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May 10 2012

Could Hypnosis Have Helped Charlie Sheen? -Vol. 105 – June 9, 2011

Charlie Sheen in March 2009 Charlie Sheen in March 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Donna Novi

“…It happened to Matthew Bomer one day at the airport.”
“I noticed myself at the ticket booth in Houston trying to charm myself into a first-class seat with the girls at the ticket counter,” says the actor, who plays smooth-talking forger Neal Caffrey on USA Network’s “White Collar.” “When you spend 12 to 15 hours a day on a role, a strange symbiosis happens where you influence the character and the character influences your life.”

“A thin line between player and role – Longtime characters can start looking awfully familiar to the actors who play them”

Lauren Beale of the “Los Angeles Times” asks was it Charlie’s show “Two and a Half Men” that caused his demise or was it Charlie himself? One can blame ones environment for ones losses or not. Regardless of what it was or is, Charlie Sheen definitely has some important issues he needs to deal with and confront.
Not dealing with these issues has indeed been detrimental to say the least to not only his career but his health and his overall life. One’s career does seem to overspill into ones life. The two are at times hard to keep apart, no matter how much one tries. Having a bad day at work makes it hard for most to have a good evening at home. Having a bad evening at home often makes it hard to have a good day at work as well.
Some are indeed better at this than others, but if you are like me, one who has to really practice at letting go of the negative, which seems sometimes to be every where I look these days, it does indeed take practice. It is almost impossible if ones suffers from a mental or emotional illness such I suspect, along with many other people, that Charlie’s Sheen does. Some have gone so far as to say Charlie suffers from Bipolar disorder. Others say he has a problem with substance abuse. Both of these characteristics he portrayed on his hit TV show, which was a comedy and very funny as I have watched numerous reruns. Although it may seem funny for some of us looking from the outside in, having to actually live a life such has Charlie portrayed on TV and now in reality is two different things. On TV there is non-reality and one can laugh and joke about it. In real life where one is dealing with reality one is forced to confront the things that are spiraling out of control and no longer appear funny. Or one can ignore these things and spirals so deep in a hole that they loose it all: your kids, your home, your money and even your life.

Distinguishing from the real and the not so real can be hard for some. For most it is called denial. Addicts are very good at this, maybe the drugs help them in this area. But, pretending it isn’t easy and only works for so long as we all have finite life’s that can only handle finite “stuff”. Our livers can only handle finite drugs passing through them filtering out the toxic stuff, as our minds can only handle so much interference with its natural state as well.

One can only deal with toxic waste for so long till one eventually looses it all, maybe little by little, or all at once. Eventually it gets taken away. All the good things we have built up over the years, if we are not careful how we manage things, in the blink of an eye it can be taken away from us. This includes not only monetary items, more importantly our health as well. Our health, which more often than not can’t be fixed or replaced should we stray too far not paying attention to our minds and our bodies in getting the help we need to get ourselves whole and well.

Charlie’s own father Martin Sheen told People Magazine in March 3, 2011 that he thought of his son as “emotionally crippled” and in February 23, 2010 Charlie entered a rehab for alcohol and cocaine addiction.
Charlie said he was going in for a “tune-up”.If one thinks of entering a rehab in terms of a tune-up, just like an old car, sooner or later that car is going to need new parts, and eventually those parts become unavailable and obsolete and death occurs.

The term rehab, or rehabilitation is a verb and according to wikepedia it means”
To restore (someone) to their former state, reputation, possessions, status etc.
To vindicate; to restore the reputation or image of (a person, concept etc.).
To return (something) to its original condition.
To restore or repair (a vehicle, building); to make habitable or usable again.
To restore to (a criminal etc.) the necessary training and education to allow for a successful reintegration into society; to retrain
To return (someone) to good health after illness, addiction etc.
To go through such a process; to recover.

It is similar to the term in recovery. Many people look at these two terms as ongoing processes. After all they are verbs. They check in and out of rehab and recovery as often as some people change the oil in their cars.Their cars however don’t have to last a lifetime. Until they get to the point that Charlie Sheen has, where it has affected his mental health and emotional well-being. It is possible Charlie has been bipolar all along and it has just come to surface it’s ugly head due to his addiction behaviors. Who knows what those drugs such as cocaine and other legal and illegal substances can do to one’s brain. Every human’s make up and brain wiring is as different as the DNA we carry. None of us are identical however we are enough alike to the point of where damages will occur. It is just how much damage and in what fashion that damage appears.
Some people can smoke cigarettes their whole lives and never develop lung cancer, where others are not so lucky. Some people develop bipolar disorder for what ever reason, and others do not. The key to living a long, happy and productive life is recognizing, accepting the facts and then dealing the right way with what one has been dealt with. Checking in and out of recovery and rehabs doesn’t correct things. It only prolongs the inevitable. As I pointed out in a quote at the beginning of this newslettter-you spend 12-15 hours in a TV role, or you hang around addicts for that long every day-you tend to become one. If you find yourself in that unfortunate situation, you need to remove yourself from the toxic environment and then find the appropriate help, unless you enjoy your situation. Similarly if you find your behavior is not appropriate and find yourself unhappy in your life, you need to take action. This includes mental health. For mental health will ultimately affect ones physical health.

Back in1972 B.J.Harman, J.D., Th.D., Ph.D., Director of Advisement, Whittier College in Whittier California wrote an article called “The Use of Hypnosis in the Treatment of Drug Addiction.” In his research found that with the use of hypnosis addictions could be stopped.

Harman sites W. J. Bryon, Jr.’s article “Hypnosis and Drug Addiction” in the Journal of American Institute of Hypnosis Vol. 8, 1967 that results in stopping addictions to hard core opiates (morphine, heroin, pantapon, etc.) have been poor. However, good results were had provided the five following things are present: 1) the patient himself must be motivated enough to have any lasting benefit: 2) the patient must be under constant supervision; 3) the drug supply must be permanently shut off from the patient: 4) extensive hypnoanalysis must be done to uncover every significant neurosis and direct suggestion must be given to for the patient for new ways to replace the use of opiates; and 5) this is the most important, the patient must be seen a minimum of one or two hours daily until a complete cure is effected with hypnotic suggestion continuing until one is positively assured that recurrence is unlikely.

A.M. Ludwig and J. A. Levine in their article “A controlled Comparison of Five Brief Treatment Techniques Employing LSD, Hypnosis and Psychotherapy” reported in the American Journal of Psychotherapy Vol. 19, 1965 in working with 70 drug addicts that when hypnotherapy was evaluated two weeks and two months after treatment programs employing hypnosis the success rates have consistently been between 60% and 70%. Without the use of hypnosis the rate of success dwindles down to 2%.

In a paper submitted by A. L. Ackerman to the California State psychological Association Convention, Coronado, California, January, 1971 called “TheT-Group Approach: Applications to a Neurotic Addict Population”  it was found in 36 hour weekend encounter marathons, with female addicts given ego-strengthening suggestions based on J. Hartland’s work in the Book “Medical and Dental Hypnosis” while allowing them to feel pleasurable emotions that difficulties with addicts association with the criminal elements in order to procure drugs were largely eliminated.

All these studies go back decades. Dr. Nora Volkow, the director of the National Institute on Drug Addictions has completed many studies showing how the neurotransmitters in any addictive behavior works in the same manner. What one needs to do to help the addict heal is to give a way for them to experience the pleasure they are seeking in a manner that is consistent with health and well being. She has stated that hypnosis is a viable option, better than putting addicts on drugs that take away the “highs” while allowing the addict to function simply because of the side effects that these alternative drugs have, most especially that they too are difficult to stop.

Dr. Richard Gray in his research and work in the Brooklyn Program noted that one need not even use the word addiction in attaining the 30% success rate he did in a prison population court forced to go through his program. He too used pleasant states of being such as feeling confident, peaceful, happy, and capable that were anchored in using a simple technique from neuro-linguistic programming. He also integrated in the idea of his patients needing a compelling future where they were doing fulfilling things with their lives that made a difference to the larger world.

There is much more research pointing to the efficacy of hypnotism in the clearing of addictions.
Checking in and out of hospitals, rehabs and recovery programs only prolongs the situation. If you want to resolve and clear the situation an alternative method is hypnosis.  You can see for yourself that It has been proven to clear the unwanted behaviors provided the person does what it takes to do so, or you can continue as Charlie Sheen and countless others until you loose it all, and ultimately your life.

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