In my humble opinion, I would say that indeed Charlie Sheen is most definitely afflicted with narcissistic personality disorder. In fact, Charlie Sheen is a self-admitted narcissist. When he proudly proclaimed his trait of being “grandiose”, he was boldly admitting to a major trait or component of narcissistic personality disorder. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR) the bare bones definition of narcissism is “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity.” Of course, narcissistic personality disorder cannot be based on merely one trait. There are actually 11 possible components however; matching only 5 is enough to bestow the title of narcissist personality disorder. In perusing the list, and merely sharing one word that has been part of Charlie Sheen’s declaration, I would say the diagnosis is pretty accurate.
Being more special and unique than anyone, excess admiration, entitlement (who else but a God would have Goddesses?), arrogant, and exploitive. That’s six, so far – enough to label Mr. Sheen. In addition to the pervasive pattern of grandiosity, the other part of the definition reads, “the need for admiration”. Charlie has certainly chosen and done well in a career that is seemingly meant for him. Handsome, charming and successful in his career - How could someone not love him? There are narcissists in other professions who can overtly boast of their charm, good looks and success. How could they not receive admiration as well? Basking in the glow of mass love, what could be better? And because of this, it's rare that narcissists seek professional help. However, narcissism is complex, not a random label. In reviewing Charlie Sheen's lifestyle choices, sexual narcissism appears to be a driving force to his escapades. Sexual narcissism has been described as an egocentric pattern of sexual behavior that involves an inflated sense of sexual ability and sexual entitlement. It is an intimacy dysfunction in which sexual exploits are pursued, generally in the form of extramarital affairs, to overcompensate for low self-esteem and an inability to experience true intimacy. This behavioral pattern is believed to be more common in men than in women and has been tied to domestic violence in men and sexual coercion in couples.
As an actor, replenishing his narcissistic supply is inevitable because public adoration goes along with the job. Can Charlie be cured? I would guess it’s unlikely. Regardless of what he does for a living, he is still going to find some group of people who will feed his need for admiration, keep his narcissistic supply well stocked. As long as the media finds the story of the escapades of Charlie Sheen compelling, his saga will live on.
And sadly, in the “real world” of the non-celebrities, there are many narcissists eager to parallel Charlie Sheen's behaviors and find ways to refill the excessive admiration they so desperately require in order to have self-worth. The narcissist bears abundant charm and each individual who is captivated leads to another victim.
One of the most tragic pieces to this story is the children. To date, Charlie Sheen’s young children have been taken from him. Is this because of judgment from the excessive media attention? This is contrary to those non actors. Oddly, it appears to be easier for the non-celebrity narcissist in the family courtroom to keep or steal custody of his children from their competent mother. Perhaps that’s because he has only one judge to charm.