Monday, February 18, 2013

Could It Be?

I'M NOT A COUNTRY music fan. In fact, before tonight's news I had never heard the voice of country music star Mindy McCready. And had it not been for the one particular sentence uttered by the reporter, I probably would have dismissed her recent suicide as yet another tragic end to fame. 

When the reporter mentioned that Ms. McCready is survived by her ten-month old son I immediately thought: postpartum depression. 

I did a little research. I could have done a lot more but the gist of what I discovered is that Ms. McCready had led a very turbulent existence. She struggled with addictions and had attempted suicide several times. She'd been in trouble with the law and at one point her ex-boyfriend (and father of her first child) tried to kill her. It's believed that a woman with a history of mental illness (and likely multiple unhealed traumas) is more likely to develop PPD.  

A month or so ago, McCready's current boyfriend also committed suicide. Surely this devastation must have exacerbated her symptoms because she checked herself in to rehab because she feared she was falling off the wagon. 

I know there are no easy answers for mental illness but I have to wonder if Ms. McCready's doctors ignored  or downplayed symptoms of what likely could have been PPD.  

Every time I hear about a suicide, I feel that society has failed that deceased individual. Some people see suicide as a selfish act. I strongly disagree. I see it as the final deed of a broken human being. 

What are your thoughts? It's okay to disagree. 


  1. Her boyfriend may not have committed suicide. The police had suspicions she might have shot him. I live in Nashville. She has been a 15 year train wreck in motion. No one here would be surprised at this sad end.

  2. I didn't know much about her, either, except for what I read in the news from time to time. It seems possible that she had PPD. Certainly she was a troubled soul, and I'm sorry that her life ended like this.

  3. I hadn't heard that. That's too bad.
    We had watched an interview with her not too long ago and she seemed to be a train wreck. I don't remember her back story, but it's too bad she didn't have family members stepping up to the plate for her. Clearly she had undealt with issues for a long time. It's too bad no one was able to help.
    My stomach sank when you said she had a 10-month old. That poor kid. Although, he may have had a rough go at it with a mentally unstable mother, so maybe for his sake, it's for the best. Gad. How awful.

  4. I have seen her on the news from time to time. I think she has an older child too, around 5 yrs. old .. her mother had custody of him. The police were after Mindy for awhile because she did not return her son per court order to her mother and it was all over the news. I think her mother did try to help..only so much even a loving family can do if an adult resists treatment or help. That being said, I think our mental health system is deeply flawed. I have been afflicted in the past with a very deep and dark depression and I feel sympathy/empathy for those who are that ill. I don't think you make rational decisions at that point and to say people lack courage or are selfish is ignorance of the depth of despair of depression. Some people self medicate and use drugs and alcohol, which I tend to have had less tolerance for since I see that as making poor choices and endangering others lives as well, but I try to be more understanding because I believe alcoholism is a disease also. I am always sad to hear of cases where people do not get the help they need.

  5. I have not had to deal with suicide and PPD although I think my sister may have had this to a certain degree. I have had to deal with murder suicide with people I know. It is devastating and in this case I am angry with the person who kills and then kills themselves. It is so tragic. I had a neighbor I did not know commit suicide and I felt awful as his family quickly emptied his house, threw everything away and sold the sad...there is so much anger from family and friends with suicide.

  6. A thoughtful post Grace. Life is so wretched for some. I hope for the children's sake they can grow up in a loving and peaceful home.

  7. Depression is an insidious malady that can make you want to sleep forever. I had one serious episode many years ago after the death of someone I loved dearly. Fortunately, I realized I was sick and made an appointment with a shrink and will never forget the drive over there. Every telephone pole I flew by on the freeway seemed to beg me..."Come to me and you will hurt no more."

    Fortunately I made it to the clinic and was helped. Anyone who suspects someone is seriously depressed should encourage them to seek help. It is available and well worth it.

  8. Grace, I appreciate your thoughts and compassion. I also agree. Society in general is made up by each and all of us. There are probably already people near and around us that could use a listening ear and helpful direction in some way or another. It takes the desire to get involved.

  9. Grace, you have touched on one of the great failures in our country - assistance to those who are victims of mental health issues. Mindy McCready's life journey to this sad ending certainly confirms a life with no mental stability in it. And, I agree that she likely suffered from PPD. I can't imagine her not. Thanks for helping to keep mental health in the forefront of your readers.

    PS: Yesterday you commented on my blog that you'll never catch up with your reading . . . neither will I! :)

  10. Take any talk about suicide seriously. Know the warning signs:
    -Threatening suicide or expressing a strong wish to die
    -Seeking access to lethal means--guns, medication, poison
    -Talking or writing about death, dying or suicide
    -A sense of hopelessness
    -Previous suicide attempts
    -Increased substance abuse
    -Rage, anger desire for revenge
    -Withdrawal from usual activities
    -Abrupt change in mod, habits or behavior

    Ask if they are thinking about suicide.
    Get help. Give hope.

  11. When I first read about McCready's suicide and that she had a 10-month old, I too had the thought of postpartum depression. I then had the thought, "At least her child survived." Morbid as that sounds... the result could have been another mother-child suicide-murder. :(
    I wonder what McCready's final thoughts were...and if she bordered on postpartum psychosis and with every ounce of strength she could muster if she resisted ending her child's life too. *gulp*

    I know depression well...and I know suicide ideation well...and I'm acquainted with suicide attempts.

    Imo, suicide is a selfish act. That doesn't make the victim a "bad" person or even a selfish *person*. But in that moment of the abyss of darkness where all hope is gone and the only way out is to permanently exit; in that moment...suicide is a selfish act and leaves the victim's loved ones as victims...from blaming themselves for the death of their loved one to trying to understand it to all the other complexities.

    Yes, imo, at this point and time in my life, I think suicide is a selfish act. Yet I understand that act all too well. :(

    Isolation can be a killer.

  12. I didn't realize her child was so young. Depression may have been the cause.

    Reading that she'd left a child behind and also killed her dog made me question whether it was suicide at all. Made me wonder if it was actually murder, made to look like suicide.

  13. I believe it's the final LOVING act of a human being; putting themselves out of their misery. At least that was the case of my attempt.
    I'll never forget one of the workers at a mental health facility where I was a patient, she actually said if I had really wanted to kill myself I'd be dead. Really made me wonder why I was paying them.


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