Like the rest of America, I sat down on my couch with a bowl of popcorn to watch the 20/20 interview with Charlie Sheen . Over the last few days, he’s become the most quotable person in the entire world. All you have to do is say tiger blood and you’ll get instant laughs. But after watching last night’s special, I’m not laughing anymore. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Charlie Sheen is mentally ill. (Just watch these clips and you’ll see what I’m talking about). And while we wrote about this on Monday, it’s gotten only more serious in the past few days.
And it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better anytime soon. He’s being enabled by his porn star goddesses, his publicist quit, and he doesn’t think he has a problem. If this was your relative, your parent, your friend, you wouldn’t be laughing. You would be scared. Because whatever is going on with Charlie Sheen is scary. While this is great entertainment for all of us sitting at home, it’s no longer a joking matter. We’re watching the unraveling of a human being happen in front of our eyes…and when something bad happens….which seems inevitable at this point, we’ll all be guilty.
Everyone who is now following him on Twitter will be guilty, everyone who ate up these interviews will be guilty, and the reporters who interviewed him for ratings will be guilty. If this was your friend who suddenly went off the deep end, you wouldn’t be egging her on, you would be uncomfortable and uneasy and you would try to figure out how you can help.
But how can we help Charlie? We’re not the big media companies, we don’t really know him, and we don’t know how to help him. And while I cheered this morning when I heard that his kids were taken away, I still felt uncomfortable knowing that he’s still not getting the help he needs.
So what can we do?
We can stop clicking on the Charlie Sheen links our friends send us, we can turn off the interviews, and we can respond to people saying “he’s crazy, lol” by responding “yes, he’s crazy, he is legitimately mentally ill, and mental illness isn’t funny.”
What do you think of about Charlie Sheen? What do you think about the way mental illness is portrayed in the media?