(Through Rose-Coloured Glasses)

I turned my head. I stared away from the TV screen.

OMG, Charlie Sheen was swinging a machete above his head.

I can’t take it anymore.

It is no longer funny, nor entertaining.

It is as clear as crystal, this is a tragedy in the making, and outrageously revolting too.

It is like watching a car crashing, in slow motion.

It is like watching a house on fire, covering our mouths with our hands, and gasped, with an occasional outburst of the shooting flame, before the house is completely burnt down.

This is purely a reality show, a horrendous human reality.

A human being is on skid-row, a very sick person indeed. Every day, he is revealing a bit more of himself, in front of the camera, to the whole world, his sickness, his mental state. And we are enjoying this, taking in every minute of it, as entertainment.

As his father Martin Sheen said, this is a disease, like cancer. But this is curable, or at least controllable, if he seeks medical help now.

This brings back memory, like I am back to my medical student day, as an intern, interviewing patient, conducting a bedside diagnosis, tried to ask the right questions. And then sat back, let the patient ranted out his story, revealing all his symptoms, his delusions, his manic state of mind, with his rambling, incoherent speech. Sitting there, collecting data, and compared them to my knowledge base, gained from the medical textbooks.

Agitation – checked, irritation – checked, inflated self-esteem – checked, hyperactivity/restlessness – checked, increase energy – checked, lack of self-control – checked, racing thoughts – checked, poor temper control – checked, reckless behavior- checked, easily distracted – checked …………

Diagnosis: Bipolar Affective Disorder – manic-depression

Unfortunately, he needs medical attention and intervention, not more media attention and fame.

But on the other hand, will he agree to any treatment?

Even if he agrees to intervention, will he keep on taking his medication?

Such patients are notorious for stopping medication as soon as they feel better.

Treatment, off treatment, treatment again …….., these become a tug-of-war, usually to their bitter and sorry end.

A sad tale, but true.

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