Charlie Sheen Question: Why do people with mania burn bridges?


Hi Julie,

I hope that he can make it through his tour – but my question is where are his family? Friends? Surely someone is around to guide this …… Shah

Hi Shah,

It’s really common that by the time someone gets this sick and bizarre- most people have left. I read an article with his faher Martin Sheen:  His father said, “I’ve tried everything. We have done everything. All I know do to now is leave and hope he will be ok.”

People in Charlie Sheen’s position burn bridges daily. I know that I did when I was manic. People around you can become inconsequential. They are someone to hang out with and play around with. Or, if you are in a dysphoric manic episode, you can be mean and dismission. Of course, not everyone who is manic is like this!

Both of his wives have tried to help. I know of one restraining order from his current wife- who was recently in jail for drug use. At least I think I have this right. As you know, I stopped reading tabloids quite a while ago.

I had few friends when I was finally diagnosed. My paranoia and negativity drove everyone away.  Most people with bipolar disorder have burned quite a few bridges! I hope he is ok.



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5 comments to Charlie Sheen Question: Why do people with mania burn bridges?

  • Hi Julie,
    I too have done what he and you have done. I have pushed everyone away in my life with my paranoia (constant!) and negativity. I would say it has been one of the hardest things to realize and accept. I am very stubborn in accepting my Bipolar, especially since my husband writes on his own Bipolar site! Most days I just don’t know how to accept it and how to learn to cope with negative thoughts, irrational thoughts, or if I feel paranoid. I started seeing a new DR, a Psychologist, and was told by her she had Bipolar II, same thing as me with rapid cycling. I want to learn from her and from anyone else who has gone through of pushing people they love so much away, on how to not do this. I am one of those people that can have 100 Twitter accounts because it only takes one moment of feeling down, to get rid of that account and then start a new one a few days later. That doesn’t go well with friends and unless they have Bipolar, they do not understand why I have left so much. I have done this with Facebook as well, deleting my account or just deactivating it for a few days. One person even told me recently “I hate when you leave and are gone for long periods of time, it worries me”. I really never think of it like that and how it hurts people so much. I don’t know why I run so much and hide from people. I just feel my moods can go up and down so fast and when they go down and I feel like crying, I just hide. It is easier for me, so no one sees how I feel. I don’t like I do this and I hope the Dr can start to help me now that I have recently started seeing her. My husand is awesome as well and a great Bipolar supporter and I know he helps others. But for some reason, he can not help me with not running so much and pushing people away.

    I don’t want it to be this way. I don’t want to feel so anxious and nervous all of the time. I MISS my people from my life, my family, that I have pushed so far away.

  • Kathy

    Julie and Kelly — I’ve done this stuff, too, often without realizing it. Another thing, and I know that it’s related, is that I don’t make commitments to friends, or people who might become friends. I let them get so close, but no closer. I am afraid I won’t be able to deliver, so I just don’t commit to do anything. Naturally, this is not the way to make friends. Best wishes to you, Kelly. Julie, keep up the good work.

  • I’m the ex wife of a BP guy. Married twenty years. I notice now when I see him he reacts strangly when something upsets him. I asked him why he gets so angry and he told me he wasn’t angry, just—–I interjected
    “frustrated” and he said, “yes”. It is instantly that it happens. He is now seventy three and I’m wondering if this has gotten worse with age. He’s a very nice man in so many ways.

    I have four children with BP also and it’s been a rough ride. But they are wonderful hard working older children. At present the youngest has pushed everyone in the family out of his life including me. He cut his older sister to the knees and she swears she will never speak to him again. All I knew to do was tell him if there comes a time when he would care to have me back in his life I will be here. Does anyone know of a better way to handle it? I love them all with all my heart.

  • In response to Kelly–I do the same, but never linked it to my BPD. I’ve had a bunch of different online “personas” with Facebook, myspace, livejournal and more. I like to think that I’m perpetually hiding from those I don’t want to talk to. Deleting an account, then reappearing on a new user account… my friends were always confused over why I do this. Hell, I don’t know why I do it. I feel I’ve disclosed too much, written too much that is close to me and then, bam old accounts discarded or temporarily hidden. Is this common?

    I was dx a year ago and, since then, I have gone through hundreds of cycles. Ultra-rapid cycling hello. My old friends, pre-last year, I rarely talk to. I feel like I was a different person back before. I was also a very heavy drinker for many years, and haven’t drank alcohol for over a year now. Much, much better! But now I am afraid to make new friends, and shy away from most people much more than I ever did before. I’m afraid of making a connection and then another person disappointing me. I just can’t take anymore b.s.

    When I’m in an intense cycle (often) I will not remember people from other points in the bipolar cycle. In the past 2 weeks 2 people who I knew fairly well I have not been able to recognize except after they said something, like, “hey, I’m Stephen, remember! How are you?”, and I will confusedly pretend to remember them until I do, later. It’s embarrassing but chunks of my life are missing or vague, which I attribute to alcohol. Is this common as well among us?

    Burning bridges is not something I necessarily do, but I do drop people like hot potatoes when (if) they go past that point to really piss me off. I don’t have much of a temper, and I have a good deal of patience. BUT of course all that flies out of the window when I’m cycling, which is most of the time. I’ve had to learn to be patient with myself first, to be my own best friend first, and when I am I don’t lean on my few remaining friends quite so much. That seems to be the worst strain: when I am very depressed (last week) or very manic (last month) no one can stand to be around me. Hell, even I don’t want to be in my own company when I’m that depressed, no wonder no one else does.

  • Bow

    What are some common mania triggers that people experience

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