Martin Sheen: Charlie Is 'Emotionally Crippled'

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Martin Sheen has had a long and well-respected career in film and television, but it hasn't always been smooth sailing for the former 'West Wing' star.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Sheen opened up about his own demons and how they've allowed him to relate to his troubled son, Charlie.

"I know what hell he's living in," says Sheen. "I've had psychotic episodes in public. One of them was on camera -- the opening scene of 'Apocalypse Now.' So I know what Charlie is going through. And when you do something like that, that is out of control, that's the most difficult thing. You have to have courage."

Martin, who battled alcohol addiction and mental illness earlier in his career, says that, much like Charlie, his issues caused him to focus on himself rather than his family.

"I was so interested in myself, I didn't really focus on what [my kids'] needs were, or what their aspirations were," says Sheen.

The actor, who stars alongside his eldest son, Emilio Estevez, in the upcoming film 'The Way,' says that despite Charlie's success, he remains emotionally stunted from his addictions.

"You know, Charlie's 45 years old. He's not a kid," says Sheen. "Emotionally he still is. Because when you're addicted, you don't grow emotionally. So when you get clean and sober you're starting at the moment you started using drugs or alcohol. You're emotionally crippled."

Adds Estevez, "We all had the same set of rules, so it really gives credence to this theory that it is genetic, and that sometimes it skips either a generation or siblings. My mother doesn't drink. My other brother hasn't had a drink in over 10 years, my dad hasn't had a drink in 20. And I make wine."

So what can save Charlie from his addiction nightmare? "Faith can help all of us," says Sheen, a devout Catholic. "Addiction is the dark side. It's a reflection of despair."