The beauty of a Sheen-fronted APA campaign is that it's well underway: there's no need for messaging or planning meetings -- just come up with a slogan and let Charlie rip. How about: "Get the Sheen out of your head" or "Hearing voices? We're listening." The mainstream media have already rallied behind this important campaign -- look at how fast they dropped coverage of the Middle East to walk through Charlie's mansion to talk with pair of 24-year-old masturbatory aides. "20/20" received its highest ratings ever for their interview; can you imagine a program on Darfur or global warming delivering viewers like that? Forget it -- keep your confusing world politics -- celebrity mental illness sells!
Psychologists in the making are taught to "put yourself in your patient's shoes," to get inside their clients' heads; however, in the case of Charlie Sheen, there may not be room for anyone else. Fortunately, he's let enough out already to launch the campaign. His talk of a possible extraterrestrial ancestry, tiger blood and Adonis DNA is textbook DSM material; the only thing missing are the references to "voices in his head," or Son of Sam's "talking dog." He might have "used his mind" to create his own category of mental illness; it just has to be Middle-Americanized to apply to enough people for insurance reimbursement purposes.
Ironically, while Rosalyn Carter toiled for 40 years to generate some steam around mental illness, it only took Charlie a couple of weeks. For that achievement alone, he deserves an honorary seat on the Carter Center Mental Health Task Force. Maybe Charlie's tail-between-his-legs publicist will take his client back if he smells a possible deal with the APA.
This being America, where all things come back to ad sales, there is a great opportunity for everyone to become one of Charlie's bi-winners: Imagine Dr. Drew Pinsky spending an entire season "curing" Charlie in a "Survivor" scenario, sponsored by the APA. Pinsky and his patient could attempt a different form of therapy each week: primal scream, cognitive behavioral, Jungian, Adlerian and Freudian are a few examples. When all the talk therapies inevitably fail, Pinsky would deliver a new Sheen ratings milestone: live electro-shock treatments. Each weekly reality adventure would presumably bring Charlie closer and closer to sanity, right before our very eyes. The mental health profession would receive the boost it's been seeking for decades and Charlie might return to his normal state: an aging, womanizing semi-comic actor.
Watch out, Don Johnson: if Charlie ever returns to earth, he'll be gunning for your throne.