Good Question: Is Charlie Sheen Delusional?

By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Charlie Sheen rants started on ABC News, moved to NBC, then to TMZ and finally to CNN. He talks and talks and talks about a world where he is the “rock star” and the rest of us are “jealous.”

“He’s in his own make-believe world, so whacked out and cracked out on everything he’s on,” said one man at a Minneapolis pub.

“A clinical definition of delusional is different,” said Lisa Cowley, a clinical psychologist with Minnesota Mental Health Clinics.

So what does it mean to be delusional?

“Typically having a belief that seems 100 percent real that something’s absolutely true in something that’s absolutely not true,” Cowley said.

She said that when she’s seen delusional patients, typically they are very negative, not highly narcissistic, such as Sheen seems to be.

“Being delusional involves talking in ways that aren’t true, when someone’s spouting off, people generalize that to, ‘Oh they’re delusional,'” Cowley said.

The problem with calling Sheen delusional is that he isn’t like you or me. He is a genuine superstar. His outlandish statements like: “I’m tired of pretending I’m not special. You can’t process me with a normal brain,” may have some truth to them.

To contrast, real delusions are “like I’m 900 years old or I’m receiving messages from TV. Or non-bizarre delusions like people are trying to spy on me, which isn’t true, but it’s possible,” Cowley explained.

Taking drugs like cocaine can result in delusions, which is why Cowley said it’s critical for patients to be sober before being able to understand if there are underlying psychological issues.

More from Jason DeRusha
  • Lee

    Sheen sober?? Good luck with that!

  • Victim Du Jour

    At least Charlie Sheen didn’t forge a fake military document to make his boss look bad.

  • Good Question: Is Charlie Sheen Delusional? | PubSub Hub

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  • Kathi

    I find it heartbreaking that the world is laughing at Charlie-because he is NOT on a sticom right now. It is obvious that he has some sort of disorder at this point. Delusional, bi-polar-what ever it is….he needs help. He grew up in Hollywood and is messed up like many others but he is still someone’s son and brother and their hearts must be breaking for him right now. I am surprised that none of them have intervened. I just don’t think it is a laughing matter. I never call in or write in to any program but when Michele was laughing on air yesterday (like others) I just cringed. I pray that Charlie gets the help he needs.

  • Bill

    Sorry, Jason, but your report is wrong. Sheen is truly ‘delusional’.

    Your article is right–he’s likely not ‘delusional’ in the psychiatric sense. But he is ‘delusional’ in the Webster’s sense. The word has more meanings than the psychiatric one. Check your favorite dictionary.

  • Jeff Lee

    Delusional or not Charlie Sheen first is no more “Special” than any other human being.His statement “I’m tired of pretending I’m not special” is ludicrous. He’s a celebrity, that doesn’t make him special just famous. We are all imperfect and he puts his pants on one leg at a time like everyone else does. I think he has lost touch with true reality and is living in his own Hollywood created reality.

    We that are not “famous” don’t realize that along with fame comes a whole different world. Whether an actor, singer or musician these people are sheltered, they have people who take care of everything for them. They become like spoiled little kids, their little world revolves around them and consequently they come to believe the whole world revolves around them. So when they display some of this whacked out behavior they are utterly confused why it’s not acceptable to the big world, because it is in their own little world. Then you add drug or alcohol addiction into the mix and everything is magnified even more. I feel for anyone who is not able to live some kind of a normal life.

  • Josaphine Dean

    Why no video for this one??

  • Bill

    Jeff, some people (perhaps including Sheen?) put their pants on both legs at the same time. It’s such a poor figure of speech…

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