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Politicians Behaving Badly
Aired April 24, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: All right. We are live tonight and I`m taking your calls. I`m taking them live for the entire hour.
First up, we`re going to talk about John Edwards. He`s charged with using campaign funds to cover up an affair.
Why do you think that so many powerful men cheat? Call me. We`ll talk about that.
And later, actor Joe Pantoliano played a gangster in "The Sopranos" and he`s joining me here live. Not a gangster anymore. But he`s discussing a real life dark side to his own life. Your questions for him about misbehaving, addiction.
Call us here, 1-855-DRDREW-5. That is 1-855-373-7395. I`m looking forward to talking to you guys. So, let`s get started.
PINSKY: All right. Tonight, former U.S. senator, presidential, vice presidential nominee, candidate, John Edwards, he`s on trial charged with using campaign funds to cover up an affair. If convicted, he could end up to 30 years behind bars.
Now, he`s not on trial for the affair or for fathering a child out of wedlock or for even lying to the American people. This all the while his cancer-stricken wife sitting by, and later she actually passed away.
Here`s what Edwards said when he was indicted.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN EDWARDS (D), FORMER PRES. CANDIDATE: There`s no question that I`ve done wrong, and I take full responsibility for having done wrong. And I will regret for the rest of my life the pain and the harm that I`ve caused. I did not break the law, and I never, ever thought I was breaking the law.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: All right. Tonight, we want to hear from you about this and men behaving badly generally. Call us at 855-DRDREW5. That is 373-7395.
Now, many of you answered our Facebook poll question. And this was it: Are men incapable of monogamy? Get this: 89 percent of you said no, men can`t stay monogamous. While 11 percent said yes.
Yes, they are not capable of --
STEVE SANTAGATI, AUTHOR: Yes, I got it.
PINSKY: This is Steve Santagati, everybody. He`s author of "The Manual: A True Bad Boy Explains."
Steve, explain that poll to me.
SANTAGATI: So, 11 percent of the people said that men can be monogamous.
PINSKY: Can be.
SANTAGATI: But 89 percent --
PINSKY: Said they can`t.
SANTAGATI: -- will not --
PINSKY: Do you agree with that?
SANTAGATI: That sounds about right. I think that monogamy is a choice. It`s not a natural instinct by any means.
PINSKY: But here`s my thing about it. Let`s get right to calls. I`d like to say something, I`ve actually got Tanya Williams on the phone. She is the estranged wife of basketball player Jayson Williams and "Huffington Post" contributor and she wanted to weigh in.
Tanya, what`s up?
SANTAGATI: Really, Tanya?
PINSKY: Yes, Tanya. Maybe she`s not there.
SANTAGATI: You know what`s funny about "The Huffington Post," by the way, is Eliot Spitzer weighed in on "The Huffington Post" about this whole thing.
PINSKY: What did he say?
SANTAGATI: Well, I won`t repeat if right now because I don`t know, because I thought it was funny.
PINSKY: I tried to get him to talk about this tonight.
SANTAGATI: Which is odd because he`s one of the guys that should kind of keep his mouth shut about this --
SANTAGATI: -- because he was a cheater, himself, and in the worst way. Look, the fact of the matter is, a lot of these guys didn`t get girls when they were younger. They`re checking it off their list.
PINSKY: Steve, that is crazy. And I believe you. I think you`re right. They should have -- whatever relationship they were in, they should have go out and sewn their oats in their early 20s and that was that. Not become a giant powerful person and then ruin other people`s lives, not only the people they`re cheating with but how about their family, their kids.
And I agree with you. It`s a choice, but it`s a healthy choice. It`s like you can make all kinds of healthy choices in your life, especially when you get older. It sort of pathetic.
SANTAGATI: I think a certain type of guy, Dr. Drew, that will be monogamous, make that choice because he realizes that relationship is good enough. It`s great for him.
Unfortunately, you can`t stock pile sexual moments. You can`t stockpile those experiences so they`re always looking for more. And most importantly, they have this voice in their head, this fear voice that`s telling them, you know, you`re not going to be rich forever, you`re not going to be famous forever, you`re not going to be young forever.
PINSKY: OK. Let`s get some callers. I want to hear what our callers have to say about this. I actually agree with you. I think that`s -- when I hear that, I think it`s pathetic.
SANTAGATI: That`s because you`re a monogamous, married man. But I`m single. I know what it`s like out there. I`m on the front lines.
PINSKY: Let`s get to calls. Let`s go. Jeany in California. Jeany it is.
What`s up there, Jeanne? You tell us your opinion about this or do you have a question?
JEANY, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi there, Dr. Drew. I have a question.
JEANY: So in general, when men cheat, are they doing it with the intention of sabotaging their relationship and their significant other doesn`t find out or are they really just trying to stay on the sly and get away with it as much as they can? It doesn`t seem like guys try very hard to cover it up.
PINSKY: For the most part, Steve is smiling broadly at this one, for the most part -- I`ll answer first. Tell me if you agree with me. For the most part, they`re trying to get away with it - for the most part.
Women in my experience when they cheat will often, not often, sometimes try to sabotage a relationship. I`ve not seen men do that very often. They cheat because they want -- they just can`t.
SANTAGATI: And usually -- the funny, not the funny thing, but the odd thing is, they don`t really feel bad about cheating about the sex. They feel bad about getting caught which is odd.
SANTAGATI: So, do they sabotage it? The more careless they are, yes. I`d say they`re being stupid. Maybe they`re not consciously doing it, but definitely subconsciously.
PINSKY: And, Jeany, the thing that a lot of things women have trouble getting their head around is that men disassociate sex and feelings commonly. For women, they typically go together.
I do have now Tanya Young Williams on the phone, she is, as I said, the estranged wife of basketball player Jayson Williams, "Huffington Post" contributor. She wanted to weigh in.
Tanya, what`s the deal?
TANYA YOUNG WILLIAMS, TV PERSONALITY (via telephone): How are you doing, Dr. Drew?
PINSKY: There you are. Hi.
My position is somewhat consistent to what I hear, that a lot of times, gentlemen do cheat because they can. But we have to understand, the more powerful the man is, the more likely he is to think he can get away with it because he has enablers and protectors who are helping him get away with cheating. And he`s had had, yes, men telling him yes since he`s become successful and powerful. So, it`s --
PINSKY: Well, Tanya, I want to say something else, which is something that Steve brought up, which is these guys became powerful so they could do this stuff because they didn`t do this when they were younger and should have, right?
WILLIAMS: I disagree. I disagree. I disagree wholeheartedly.
SANTAGATI: But, Tanya, but --
WILLIAMS: A lot of men have been cheating for a very long time. The more powerful they get, the more people around them to protect them, it seems to get easier.
But when you look at John Edwards, the problem is, his cheating has devastated so many people`s lives. So it`s just not the sex. It`s just not getting caught. It`s that he has for the most part devastated lives based on the triple effect of him cheating.
PINSKY: Go ahead, Steve.
Imagine this guy was going to be the president, he was lying to the whole country. This is how far men will go to cheat. They`ll lie about the entire world about what they`re doing.
SANTAGATI: His ego -- first of all, the people you`re talking about, the enablers, are sycophants, they`re yes people. And let me tell you something, we`ve seen a million celebrities go down the drain because they have no one standing by saying, no, this is wrong. So, we don`t have to fix them. The universe, life, will fix them itself.
PINSKY: Well, that`s true. That`s true.
SANTAGATI: And the thing about these guys cheating, they`re powerful and they want to feel like, you know what, this is another way to bolster my ego. We don`t have be part of that. That`s all.
PINSKY: Are you maturing?
WILLIAMS: Excuse me, Dr. Drew, you have to realize a lot of these men, far of their character traits is what made them successful. They`re driven. They are passionate. They`re determined.
That`s what made them successful. And that`s the same things they use in these relationships. They influence these women and hold their power over them. And like I said, at the end of the day, they get what they want, they throw every --
PINSKY: Oh, there she goes.
SANTAGATI: Nice talking to you.
PINSKY: That`s Tanya.
But the fact is, that is a whole other part to this which is, let`s break it down very quickly, is that why do the women participate with these men? Which is what you would bring up, hold on a second. And I know that`s always been your point of contention.
Some men are sex addicts, alcoholics, and they`re just acting out like crazy. Some men really don`t care about hurting other people`s feelings and they`re cheaters their whole lives. And some guys, as you said, I think we are putting the lion`s share of the guys are into a population where they used to be -- they couldn`t have access to this stuff, and with power and money they have access now.
Let`s get one more call in here.
Jenny in Texas, go ahead.
JENNY, CALLER FROM TEXAS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Jenny.
JENNY: My question is, is this less about monogamy and more about this heightened sense of self-entitlement?
SANTAGATI: Good question.
PINSKY: Go ahead.
SANTAGATI: Well, first of all, men, you know, are not genetically programmed to be monogamous. That`s not the way nature works. OK?
And they do feel a certain sense of entitlement when they`re powerful, they figure, why can`t I have this? I have a bunch of people telling me how wonderful I am, why do I have to stop at just having a lot of money and a lot of power and a lot of privilege? I want everything. It`s selfishness.
Again, it will end up, you know, ruining their lives.
PINSKY: Let me ask about you, because you -- last time I talked to you about this topic, you seemed harsher on it. You seemed more like defensive about men being able to cheat.
SANTAGATI: I`m not defensive about men being able to cheat. I think that guys are programmed to desire more than one woman. Just like ladies, look, you know you`re looking at guys walking down the street wondering. You might not think the same way we do as men, but you do. It`s natural. It`s part of life.
The fact of the matter is, you have to know the guy you`re with. And the guy has to know himself and what he wants.
PINSKY: I agree with that. You can make healthier choices and people look at any health parameter you wish, men particularly are happier and healthier in monogamous relationships sustained over time. They are.
SANTAGATI: It can`t be a resistance, like, I`m not going to cheat, I`m not going to cheat.
PINSKY: Oh, that`s like trying to white knuckle alcohol. I agree with you.
I got to take a break. Steve, thank you for joining us.
Next up, you`re asking me on Facebook, do men really think their lives will never catch up with them? And have you dealt with a lying guy is what I want to know. So, give us a call at 1-855-DRDREW5. That`s -373-7395.
We`ll be right back after this break.
PINSKY: We are back and we`re taking your calls live. Again, we`re live tonight and taking calls at 855-DRDREW-5 -- 855-DRDREW5. You`ve wanted to weigh on on many topics. We`re talking about John Edwards.
I`m answering I`m joined by my "Loveline" co-host, Simone Bienne. Thank you, Simone, for joining us. I appreciate it.
Let`s get right to the phone lines.
How do we have here first? I believe I`ve got C.J. on the line in California. What`s up, C.J.?
C.J., CALLER FROM CALLER: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, C.J.
C.J.: Hi. I want to know, why when women decide to cheat, why do they always get the bottom of the barrel type women?
PINSKY: That`s C.J. -- Simone`s saying yes. Maybe that`s just your perspective on them if they were the ones that cheated with your man. You know what I mean?
SIMONE BIENNE, DR. DREW`S "LOVELINE" CO-HOST: Well, interestingly, I`ve come across studies that say that men who cheat tend to actually cheat down, so C.J.`s exactly right. Normally mistresses can be less attractive than their wives.
BIENNE: My point is, maybe the nice women are in the houses being good wives and the not so good women, little less attractive women are out there doing the dirty. Not a clinical perspective.
PINSKY: Mind you. Mind you.
But there is a point there, is that women`s priorities -- Steve was talking about the male priorities. Women priorities are in sustaining relationships. And as such, the happier ones, the ones that are able to be more successful in managing their priorities are not as available.
BIENNE: Yes. Absolutely. And that`s why studies also show -- sorry, I`m chuckling -- when men get married, their overall happiness goes up, and when women get married, their overall happiness can sometimes come down because they have such an investment in the relationship and making sure that everything`s all right and feeling that they`re care taking.
PINSKY: And we as men are just so good at relationships we make our female partners so happy.
BIENNE: This man is. This man is.
PINSKY: Easy. Easy now.
Sharon in Connecticut. Go right ahead, Sharon.
SHARON, CALLER FROM CONNECTICUT: My question is, do you think cheating men are the narcissistic type of person?
PINSKY: Yes, that`s a great question. What do you think, Simone?
BIENNE: I think there are different types. I think there are men who cheat who are emotionally wounded and who are --
PINSKY: OK. And many of those are chronic cheaters. They can`t stand emotional intimacy and they distance themselves through sex. Often, though, they`re just sex addicts, let`s face it.
BIENNE: OK. If we take it one down from the sex addicts, the men who -- and you deal with the sex addicts specifically and I deal with sort of the healthy and neurotics who have some kind of dysfunction and, you know, they`ve come across some pain in their childhood, but they aren`t able to express what they need to say in words.
And so, no, in my experience, they`re not always narcissists and they don`t always do it out of a sense of entitlement like John Edwards.
PINSKY: I agree with you. I agree.
However, those kinds of injuries -- we`re getting a little technical on you guys --
PINSKY: No, no. I mean, I want to. Those sorts of injuries, what was my caller`s first name? I already lost her.
Sharon -- those sorts of injuries, Sharon, that Simone is talking about, tend to result in narcissistic defense strategies. So these guys may appear somewhat narcissistic and they may need to keep themselves propped up by other people`s approval and success in the world and that sort of thing. So it`s a chicken and egg issue somewhat here.
BIENNE: And there`s an acting out.
PINSKY: It`s an acting out. By the way, we`re going to get into it tonight, though. Like I said, we have Joe Pantoliano coming up in a few minutes. He had alcoholism and maybe sex addiction. If you have somebody with -- addicts, they act out sexually in ways that are very unpredictable.
Let`s go to Facebook. Lisa says, "There`s a stronger force below the belt of man than overpowers their intelligence and wins every time. It`s a struggle they can`t win."
I strongly disagree with that, even though I agree there`s a struggle, they can win and they`re healthier and happier when they do.
BIENNE: Yes. Well, now, I don`t know whether we can say this at this time on HLN, but last night on "Loveline" --
PINSKY: Now you have to say it.
BIENNE: OK. Last night on "Loveline," Drew and I were saying actually, you know, sometimes when men don`t use their brains, their penis becomes their conscience.
BIENNE: So, sometimes, actually, you know, they`re not ruled just by their genitals.
PINSKY: Right. What she`s saying is sometimes their body will actually respond in such a way that tells them they shouldn`t be doing this. That`s what we`re saying.
Mark in Pennsylvania -- go right ahead, Mark.
Mark`s gone. See what we have next up here. A Facebook -- there he is.
I`m sorry, Mark, I`m sorry, Mark, I`m going to interrupt you. I`m sorry. We missed the first part of your call. We had the wrong lineup.
MARK, CALLER FROM PENNYSLVANIA: Yes, I`m just calling to say that, yes, this woman, his wife took the same vows as he did in sickness and health, that part. I guess he didn`t matter how powerful he was or how rich he was.
Just my question is, did he take that as serious as she did?
PINSKY: Mark, this is a really great question. And you`re sort of -- you`re moving into the sort of morally and spirituality issues which I think are quite relevant here. Which is, here`s his wife who took her vows very seriously, is ill with breast cancer --
BIENNE: And here, we`re talking about John Edwards.
PINSKY: And John Edwards goes out and screws around. Mark -- sorry, I lost your name again. Is it Mark? Mark. You need to leave the names up for me there, guys. It`s the way it goes. I`m not -- my memory is not that good these days.
Mark, the fact is, though, he did not take the vows as seriously evidently. I agree with you. These are sacred vows you take in front of God and everybody in sickness and in health. By the way, in sickness, as a physician, I see relationships that are severely distressed by illness, and guess what, you hang in.
You made that -- Mark, you`re making a great point. Do you have anything further to say?
MARK: I have to say, I had a kidney transplant. My wife stayed with me. It`s been 20 years. So, we`re still together for 22 years.
PINSKY: What`s her name? What`s here name?
BIENNE: Yes, absolutely, yay for Alice.
PINSKY: What do they say in Britain huzza. Huzza to Alice.
BIENNE: You go, girl.
PINSKY: Thank you, Mark. I`ve got one more Facebook here from Lorinda. "A man is as faithful as his options so saith Chris Rock. When it comes to sex, men are indeed stupid."
It`s not about intellect or stupid, and is the issue that, you know, we got to ask ourselves, why do women play along with these guys? The women that are the ones the men cheat with. Do they think these guys are going to have long-term relationships?
BIENNE: And they`re damaged as well, and there are women who love too much and they`re desperate for attention. And, they -- you know, they go for unavailable people. A self-respecting woman doesn`t go for a cheater.
PINSKY: Well, I`ve got Sarah Symonds coming up. Do I not, in the next segment? Can somebody tell me if she`s available still?
OK. I`m going to go to her right out of this break. She`s been somebody that`s been cheated with. You can address whether or not she is damaged or not, as you just said. I think she may take that quite personally.
Ahead, he started on "The Sopranos," that`s after Sarah. But he had a secret life filled with drugs and sex addiction, depression. Joe Pantoliano is here. He`s going to answer your questions.
Again, call us at 1-855-DRDREW5. That`s 373-7395.
And as I said, Sarah Simmons when we come back.
PINSKY: We`re back and we`re taking your calls about why men, particularly men in power like a politician, say, John Edwards, who`s been in the news lately, why they cheat. Why do powerful men seem to get tangled up in the sex scandals?
We posed this question on Facebook. Are powerful men incapable of monogamy?
Simone Bienne is back with you to answer these questions and others.
Simone, what do you think the answer is? Are powerful men incapable of monogamy?
PINSKY: No. I give men some credit. Just we hear these stories all the time in the press.
BIENNE: Politicians worry me, apart from President Obama, who I just think is such a good role model for families.
PINSKY: Right, and monogamy. As far as we know.
BIENNE: And fatherhood. Yes, fingers crossed.
It`s the thrill seeking behavior, the power -- they seem to get addicted to it, the sense of entitlement.
BIENNE: It`s just almost the more powerful they get, the more risk they want to take.
PINSKY: And also powerful men are a attractive to women. Women kind of throw themselves a little bit.
And if guys are not prepared to set boundaries and understand the people that do that -- by the way, women that go after these men might have issues themselves.
So, we`re going to talk to one. She`s a former mistress, Sarah Symonds. She joins us now.
She is -- there she is.
Have you been following the story with John Edwards and what your thoughts are on this story?
SARAH SYMONDS, FORMER MISTRESS: Oh, yes, I have. Good evening and thanks for having me on again. I have a huge beef with Rielle Hunter, actually.
PINSKY: Tell me. What`s the beef?
SYMONDS: Well, the reason I have this huge beef is because I join you tonight from Vancouver. I`m literally on location. I`m shooting my new reality show, "The Mistress," and I`ve been working all day today with a mistress, real life mistress who has a child with her married man.
She`s a young girl. The child is 7 or 8 years old. She asks nothing from her married man.
And yet here we have somebody like Rielle Hunter who`s getting paid millions to be set up in a home. I just think she got pregnant on purpose. She manipulated John Edwards, whom I don`t like, by the way. I`ve got -- couldn`t care less about him.
But this mistress had an agenda as well.
PINSKY: So, Simone, what about the young girl having a baby and not asking anything from her married man? That`s a woman who has some intimacy issues I would suspect.
BIENNE: Yes, she`s a genuine victim. And I really, really feel for her. Just as much as I think John Edwards -- I mean, considering he called her a slut today. That`s just come out. She`s a victim. And I think anyone who`s a mistress is a victim.
PINSKY: Well, I have another mistress available. Sarah in California.
Sarah, can you talk to us here? I guess you have something to say to the whole group here? Go ahead, Sarah.
SARAH, CALLER FROM CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew. Actually, yes, I have been and I am a mistress. I`m not bottom of the barrel. I`m Ivy League, educated with Ph.D.
I had an affair. I did become pregnant. I opted to abort just to avoid raising a child in a deceitful situation. I couldn`t do that.
I`m also an active addict alcoholic.
PINSKY: OK. So, Sarah, unfortunately, I`m running out of time. I would, please, Sarah, let`s get into some sobriety here, protect yourself. Let`s take care of yourself. All you have to do is go to a meeting, raise your hand, say, "I`d like help."
Sarah Symonds, thank you for joining us. Unfortunately, I have to go to break.
SYMONDS: Dr. Drew, can I say one more really quick thing or not?
PINSKY: Five seconds. Five seconds.
SYMONDS: OK. You would be amazed the women I`m dealing with every day in the work I do on the show I`m making, how many women are real life - -
PINSKY: Now, I have to go to break. That`s five seconds. I`m sorry, guys. I got to go immediately to break. We`re back with more of your calls after this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (voice-over): You know actor, Joe Pantoliano, from his role in "The Sopranos," but it was the real life role of drug addict that nearly killed him. Personal demons loomed larger than any of his many roles on screen, but Joey Pants, as he is known, is remaining sober, his depression is in check and he`s helping others.
How did he get through it? Ask him yourself. He`s live with me taking your calls. Call us at 1-855-DrDrew-5. That`s 1-855-373-7395. Call us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY (on-camera): That`s right. We`re taking your calls live. And you guys are driving the show, but I do have guests. My next guest won an Emmy as the unpredictable, Ralph Cifaretto, on "The Sopranos." He also, though, has recovered from or struggled with mental illness, and among (ph) with some mental health issues.
Joining me now, actor and author of "Asylum." I`m holding up the book. Here it is. The new book. Joe Pantoliano a.k.a. Joe Pants.
JOE PANTOLIANO, AUTHOR, "ASYLUM": How are you doing?
PINSKY: I`m good, Joe. How are you?
PANTOLIANO: Very good. Thank you.
PINSKY: The Joe or Joey?
PINSKY: Joey is OK? So, why was this an important book for you? Why did you write it?
PANTOLIANO: Well, because I was very ill for the last -- I just started getting better about two years ago. And, I couldn`t understand how somebody who got, finally got everything I ever wanted, you know, I wanted to go to Hollywood, television was my asylum. If I could get inside my mother`s TV and be like all those other Italian-Americans that made it, that I wouldn`t feel this feeling inside me anymore.
PINSKY: The emptiness.
PINSKY: The hole.
PANTOLIANO: And it wouldn`t -- I couldn`t fill it up.
PANTOLIANO: And so, I wanted to die. And I was, you know, sitting in my million-dollar home and thinking, what do you need, you selfish bastard? You know, what`s wrong with you? I thought it was a character defect, a character flaw. I didn`t know it was a disease. A disease, an uneasiness. And so --
PINSKY: A disorder of the brain.
PANTOLIANO: Yes. But, you know, it`s not permanent, you know --
PINSKY: Well, it`s treatable.
PANTOLIANO: It`s highly treatable.
PINSKY: And what people in this country seem to have trouble with, and again, I want to take your guy`s calls in just a second here, but we have no trouble with heart disease and arthritic disease, but when it comes to our brain, anything that affects our consciousness, our volition, or our motivation, we seem to have real trouble believing that it can be a disorder.
PANTOLIANO: The co-occurring nature of all of the behaviors. In my book, I call it my seven deadly symptoms that were born out of this hole inside of me. And I need to fill it up with those symptoms, whether it was stealing, or drinking, or drugging, or success.
PINSKY: Arousal. Filling it with arousal. And we`ve been talking about men behaving badly tonight. And, some men fill it with women and sex. You probably went down that path. Most guys do at some point when they have power and money. Let`s talk to some of the callers, Joe. This is Thea, I believe, in Los Angeles. Thea, go ahead.
THEA, LOS ANGELES: Hi. My question for Joe is, when did you realize that the behavior, especially the sexual behavior, was beyond what society considered normal for most men in your position?
PINSKY: Let me contextualize that, too. That`s a great question. We have these guys in power that are acting out sexually. We talked to a basketball player`s wife. They just figure, it`s what guys do. When does it break through when you realize, oh, no, wait a minute, I`m doing something that isn`t working for me and maybe hurting other people?
PANTOLIANO: When my wife found out that I had had this ongoing affair that I brought home. And I saw her -- I saw the pain that I caused her. I never imagined, because I thought it didn`t affect her. It had nothing to do with her. This was about me. And, you know, my needs and I was away from home all the time. And to see her be that destroyed --
PINSKY: You`re still affected by that, aren`t you?
PINSKY: Was that a bottom for you?
PANTOLIANO: Yes. That`s when everything --
PINSKY: Bottomed. You still get teary talking about that.
PINSKY: You want to talk more about it or?
PANTOLIANO: No. No. I`m good.
PINSKY: It`s important. I mean, it`s important that people understand that the people you love, you harm with some of these behaviors.
PANTOLIANO: I was hurting so much I wanted everybody to feel what it felt like to be inside of me.
PANTOLIANO: And I did it to my wife and I did it to my children. I couldn`t feel anymore. I was numb. And I didn`t know why I was numb. And I didn`t want to live anymore.
PINSKY: Yes. Emotional numbing is a dangerous thing. Emptiness, numbing, these are common experiences in this country today. Let`s go out to Massachusetts. Talk to Christine. Go out, Christine. What do you got?
CHRISTINE, MASSACHUSETTS: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Christine.
CHRISTINE: Love your show, by the way.
PINSKY: Thank you, ma`am.
CHRISTINE: My question is for you, Dr. Drew. How long does it take to withdrawal off of Xanax?
PINSKY: Oh, you`re going in a slightly different direction. Did you ever take Xanax? Xanax is a short acting benzodiazepine. It`s something that, if you remember, Whitney Houston, they found it in the bathroom with her. It`s a highly addictive drug. If you have any history of addiction, you should not be on this medication.
And if you must take it for some reason, please not more than two weeks. It can become dependent very quickly, very easily. The withdrawals are awful. They`re very intense for about two weeks. They`re biphasic. They`re very intense up to about five days, and then pick again about 10 days. People think, oh my God, it`s coming back, which it does.
Seizures are very common. You need to see a doctor who has a good deal of experience from treating this. And if you do get strung out on it, that`s addiction. And when you have addiction -- remember, the thing about addiction is, once you stop doing the drug, your brain is still left in a state where you are now altered.
Even when you`re not doing the drugs anymore, you`re not the same as before you triggered the addiction. So, that needs to be treated in and of itself. Your case, you have co-occurring disorders, you had depression, you had the mom that traumatized you. I mean, all these things need to be treated.
PANTOLIANO: A lot of this kicked up on 9/11. Because I didn`t have - - I didn`t understand any of those feelings. I forgot, a lot of the stuff that came up in therapy. And I was -- I was beside myself. I was -- I was ecstatic. I was -- I felt like I hit the trifecta. And then, when I went back to work and I was doing a picture, and I had to get insured by the insurance company, and the doctor said, anything different? And I said, not really.
Yes, I have a history of alcoholism in my family. Yes, we have a history of cancer. Yes, we have a history of heart disease. What medications are you taking? Well, I`m still taking the statin for cholesterol and a baby aspirin. Oh, now, I`m taking the same 10 milligrams also of an antidepressant. Two days later, my lawyers said they`re not going to insure you.
PANTOLIANO: Because I`m taking an anti-depressant, so they thought I was in short risk (ph), that I had to sign waiver so that if I had a mental breakdown, that it would be my financial responsibility.
PINSKY: Oh, my goodness.
PANTOLIANO: So, I said, why are they insuring my heart?
PINSKY: But not your brain.
PANTOLIANO: And not my brain. So, our organization now is all about equal rights for the all American brain.
PINSKY: Call it out. What is it?
PANTOLIANO: It`s called "No Kidding, Me 2." It`s the largest celebrity-based advocacy in the country, and our goal is to educate Americans that it`s cool to be out there, and then, being out there, we should talk about it. We are promoting emotional intimacy, emotional sobriety.
PINSKY: Very good. I love it. NoKiddingMe2.com?
PANTOLIANO: Dot org.
PINSKY: Dot org. Let`s go to another caller quickly. Viola in Georgia. Viola?
VIOLA, GEORGIA: Hi.
PINSKY: There you are.
VIOLA: I`m just wondering for Joey, what significance did medication play or what significance does medication play in his role in recovery?
PANTOLIANO: In my case --
PINSKY: That`s a good question.
PANTOLIANO: In my case, it took a little bit of the numb -- the numbing away, so I could actually be clear and have some clarity so I could get to some of these issues with my doctor.
PINSKY: Viola, the way I think about the medication that is non- addictive that people in recovery take, if you were diabetic, you`d take insulin. And by the way, let`s remind ourselves, Viola, that people that do drugs do drugs that injure the brain that could keep them chronically depressed, and those chemicals have to be supported by something.
So, I think about medication, recovery, as something that makes recovery possible. But they must be non-addictive substances. A quick Facebook -- thanks, Viola. And again, know what the addictive drugs are. Benzodiazepines, opiates, psycho stimulants, those are new, new, new.
Elaine says on Facebook, "Joe has been very open about suffering from depression. The recent death of Mike Wallace has brought his issue back to the fore. Does chronic depression offer any positives for an actor? Maybe as a way to tap into the deeper, darker consciousness for certain roles? Interesting. And people talk about this, that does artistic do pull on that -- those dark aspects, those dark corners for your artistic work?
PANTOLIANO: Yes. And in the documentary, I talk with doctor --
PINSKY: The NoKiddingMe2.com?
PANTOLIANO: Yes. Plain hospital. I shot in the plain hospital, and I asked the doctor, did I make myself crazy by manipulating my brain all these years and pulling up these emotions? And he said, in fact, I created a craft that sublimated all of this unresolved pain.
PINSKY: Put it aside.
PANTOLIANO: No, I put it through the characters.
PINSKY: Oh, I see. I see. Acted it out in the characters.
PINSKY: It`s really been a pleasure. I really thank you for coming in here. "No Kidding, Me 2." I mean, I think it`s a very powerful message you`re putting out there.
And next up, we`re going to keep taking calls. Any topics, frankly, coming up.
Rob Schneider, do you know him? Of course. Deuce Bigalow -- you met Deuce Rob (ph) back there?
PANTOLIANO: Yes. I met (ph) him one time.
PINSKY: Rob joins me to help answer your questions. So, anything you want to talk about, call us, 855-DrDrew-5. Be right back.
PINSKY: All right. Now, welcome back. We are live tonight and on call for the hour. And joining me now is Rob Schneider. You know him from the show "Rob." Day and time, what day and time?
ROB SCHNEIDER, COMEDIAN: Usually Thursdays. We`ll see what happens.
PINSKY: When it gets picked up?
PINSKY: It`s about Rob`s life. It`s about your life.
PINSKY: And people love that show. They love it.
SCHNEIDER: Oh, thanks. It`s a fun show. My wife came up with the idea. She`s Mexican. And you know, a different idea. First of all, I disagree with the lovely doctor.
SCHNEIDER: Simone. I just don`t believe that mistresses can possibly be the victims. I just don`t -- you can`t be a victim, unless, you are an actual victim. If you have some form of culpability.
PINSKY: Let me -- I think I`ll put a little spin on it, which is that what she`s saying is people that have been victimized, who often act out in ways like this, and they`re not getting what they really want from these guys who continue to sort of objectify and sideline.
SCHNEIDER: Right. But you can`t call them a victim.
PINSKY: By the way, they don`t want your help as a victim, either.
SCHNEIDER: Right, right.
PINSKY: They`re sort of acting out --
SCHNEIDER: I agree with that.
PINSKY: All right. Good. Let`s get right to calls. Breanna on the line in Ohio. Breanna, go right ahead.
BREANNA, OHIO: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Breanna.
BREANNA: My question is, how do I get my boyfriend to take a step away from his family and take a step toward being more committed in our long-term relationship?
PINSKY: How old are you guys?
BREANNA: Nineteen. We`ve been together since we were freshmen --
PINSKY: Nineteen. So, you were kind of dealing with this kind of thing, weren`t you?
SCHNEIDER: Well, it`s -- you know, you have to ask yourself, why do you want your -- what is the problem that you think is happening right now in your relationship?
PINSKY: Why is he so tied up to his family? Why don`t they release him to be with you?
SCHNEIDER: Why do you see that as the problem? What do you see is the problem? Succinctly, what is it?
BREANNA: It`s not a problem that he`s close to his family. I just feel like we used to be a lot closer and more committed. And now, he`s getting closer to them and our relationship`s kind of going backwards.
PINSKY: How old are you guys, again?
SCHNEIDER: She`s 19.
SCHNEIDER: OK. Well, first of all, you know, he`s still a child.
SCHNEIDER: You guys are still basically kids. At 19, you`re not going to expect, you know, to have these, you know, big leaps in maturity. Basically, he`s, you know, few weeks out of high school.
PINSKY: It`s right. And maybe at 19, what happens at 19 is people aren`t really prepared to wrap things up. They don`t know how to end relationships. If this were at 27, it`d be like, boom, done, we`re out of here. It sounds like this thing may be winding down, so don`t be unrealistic about it lasting forever. At 19, things are kind of supposed to wrap up.
PINSKY: Let`s go to Heather on the line in Buffalo, New York. What`s up, Heather?
HEATHER, BUFFALO, NEW YORK: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Heather.
HEATHER: Here`s my question. My boyfriend, he drinks on occasion. Just recently, we went out for a drink. He had a gin and tonic, which he - -
PINSKY: Have him arrested immediately. How dare you do that?
SCHNEIDER: No one drinks gin and tonics anymore. I see a problem right away.
HEATHER: He had a Lortab a couple hours prior, you know? It was a prescription, you know, for pain. He became increasingly agitated. And, you know, just very -- his behavior changed. He denies that he has a drinking problem, but when we do drink, we go out on occasion, he`ll have like a gin and tonic, something very strong.
SCHNEIDER: If it creates a problem, he has a drinking problem. That`s the definition of a drinking problem.
PINSKY: Rob is right. Heather, just use this definition. Here`s the definition of alcoholism and addiction. It`s a biological disorder with a genetic basis. If you see a family history there, be suspicious. The hallmark that is ongoing use and usually progression in the face of adverse consequence, relationships, health, finance, school, legal status, and then, finally, denial.
You, at least, have given us two of those three. If he also has a family history of alcoholism, you may have to really look at this.
SCHNEIDER: And if he`s drinking, I don`t care if it`s prescription drug or not. Prescription drugs are still responsible for many, many, many deaths in America.
PINSKY: It`s by far the biggest problem we`re into right now. It is a tsunami of this stuff.
SCHNEIDER: The idea that the prescription drug and it`s OK to mix with alcohol is just as bad as doing a non-prescription drug.
PINSKY: Let me go on the record and say, it`s worse than illicit drugs right now.
PINSKY: Because they seem better, they seem safer because a doctor`s prescribed it. I heard a data -- piece of data. I think it was from the CDC with somebody like that. A very important organization put some data out there.
There enough drugs were sold, I believe, in the last year, opiates, to give everybody in the country an opiate every four hours for an extended period of time. I`ll get the data before, maybe during the break.
SCHNEIDER: I`d love to talk about prescription drugs --
PINSKY: That`s a big one. Keisha in Garden Grove. Go ahead, Keisha.
KEISHA, GARDEN GROVE: Hi Dr. Drew. Hi, Rob.
KEISHA: I just was wondering how important it is to get your pap smear if you`re like not sexually active at all?
PINSKY: Are you over 21?
PINSKY: Yes. If you`re over 21, it starts to become time to do as part of your routine healthcare screening. It`s not as important, obviously, if you are sexually active because the issue of, obviously, STDs, cervical cancer, HPV, those sorts of things. Why do you resist?
KEISHA: It looks painful.
PINSKY: It looks painful. Rob, talk about this.
SCHNEIDER: Well, you know, first of all, you`re a woman. There`s a lot of pain --
PINSKY: She`s a woman? You`re kidding.
SCHNEIDER: Yes. You`re going to have to deal with pain in your life. And I`m just sorry it`s just the way the dice rolled in your favor.
PINSKY: Wow. Rob. Harsh.
SCHNEIDER: Go ahead and do it once, at least, once a year. Just make a habit of it.
PINSKY: I would say make sure you see a doctor that you feel very comfortable with. Maybe, maybe bring somebody into the room with you feel comfortable with and make sure you communicate to the doctor and take it slow and easy. Some doctors really will take their time with this, and she`ll give you, you know, a participation --
SCHNEIDER: Yes. Make sure it`s a professional. Don`t have your boyfriend do it, you know? Because those guys, they don`t know what -- they may have a guy who says, hey, I can do this. I got some ideas, but no.
PINSKY: Rob Schneider giving gynecological advice, thank you.
PINSKY: Do we have other callers out there? Let`s see. We`ve got Tina in Maryland. Go ahead, Tina.
TINA, MARYLAND: Hi. How are you, Dr. Drew?
PINSKY: I`m good, Tina.
TINA: I`m a recovering addict.
PINSKY: Yes, ma`am.
TINA: And I legitimately need pain meds now. I don`t know if I should take them or not. I can`t function without the pain meds.
PINSKY: If there is any way you can avoid opiates, I would so strongly urge you to do so and realize this is a very complicated topic. I`m not -- certainly not telling you how to do or what to do. You need to talk to your medical team. But, you probably had trauma growing up, right? You had some serious trauma?
PINSKY: Trauma, sexual trauma, physical trauma, interpersonal trauma, which would many addicts have had, sets up what`s called somatoform dissociation where you`re not sort of hooked up with your body system, and pain becomes the way the body tells its tale of woe.
Please, see if you can find a therapist or somebody who`s a trauma expert, and there may be a way to manage this without reducing you back to an opiate addict.
SCHNEIDER: There`s yoga. There`s chiropractic care. There`s acupuncture. There`s a lot of ways to try to manage that, but you really are dealing with a dangerous situation with --
PINSKY: Yes. And I understand --
SCHNEIDER: Even if it`s prescription drugs, it`s still a danger.
PINSKY: But it`s a terribly difficult conundrum, pain and somebody in recovery, but this is -- there are other solutions. My heart goes out to you.
Rob and I are going to keep taking your calls. And, we, of course, have to take a little break here. So, if you have questions about whatever, you want to ask Rob a question about his new marriage, about being a parent, you`ve got a lot of stuff you can talk about, right?
SCHNEIDER: Yes, absolutely.
PINSKY: And you want to ask me anything, the number is 855-DrDrew-5. Please, stay with us, and we`ll be right back.
PINSKY: Thanks for joining us. We are back with comedic actor, Rob Schneider, answering your questions. And you, before the break, we`ve been talking this whole hour about men behaving badly and infidelity. And you said your wife, who`s Mexican-American or Mexican --
PINSKY: And they see this fidelity issue a little differently.
SCHNEIDER: Yes. Well, the idea -- I don`t mean to speak for the Mexican culture, but the idea is a difference between loyalty and infidelity, you know? It`s like, you know, in the cultures, you know, just don`t humiliate me, just don`t do something obvious like that.
PINSKY: So, for you, that was a little tough.
SCHNEIDER: Well, the idea for me is, like, you know, I don`t have a problem with fidelity, but I`m an older guy, you know? if you have the opportunity, this is one thing, if you`re a young guy, you`re out there, moved around, it`s different, you know? But, I really say there seems to be a difference, culturally, between fidelity and loyalty.
PINSKY: Did you use to be a cheater?
SCHNEIDER: No. I was a serial person in relationships.
PINSKY: Serial monogamy.
SCHNEIDER: Serial monogamy, unfortunately. I was always like in a monogamous relationship at the peak of my fame, you know, when I could have had more fun. But, the -- I like being in a relationship. I think, like, I like --
PINSKY: You`re happier. You`re healthier.
SCHNEIDER: Yes. The idea of, like, you can say anything you want to me, but I`m not hiding anything. That to me is like -- it`s not something I just do for her, it`s a gift I give to myself.
PINSKY: Intimacy is what that is. The "into me see" is what we say. "Into me see.
SCHNEIDER: I like that.
PINSKY: Let`s go to a call. Michelle in North Carolina. What do you got, Michelle?
MICHELLE, NORTH CAROLINA: Hello?
PINSKY: Hi, Michelle. You`re on with Rob Schneider. What`s up?
MICHELLE: Hi. I had a question. Well, my whole life, it`s been happening, but my father passed away a year ago on Valentine`s Day in front of me, and six months later, my granddaughter passed away, and it`s like my whole family, I`ve done everything I possibly could do, and it`s like they deserted me by lying or lying to me or about me. And I just, like, don`t want to talk to them right now. And I don`t know what else to do. I talk to therapists and, you know, they can give advice --
SCHNEIDER: What is the question? I`m sorry. I really don`t understand.
PINSKY: I got to say, how can we help tonight, Michelle?
SCHNEIDER: What is the -- what is your biggest problem that you`re having right now? Trusting with your family? Trust, or what is it?
MICHELLE: Yes. Dealing with family that keeps letting you down. And time and time again, when family -- I love family, and I think families should be together.
SCHNEIDER: I can answer this. First of all, I love the dogs in the background.
PINSKY: I know. That`s nice. I imagine North Carolina, the coast.
SCHNEIDER: You really got an idea what it`s like out there, but I will say this. You got to set boundaries. And if you don`t set boundaries, even with your own family, you have to have boundaries, even with your own family so that you can -- you know, you don`t put up with behavior that you don`t want to accept.
PINSKY: And if I could rephrase or maybe phrase a little differently what Rob was saying which is, you`re not responsible for other people`s feelings. And if you`re in a family system where everyone`s responsible for everybody else, that`s not healthy. That`s undifferentiated. It`s no boundaries.
SCHNEIDER: And you`re always going to be disappointed.
PINSKY: And you`re always going to be disappointed. And sometimes, you have to -- one bit of advice I would give you to start out, cultivate good friendships and start with people who maybe are a little different than you usually hang out with and see if you can get somebody to really care about you and listen to you. Start there.
Rob, thank you for joining. I got to take another break. Good luck with "Rob" CBS at Thursday at --
SCHNEIDER: 8:30, hopefully.
PINSKY: Hopefully. Hopefully for that. And I want to thank all of you for calling with your questions, of course. We`ll pick up the topic tomorrow. Tomorrow is Rodney King, in fact. I interviewed Rodney King that I think was very exciting. You`ll be very interested. And we will take some calls about Rodney King and the L.A. riots back then. See you tomorrow.