Is he or is he not the perfect picture of a person with Bipolar Disorder?
Of course, I’m referring to none other than Charlie Sheen, the guy who tried and succeeded to capture the media spotlight away from the kind of kooky Colonel Qaddafi. The current word on the street and in dorm rooms everywhere is that Charlie Sheen has Bipolar Disorder.
Because most of my friends know I have Bipolar Disorder, I’ve been asked a few times what I thought about Charlie Sheen and his pending diagnosis; I’m not a doctor, so can just speculate along with the rest of you.
As far as I know, he hasn’t received his psychological evaluation yet, which in theory should prove for once and for whether or not Charlie Sheen is sane or not. The only problem with this is that psychological evaluations are often subjective, which means that although there are criteria to determine whether or not someone has Bipolar Disorder or not, there aren’t any objective tests. The criteria for each of the four types of Bipolar Disorder, which are determined by the American Psychological Association, can be found HERE.
Most of the the sites that I’ve seen that are speculating about whether or not Charlie Sheen has Bipolar Disorder are Hollywood gossip sites, who may not have the best psychological experts to consult. Can we really trust a medical professional whose money quote is: His head is as large as the moon.
Most people who are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder are more likely to put themselves at risk than others and are non-violent; this doesn’t fit in with Charlie Sheen’s history all that closely. The actor’s recent tirades in the media have nearly eclipsed his violent behavior toward his ex-wives and girlfriends as far as public opinion is concerned, but when psychiatrists evaluate a patient to diagnose them, a good psychiatrist will take a detailed medical, family, and behavioral history of the patient.
In the case of Charlie Sheen, there’s always the possiblity that years of extreme substance abuse have altered his brain; we don’t know the long-term effects of the kinds of drugs he has been known to use. Unfortunately, I don’t know how his substance abuse will factor into any psychological evaluation that he might receive. It’s also possible that the psychiatric evaluation will be biased depending on who is paying for it.
Whatever Charlie Sheen is eventually diagnosed with, I hope that the public understands that a vast majority of those with Bipolar Disorder are not violent.