Charlie Sheen: Winning. But Is He Happy?

Charlie Sheen is obsessed with winning, as in, “The only thing I’m addicted to right now is winning…” “Just winning every second…” “Winning, anyone?…” “Duh, winning!”

What’s winning? To Charlie it’s sleeping with all the attractive women he can buy, and treating them anyway he wants. When he abuses women does “beating” carry a double entendre – batter and win?

Two trains of thought prevail on the source of happiness. One side advocates freedom. The other, deep bonds.

Charlie, the libertine, seeks the former. Devoid of moral or social restraint, he feels more deserving of freedom than others. After all, the libertine’s liberty comes through other’s bondage.

Winning. Conquering. Total liberty as burden heaps onto others.

While your classic libertine could indulge in rape, murder and mayhem without much thought for the victims (think Marquis de Sade), Charlie may actually experience some, uh, “concern for others” (quotes indicating irony) seeking to believe his victims enjoy it, too. A little narcissism can help with that: I’m feelin’ good, so you must, too.

When Andrea Canning asked in a 20/20 interview how he thought the women felt, Charlie explained, “I expose people to magic. I expose them to something they’re never otherwise going to get to see in their normal, boring lives.” 

Let’s see, death threats, beatings, shooting, a rampage. Magic, indeed.

It helps when others are things – objects, sex objects – to be treated anyway you want. Yet as the “thing” becomes dehumanized, so does the dehumanizer.

Charlie Sheen: part libertine, part narcissist. Either way, it’s all about himself. Me, me, me without any real concern for you.

Yes, two perspectives prevail on the roots of happiness: freedom versus deep bonds. Social research suggests that deep connection is what actually creates bliss

In fact, some see addiction as arising out of deficiencies in deep spiritual bonds, whether the craving is for drugs/alcohol, sex, or thrills. Sheen may be exhibiting each of these. Making us wonder how joyful he really is.

Some suspect Sheen is mentally ill. If former child star, Todd Bridges, is right there may be a connection between drugs and this illness. In a discussion on The View this week, Bridges said that stopping cocaine use led him into “cocaine psychosis,” which he believes Sheen may be experiencing now.

Of course, Charlie thinks he’s fine. He’s winning. And he repeats it so often that you have to wonder who he’s trying to convince.

What is happiness’ source? Deep connection? Total freedom? Treating others like objects to be used, abused and tossed away? Drug use?

Winning and happy? That depends on your pursuit.

Georgia Platts

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on March 16, 2011, in feminism, gender, objectification, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, sexism, violence against women, women and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Demi Battaglia

    Before everything in the media these past few months I had no idea who Charlie Sheen really was. I had heard some things about him but nothing major until him losing his job on Two and a Half Men and his crazy drug addiction that took over his life. I believe Charlie’s drug addiction was masking his true emotions and it also took his ability to tell the difference between what is right and wrong. The drugs made it seem like everything he was doing was okay and in a sense “winning”. In reality Charlie was messing up the good things in his life and letting his drug addiction take over. I hope in the future Charlie will get back on track and realized what he lost. Because right now everyone is right, Charlie Sheen is truly not “winning”.

  2. I actually feel quite sorry for Charlie Sheen. I do not think people think about what kind of pressures and temptations stars face in the spotlight. I do not agree with Charlie’s antics and arrest charges, but I valued Charlie as a great entertainer. Unfortunately, with Charlie’s downfall, came the downfall of hundreds of other “Stars” of the show “Two and a Half Men.” It makes me think back to what happened to Brittney Spears a few years back, and now Lindsay Lohan. These starts get stuck in bad habits and then cannot get out of the spiral of things and end up going to jail or in and out of rehab. I agree that Charlie Sheen is no longer a winner.
    ~Rebecca B

  3. I agree with Dr. Georgia Platts that Charlie Sheen is not really a “winner”. In the latest interview I heard, Charlie Sheen sounded psychotic. He’s really gone off his rocker. He’s mentally ill and needs to have some kind of treatment. Like Dr. Platts said, his narcissism makes him think its a great honor and pleasure to be around him. He’s become delusional. He’s not a winner, he’s not making the world a better place. He’s a danger to himself and the people around him. It’s sad that he has daughters…

  4. Charlie Sheen is definitely not a winner. In fact they cancelled his show Two and a Half Men, so I don’t see how he won there. The character he plays in that show seems a lot like him as a real person which is, a guy with no friends and sleeps with all the women he wants. He also has a cocaine addiction and overall looks like a pretty miserable person. All he seems to do is think about himself and is very out of touch with reality. For example he wanted an increase in pay for acting in Two and a Half Men when he was already making about 2 million dollars an episode. He is rich, but money definitely doesn’t buy you happiness.

  5. Charlie Sheen is definitely a victim of the abuse of drugs, mainly cocaine. Cocaine’s side effects include delusional behaviors of superiority, over-confidence, and lack of compassion. His excessive use of such drugs and his current stoppage of cocaine could definitely lead to cocaine psychosis. His brain is in a state of turmoil, and his reality has become so skewed that he believes what he is doing is right. Although you could argue that he just wants freedom, abuse, excessive use of drugs, and delusional behaviors are not signs of such goals. It is a cry of help, and I believe he desperately wants to be normal and with a private life. Party life is something that we can all take part in, but there has to be a balance between having fun, and risking your life, especially because he is older and not as unbreakable as a teenager, and he is a father, someone who should set the example for his kids.

  6. I do not believe that Charlie Sheen is a happy individual. He has worries just like the rest of us regular people, although his might be worse as in “what can i do with all this coke when i run out of money and cant sell it back”. Charlie sheen seems to put on a front that he is alright and has a “winning” personality, however, in the beginning of the 20/20 interview Charlie Sheen can be seen waking up at 6a.m. to start his workout. This seems like a front to me because the whole time he was looking at the camera and flaunting his body even though not much exercise was done. The actor is also known to be very flamboyant. He seems to put on a front that he is happy and is winning in life, but how happy can a person really be with all the drug abuse, fake lifestyle, negative public attention, and general start of a breakdown.

  7. I agree with Georgia that Charlie Sheen narcissism and excessive drugs abuse has created a grandiose persona for Charlie Sheen. I think he may be suffering from schizophrenia because Charlie Sheen is no longer living in reality and his number one delusion is “Winning,” by dehumanizing woman by treating them as sex objects sexualizing them. So far the only thing Charlie Sheen won is isolation from his peers and fans.

  8. I agree with Todd Bridges about the likelihood of Sheen’s behavior being largely attributable to cocaine psychosis. I think people generally are aware that cocaine effects the synaptic receptors in the brain that regulate levels of dopamine and serotonin, thereby increasing and prolonging the effects of these pleasure stimulating neurotransmitters. Cocaine also increases and prolongs the effects of norepinephrine which is a stress hormone related to adrenaline. Overstimulation by norepinephrine can trigger physiological reactions associated with the ‘flight or flight’ response which potentially include increased heart rate and blood flow, bursts of glucose energy release and hypervigilance behaviors. When these effects are coupled with the delusional behaviors that have been correlated with excessive dopamine levels, personas like Sheen’s that display high incidence of superiority, infallibility, hubris and lack of concern for the well-being of others, are not surprising outcomes.

  9. I always thought his character in Two and a Half Men (fiction) was slimy. It’s disturbing how much slimier his real persona is.

  10. Darlene Pizzitlolo student

    I don’t think Charlie Sheen is happy, hes just trying to mask his real feelings with drugs. He knows in side that the way hes is acting by abusing women this is not the acting of a winner but the acting of a loser, it seems that the drugs are destroying his mind.

    • Yes, i totally agree with this. There is a deeper issue that needs to be addressed ASAP. I always thought his eyes spoke loud and clear. There is so much anger in them and in fact, even danger. Over time, durgs and many other issues in his life have palyed a great role in his mind set and it has reached its breaking point. He THINKS he’s okay and winning, but certainly, a winner does not abuse his wife or women in general. He would not be mentaly and emotionally destroyed. And he would rather enjoy his life like “normal” people.

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