Last night, like many Americans I tuned into 20/20 to watch Charlie Sheen discuss the current situation of his life. I would like to state that I did not see the interview in its entirety, but what I saw was enough. The media whirlwind around him needs to stop. NOW.
We live in a society where we love watching people rise from the poorest of the poor and turn themselves into a superstar (Michael Jackson). Likewise, a celebrity's fall from the top is perhaps even more entertaining (Michael again). It is quite obvious that Charlie Sheen is in the midst of a very public fall from grace.
I believe Sheen is mentally ill. As someone who has friends and family with various mental illnesses I see the danger of the media circus surrounding him.
With mental illness, people tend to have very distorted perceptions of the world. The mentally ill believe that their perceptions are the absolute truth that only they have been blessed with the ability to recognize. They are extremely stubborn in this belief, and it takes a lot of time, love, patience, and (usually) medication to get them back to a healthy mental and emotional mindset. In creating platforms for Charlie Sheen to share his ramblings to the world we (the fascinated viewers) are actually reinforcing his illness.
The public is, in essence, feeding the thoughts and strengthening his maniac resolve. Even worse, we are showing those that may be considering treatment that their behavior is not only acceptable, but it's fascinating. Glamorizing this choice. "But MMM, we are clearly NOT showing him that!! We want him to get help!" That's the thing with mental illness. It allows you to shade your eyes to the entire reality and focus on the reality in which you exist and create. All of this coverage is lengthening Charlie's road to beginning a recovery process.
Part of me wonders why an executive would give him the network attention (beyond competing with your competitors of course). Would you want to see your daughter, son, even wife on TV during the height of their mania or depression? Want them to become the laughing stock of the country? Consider his family, not the "goddesses"-but his parents and children. In this consideration I am going to request that the next time you think twice about supporting his madness. The less public interest in his antics might be the first step to seeking a healthy mindset that Sheen needs.