Much has been written and said about Charlie Sheen’s cataclysmic decline into drugs, alcohol and domestic violence. The star who is named as one of the top paid actors in the US was fired from the hit TV show Two and a Half Men in March last year due to his increasingly erratic and unreliable behaviour. He now plays the lead role of a dysfunctional therapist in the hit US TV series Anger Management
Sheen has never been one to shy away from talking about his use of illegal drugs and alcohol, nor has he shown any remorse or regret, and at times has advocated drug use on National TV. The star’s fall from grace has been widely publicised in National media coverage, yet Sheen has remained defiant throughout.
It is evident to most that Charlie Sheen has a severe drug and alcohol problem. How can someone who is so publicly challenged still be in denial, you may ask? The very nature of drug addiction and alcoholism is that it is an illness of denial. It is the one illness that will convince the sufferer that they don’t have it! This can mean that some never want or feel that they need help. Sadly no amount of money or exposure can cut through denial. It often takes a professional to achieve this.
Sheen has more recently been in the headlines for using his riches to help others. He has donated vast sums of money to charities, helped police in a multiple murder investigation and even bought Lindsay Lohan a coat to wear on the red carpet (Lohan recently had to appeal for help having been declared bankrupt) But are all these gestures of goodwill to others genuine, or just a way of deflecting from his own problems? Only the man himself will know his own reasons and motives.
In January this year, Sheen appeared on the David Letterman show and indicated that he was not exactly sober and clean. If this is the case, then Sheen really does run the risk of a very public crash and burn once again. The publics’ reaction to Sheens lifestyle really is mixed; some may mock him or be disgusted with his behaviour, whilst others place him on a pedestal as an icon who knows how to party. Personally I feel that Sheens very public contributions to various charities are a way of him showing the world that there is more to him just drugs and alcohol. Individual’s who suffer from addiction, often have a deep desire to be loved and accepted by others. Sometimes this manifests in people pleasing and grand displays of generosity. I don’t know anything of Sheens personality away from the public eye, but what I do know about addiction, is that inner happiness and self love is rarely achieved through others approval or materialism. I really hope that he does come into recovery, as he will be able to use his talents and status to really help and inspire others to do the same.
Breaking the Denial
If you have a loved one or family member that you feel needs help but is in denial of their addiction, there are some important steps that you can take to help them to see the truth of their situation:
1. Do not enable the delusion.
If your loved one is justifying or down playing their addiction, do not feed into it by agreeing with them just to keep the peace. It is important to challenge their behaviour in a way that will make them question their addiction.
2. Do not support their addiction financially.
Keeping an individual comfortable in their addiction, only sends out the message that what they are doing is acceptable and justified. It is suggest that you do not give them any money that may be used to fund their habit, if you do they will never feel the financial impact of their addiction
3. Boundaries and Consequences
It is important if you are living with an addict or have a close relationship with an addict to put boundaries in place, and to follow through with consequences. Not easy when you love someone, but enabling their behaviour only serves for it to continue.
4 Seek professional help and support
If your loved one had a critical or chronic illness, such as Diabetes or Cancer, you would want to do anything you could to help them get well. This would usually involve seeking professional advice and help so that you can support them in the best way possible. Just as you would seek help from the medical profession, it is important to seek professional intervention when needed.
5. Call Addiction Helper
Addiction Helper are experts in helping loved ones and those who are suffering from addiction. We have a range of therapies and interventions and treat each person individually. If you are unsure how to help your loved one, or if what you are doing isn’t working, call our team of telephone counsellors who will be happy to help and support you.
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