffer from bipolar disorder and see themselves like him. I think the media needs to reach out to people who don't know how to help themselves or where to turn for help. When celebrities get an illness, often times the news will explain to the public details about the disease and how to get help. I have worked in the mental health field and have seen people struggle with a mental illness. There is nothing funny about it, and not enough people are out there advocating for them or educating everyone else to feel more comfortable in dealing with those who have mental disabilities. The world might be a better place, if the attention Charlie Sheen is getting would turn into a teachable moment.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      I have no idea what Charlie has been doing. I don't get real TV. I don't look for that news. The whole world seems up-side down though. Nicely done!

    • daydreamer13 profile image

      daydreamer13 6 years ago

      Amazing hub! Well said!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Very inspiring hub. I learn much from this information. Thanks for share this one. God bless you. Rated up!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 6 years ago

      Wonderful Hub, so much as been written about Charlie Sheen, I'm not sure why. However you have done a Beautiful service in this Hub that you have put together and the interesting dialog that it has produced. Two thumbs up Toknowinfo for this enlighting Hub!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Suzanne, I agree, it is time we all raise our standards of what we will accept from the media, the politicians and the people who look to capitalize on any situation in the name of getting attention for themselves. I would hope that we can get smarter about who we pay attention to.

      Hi Pop, It is a shame that people can make an easy buck by taking the road that leads to sensationalism. I guess educating people about mental illness and helping millions of people get help is boring.

      Hi Tom, For me, it is unsettling to see the press callously show him in a state like this, and it is reckless to not show others who suffer like him, how they can get help and support.

      Hi Pam, Part of the problem is that so many people have enabled Charlie Sheen to continue with his destructive lifestyle. The extraordinary amount of money he was paid didn't help to keep him grounded either.

    • pmccray profile image

      pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

      Excellent hub. Not only is mental illness to blame, but the constant wrist slapping that Sheen received from family, law enforcement and the press have a hand in this public meltdown.

      Sheen has never faced sever consequences for any of his abhorrent actions. He's been allowed to skate through life and has now hit a brick wall.

      Unfortunately, the piranha like public at large love it and his access to the social media is a catalyst to this downward spiral. I am a big fan and feel only sadness for him, his family and his children.

      Voted up, marked useful and definitely shared.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi toknowinfo, Yes it is very sad to see Charlie Sheen have this melt down on TV,when people like Charlie are on top there all that and more but when they fall and do something wrong or act like Charlie everyone is ready to rip them apart.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 6 years ago

      Sadly, I think Americans love watching a train wreck. Bravo figured that out and capitalized on it.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

      Yes, I have decided that my part in doing something about it is to identify and strongly, volubly, support politicians, types of media, etc., that do behave in respectful, intelligent and caring ways. I am sick and tired of loud-mouths and ignoramuses ruling the day!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      Hi Suzanne, You are so right with every point you made. I really think it is a dumbing down of our society and no one does anything to improve it.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 6 years ago from Texas

      Good article. I have not paid a speck of attention to Charlie Sheen. I am strongly opposed to the way the media rabidly pounces on the problems of celebrities (or anyone else if they can make a dime from it) and turn it into entertainment. Reality shows that air people's dirty laundry as entertainment, pictures of the first lady in a bathing suit scattered across the covers of tabloids when she thinks she is in the privacy of her own vacation spot, magazine cover photos of once-beautiful Katherine Hepburn ravaged with illness and age, raucous hilarity aimed at a man having a nervous breakdown, are all in incredibly poor taste and simply unacceptable in a respectful, intelligent, caring society. The more we buy into and participate in this behavior, the further we carry our society away from that description.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 6 years ago

      I appreciate seeing everyone's compassion. I strongly feel like we need to advocate for the mentally ill and people with disabilities. One of the problems with mental illness is that the person who is suffering,doesn't know anything is wrong with them, and so they don't seek help. Often relatives and friends don't recognize signs of compromised mental health, and don't know what to do for their loved one. Each type of mental disorder is different from another. Charlie Sheen is not going to hurt someone else. Once in the depressive cycle, a person could be a danger to themselves. And I do hope that this hub will raise awareness so that help can be made more accessible, and more acceptable.

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      Susan Haze 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Many times the person who needs help the most do not think that there is anything wrong with them. I think it's a shame that Charlie Sheen is have such a difficult time and making it worse with his public displays. Great job.

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      gobangla 6 years ago

      You would think after the recent tradegy in Arizona that people would have more sensitivity about this issue. What worries me about Sheen is the possibility that he may harm someone else. It definitely isn't a laughing matter.

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      dearabbysmom 6 years ago from Indiana

      It is sad that his man's illness is being played out in such a public way...he has children after all, who will bear the brunt of the fallout. Compassion is in order, and you provided great info.

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      Don A. Hoglund 6 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      If it were not for Sheen's antic I wouldn't know who he is.

      `My son-in-law is bi polar. I wouldn't know about that either if he had not told me.He is quite a nice guy.

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      Nan 6 years ago

      Thanks for sheding light on Sheen's illiness. It is obvious that he is ill, and he was a good actor. Somehow he lost it and became too drugged. The media is cruel to him!

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      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      Kudos to you for this comprehensive hub about mental illness. The lack of care and concern we show for the mentally ill is shameful. As sad as it is, Charlie Sheen's plight may finally shine a light on a problem that needs some attention.


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      Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      I see Mr. Sheens condition without confusion and immense empathy,I know.;)