Why Charlie Sheen Needs More Slow and Less Show

March 17, 2011

Charlie Sheen in March 2009

Image via Wikipedia

 

Habits. They are the foundation on which our lives make sense. Or don’t. Do you know whether your habit is actually an addiction or something that raises you up? Take coffee, for instance. I stopped drinking it for almost a year, then started drinking it again after I realized the pleasure of chatting with friends over a cup of java far outweighed not having a cup at all. I proved I could live without it, but chose to live with it. Habits make us feel safe, give us a sense of control and order. They are the grease that makes the engine run.

But then there are other habits that turn to addictions, such as sex or attention addictions, that destroy people’s lives. Charlie Sheen is no exception. My kids, who are reaching puberty on the fast train, asked me the other day why Charlie is getting so much attention doing bad things. His online rants have garnered so much attention he’s been offered several new shows. The UK edition of Marie Clarie reported that the live shows he’s planning for April in Chicago and Detroit sold out in eighteen minutes. Whether that’s spin or truth is immaterial. He’s being celebrated for acting badly.

But it goes even deeper than that.

His addiction is being exploited for ratings and sales. It is sad as we all snicker about him behind our palms in a voyeuristic, sadistic way. In truth, we are enabling Charlie to continue down a path of self-destruction. All in the name of entertainment.

Dr. Dahlia Keen, a well-known clinical psychologist in Beverly Hills, sat down with me for a chat about Charlie Sheen (six and one-half minutes)  to talk about Charlie’s addiction and what he, and so many others who are afflicted by it, might do about it. The highlights include:

  • How attention disorder comes to be
  • Why celebrities are particularly susceptible to it
  • When voyeurism turns to sado-masochism (or why we feel good when others feel bad)

Enjoy the show!

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