Dr. Deepak Chopra, one of Michael Jackson's close friends for over 20 years, says the entertainer was not only a genius and extraordinary, but also "a delicate soul in a cruel world," surrounding himself with "enablers."
Appearing on The Early Show on Monday, Dr. Chopra told Harry Smith Jackson was "a beautiful, compassionate, loving but vulnerable soul who had a lot to offer. He was a genius. He was extraordinary when he was in his ecstatic states. But he was also troubled, and he surrounded himself with people who were enablers and frequently avoided people who were trying to help him."
"Michael used to come and stay with us. He would make his own bed after the night was over. He would offer to help my wife with the cooking. And he was part of our family," Chopra remembered.
At one point, Chopra said Jackson even turned to him for prescription drugs.
"In the year 2005 after the trial, he came and stayed with us for a few days, and during that time he asked me for a prescription for OxyContin. I was very surprised, and I said, 'Why do you want that? And he said, 'I have back pain.' And I said, 'You don't need that narcotic for back pain.' And then as I probed, I found out that he was taking a lot of narcotics prescribed by different physicians," Chopra said.
"How does somebody live if their entire life is clouded by a constant cocktail of these kinds of narcotics?" Smith asked.
"Well, somebody like that is obviously not in a normal state of consciousness. After a while, actually, they actually believe that, if they didn't get their fix, or the drug, or the narcotic, they might die. So they go into a panic. There's also a condition called hyperalgesia, which means as the person becomes more tolerant to the drug, they actually have more pain with the drug than they had before the drug, and they cannot believe that the pain is not being suppressed. And when they're told that actually cutting off the drug would help the pain, they don't believe you. So when you're prescribing narcotics, you need to be with very competent doctors," Chopra explained.
Chopra also talked about Jackson's troubled childhood, and the entertainer's relationship with his father.
"He did complain about the stresses of his childhood and the verbal and at times physical abuse, and there's a paper in this year's February issue of "Psychosomatic Medicine" that linked accumulated childhood stress with autoimmune disorders, including lupus, which he had, and vitiligo, which he had. He had huge patches of discoloration. He had a very poor image of his body. And he had a lot of shame about it, a lot of loathing about it. And his compulsion with cosmetic surgery is part of the self-mutilation that occurs as a result of this body image. He became an isolationist. He hid from people. And the more he hid, the more cruel the media frenzy about his hiding and his covering up, You know, he used to wear clothes to cover up his disfiguration. That really actually hurt him a lot," Chopra said.
"He was a delicate soul in a cruel world," he added.
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