It’s been awhile. I’ve been pre-occupied with various projects– the latest of which is my first documentary film, “Because Of Xena.” But last night was different; last night I was pre-occupied with the news of Mindy McCready’s suicide, and the (mostly negative) reactions blowing up the Twitterverse.
Here’s the kicker–the reactions weren’t aimed at the troubled country star herself. The outpouring of negative reactions were aimed at Celebrity Rehab addiction specialist, Dr. Drew Pinsky.
I’ll admit, when I first heard of the tragic news, I retweeted the breaking news article with these words: “Another of @drdrew patients gone.” My intentions were not meant to be malicious however– not like the thousands of tweets which followed.
Here are just a few of those tweets.
Dr. Drew has since been compared to Dr. Kevorkian.
The unflattering comparison was reported by Perez Hilton some 10 hours ago via washed up musician, Richard Marx. Hilton’s opening statement, “Whoa. This might be a bit harsh,” is 100% accurate. The slew of hateful comments directed at Dr. Drew, along with Marx’s Kevorkian comparison, are grossly unjust. The aforementioned accusations only prove how seriously uneducated society is when it comes to mental illness and drug addiction. It is because of this that stigma continues to linger in the 21st century.
What of those who are not celebrities? I hate to break it to you, but there are thousands of faces in the crowd suffering in silence.
Here are a few facts from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention— for those of you so inclined to learn.
- Every 13.7 minutes someone in the United States dies by suicide.
- Nearly 1,000,000 people make a suicide attempt every year.
- 90% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable and treatable psychiatric disorder at the time of their death.
- Most people with mental illness do not die by suicide. (I.e. Accidental Overdose)
- Recent data puts yearly medical costs for suicide at nearly $100 million (2005).
- Men are nearly 4 times more likely to die by suicide than women. Women attempt suicide 3 times as often as men.
Now here’s a sad truth: It wouldn’t have mattered whether it was Dr. Drew, Carl Jung, or Freud himself who treated Mindy McCready. The patient must be held accountable for their own actions. They must choose to continue treatment and follow doctors orders. Does this mean they will? Certainly not. That’s the price of mental illness itself and the stigma which follows behind it.