Mindy McCready and the Curse of Celebrity Rehab: Blurring the Lines Between TV and Treatment

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Mindy McCready and the Curse of "Celebrity Rehab:" Blurring the Lines Between TV and Treatment

By Courtney Enlow | Celebrities Are Better than You | February 19, 2013 | Comments ()


When tragedy strikes, the majority of us tend to respond appropriately. Murder = bad. Abuse = bad. Petting kittens = good. Petting kids = bad. But when it comes to addiction and suicide, we get...weird.

It makes sense. Other diseases and demises can be understood logically. Someone gets rheumatoid arthritis, we get it. Someone gets muscular dystrophy, we get it. Someone gets cancer, we get it. While we may hate that these diseases happen, and decry its lack of sense from a spiritual standpoint, we can logically fathom these things as physical disease. For one reason or another, the cells have turned on their inhabited body, attacking and weakening it, perhaps to death.

When the brain does the same thing, we aren't quite as understanding. Because, unless you yourself have experienced the same thing, how can you be expected to rationalize that which lacks "normal" rationality?

On one hand, maybe it's not so bad that so many people respond to any loss of life at one's own hand or descent into addiction with an overwhelming sense of incredulity. It means there are still people to whom these things have not happened, and, for that, I'm happy for them.

On the other hand, when a person takes his or her own life, or completely falls apart under the complete physical and mental dependence on substances, why do people seem so quick to villainize them--furiously deriding them for a perceived weakness, selfishness or lack of courage, dismissing them as losers who couldn't cut it while the rest of us toil away, heroes for merely existing?

I bring this up because, following Mindy McCready's death at her own hand on Sunday, I expected once again to watch as the internet drifts into its two standard camps: the group sanctifying the life of the deceased, immediately forgiving and forgetting any misdeeds that life contained, and the other group who always insults, demeans and disregards that person's very existence, proclaiming the planet a better place without that loser.

But, this time, that didn't really happen.

We had the usual second camp (amplified by animal lovers, because McCready killed her dog as well), but the former was almost nonexistent, largely because she hadn't been famous for much more than her career as tabloid fodder in quite some time. Hell, I grew up in the home of a die-hard country music loving father and I still have no recollection of any song she ever sang. I know her, predominately, for the same reasons as the emerging third camp: those familiar with the show "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew."

Yes, the majority of conversation regarding McCready's death is about "Celebrity Rehab," the VH1 reality show that follows famous people as they go through substance abuse treatment under the handsome watch of Dr. Drew Pinsky.

If you watched the show--which I did, on occasion--you know that Dr. Drew and his team were actually very good at their jobs. Aside from, you know, putting desperately sick and addicted people on television and making money off of them. But, in terms of counseling and treatment, they really did seem like they were doing good work. It seemed like the patients were having breakthroughs and working through their issues and getting on the right track for their release.

Yes, five "Celebrity Rehab" patients have passed away. I would argue that some of them, sadly, were on their way there anyway. If you watched Jeff Conway on that show and really thought he'd have a long, healthy life, then you were watching on mute while painting your nails. The damage to some of these people was so severe that the help clearly came too late. That said, it's likely not unfair to speculate that an audience of TV viewers didn't help matters.

And neither did the money.

Dr. Drew and the producers of "Celebrity Rehab" admit to paying participants, defending their choice to do so with "whatever gets them in the door." Reports allege they are paid $250,000 or more for their one-month stint in rehab.

I have known addicts. Really well. And do you know what an addict hears when someone says "I'll give you $250,000 to go to rehab"? They pretty much hear "I'll give you $250,000 to spend on drugs when you get out of rehab." Yes, the treatment received in the facility may be hugely helpful. But when they are released from the safety net of that facility with a renewed public interest, a likely rock-stupid fanbase who wants to buy them shots at the bar and a huge check? It doesn't take a doctor to see that this is a terrible situation these people are being released into. Or, at least, it doesn't take a Dr. Drew, because he seems to think it's a stellar idea. And why shouldn't he? Look how well it worked for McCready, Conway, Mike Starr, Joey Kovar and Rodney King.

The fact is, many of us, try as we might, may never really comprehend the broken brain that drives people to do unspeakable things. Even if we have the compassion to attempt to piece together suicide and self-harm, for most of us, that probably falls apart the second another living thing is harmed. Suicide victim = sick and tragic. Suicide victim who took her dog with her to the other side = monster. Or their spouse. Or, god forbid, their children, because I can honestly state that, try as I might to have some semblance of empathy and understanding for people suffering from mental illness, if a child is hurt, I'm the one with the torch and pitchfork praying for the perpetrator's painful suffering and agreeing with Daria's argument that we revoke the death penalty and bring back torture. We all have limits to our capacity to forgive and sympathize. We don't necessarily need to try to understand what drives people to do tragic and terrible things. I'm not saying that.

I'm just saying maybe we shouldn't give them a quarter of a million dollars and put them on television.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Jemiah Jefferson

    Did you mean "multiple sclerosis"?

    I have that. My mom has it, too. And when I was a kid, before I knew that I had it too, I sure as hell did get mad at her for having it, and for having severe limitations - but only sometimes - when I desperately needed her as a parent (my other parent was elsewhere, starting his own new "family franchise", to paraphrase Fight Club...). SO I had to go through adolescence with no parents, no one to talk to, no one to turn to. Oh yeah, I was mad all right. It was like being dumped, except she still lived in the house - she just couldn't be *present* in that way, and I also couldn't really help her, either.

    Now that I know what it feels like (and she has fortunately gotten a lot better), I have apologized over and over for misunderstanding. And now I experience it for myself, too, though I made the choice not to have children, partially because of that factor... Most of the time MS patients don't LOOK like they have anything wrong with them, and we're accused of faking a lot. It's hard to explain how your whole body just hurts, and it doesn't do what you tell it sometimes, and sometimes it does things you didn't tell it to do, and the unbelievable crushing fatigue that prevents you from taking part in fun social things because you just want to go to bed. I hope that somebody, somewhere, understands even a little bit, because it really really sucks.

    Suicidality is actually a lot like that, also speaking as someone with it. I LOOK fine. I must be lazy and weak and cowardly, because there's nothing to see. I sometimes wish I was in a wheelchair just so that I could have some visual signifier of "Yes, there's something going on, and I need extra help just to get around in the world." Anyway... it's complicated. Just try to find some compassion.

  • When I was 15 my aunt committed suicide at the age of 33. She had a history of drug abuse stemming from when she was 11 years old-my paternal grandfather, known in my household as the Piece of Shit Rapist, abused her from 8 years old until she left the house. She would steal money out of my mom's purse for drugs and had attempted suicide once before she was successful. She had a hard life, and was a lost little soul, and it would break my heart to hear anyone talk about her the way people have discussed celebrities like Amy Winehouse.

    I don't try to understand her-I don't think I ever could, I haven't experienced anything like she had. I mourn for her, but mostly for the life she SHOULD have had.

  • kali yuga

    Well, listening to Drew Pinsky and Adam "Dennis Miller wannabe" Carolla defend George W. Bush when they were hosts of Loveline told me everything I needed to know about these clowns. You're an "addiction medicine specialist" and you can't recognize when your country is being run into the ground by a dry drunk? Really?

  • Pookie

    Dr. Drew isn’t into rehabbing celebrities, Dr. Drew is in it for the money and fame just like Dr. Phil and Oprah and her bullshitting life classes. They are all fucking snake oil salesmen, you want to help an addict well then put him or her into rehab and leave the poor bastard alone and let him or her heal. And for Christ’s sake don’t put and shit load of money into their pockets as soon as they leave rehab. I hate all these fuckers with a passion, addiction has touched my life in such a profound way that I would never subject any addict to the bullshit that these fuckers do. It is so sad that McCready took her life, I just hope that she was found peace.

  • ,

    This is like the idea someone in my college town has to put a sober house downtown. Where all the bars are.

    "Hell, I grew up in the home of a die-hard country music loving father
    and I still have no recollection of any song she ever sang."

    That's kind of what came to my mind when I read an obit that began "Country music star ..."

    Whowhat? I can't say I follow country music religiously, but I'd like to think I know who the big stars are and she wasn't one of them. "Star" sure gets thrown around easily.

  • NateMan

    I used to babysit for this girl named Emily, back when she was 6 or so and I was about 21. She was sweet and well-behaved when she wasn't putting on a display for her mother. Our parents were good friends, so I saw her a fair amount. My then-girlfriend and I would babysit, give her a bath, and put her in bed for the night. Smart, funny, and a great kid.

    12 years later, this past fall, she hanged herself with a belt in her bedroom closet.

    She had a lot going for her; early admittance to Amherst College, a great support structure at school, lots of friends who cared about her deeply. She wasn't bullied, she wasn't abused (to the best of my knowledge, though I used to have suspicions about her stepfather), and her home life, though not the most stable, was okay. She'd threatened suicide multiple times in the past and had been hospitalized a couple times and was on a number of medications. But she checked in with the school every day, and a good friend of mine was her English teacher, someone she was very close to and confided in often. Everyone thought she was getting better.

    But Emily, now Millie, wanted to die, and eventually she made it happen. Anger was my immediate response; anger at her, at her parents, at myself for having forgotten about this kid for so long until she popped back into my life as a terrible tragedy. Anger is a natural response but ultimately futile. I don't, and can't, know the pain and depression she was feeling. Her brain chemistry was fucked, and since a number of her family members have suffered from depression and substance abuse it was no doubt genetically part of her to have these problems. In the end, all we can do is say that we're sorry, that we'll miss her, and work to make sure other people get the help they need. It won't always be successful, but all we can do is our best.

    You are missed, Millie. I'm sorry you never got a chance to move on and experience life outside the small town environment. You had so much potential, and I wish like hell I'd taken the opportunity to tell you so.

  • lilianna28

    Ten Thousand Angels. Guys Do it All The Time. Maybe He'll Notice Her Now. I loved Mindy McCready back in the day. She almost married Superman! I never saw her on celebrity Rehab or followed much of her troubles. She had Taylor Swift's middling talent, a few catchy tunes and I wish the world had been a better place or her.

  • Lillith Square

    I've had long episodes of major depression since second grade, so I've given the topic some thought. The sublimely ironic thing about it is all those assholes are technically correct. You do have to snap yourself out of it, because no one else can. You have to commit to a medication regimen that may not show results for weeks or even months when you can't even commit to getting up in the morning. You have to give up your most comforting habits when you need comfort the most. You have to find a therapist when you can't maintain the relationships you already have. You have to spend quality time analyzing your own mental habits when you can barely stand to look at yourself in the mirror. All this is exhausting, and you're already exhausted before you start. No one can do it for you, there's a limit to how much they can even help you. It's completely impossible. It's the only way to survive.

  • Melissa D

    I don't think I've heard it stated like that before, and that really gives me some perspective on what it is like. I'm learning to be a nurse, and I will remember your words when I'm trying to help people with mental illness. Thank you.

  • Jo 'Mama' Besser

    I've got BP, but I think I have to leave this thread (mostly) where it is. I just want to damn lithium to Hell for what it did to my teeth and not touch the rest of this.

  • Captain_Tuttle

    My heart is broken for her two little boys - especially since only one of them has a living father. The littler one was fathered by the most recently deceased beau, who may or may not have been killed by McCready (apparently she was under suspicion?). These boys have been raised as brothers, and now - what happens to them? How does anyone explain to the little one why he has no mommy or daddy?

    I can't think of what must have been in her head if she felt like she had no alternative but to leave her little boys. For me, even when I'm at the total bottom, when I feel like there is nothing to look forward to, nothing to live for - all I have to do is get a squeeze from the boy, get one excited "mommy!," or smell the kid's head, and I'm good at least for a while. The kid does for me what no amount of antidepressants could do (although they help too).

    If any of these folks thought that trying to work out their massive issues on television in 5 minute bites, then they were/are farther gone than some quack who uses his first name after his "title" can help.

  • Veronica

    Totally agree. Interesting story about Dr Drew...back when he was cohosting Love Line with Adam Corolla on KROQ they did a signing of the KROQ Calendar at my local Tower Records (I'm dating myself here...this was probably '97 or '98). A couple of friends and I went and we get to the front of the line. Adam goes 'What's your name?' I tell him 'Veronica', he signs it, no problem. I get to Dr Drew and we have the same conversation, but for whatever reason, he could not figure out how to spell my name. I've gotten the requisite 'K or C' before but never anything like what I experienced with him. 'V?...' he says. I spell it for him. He writes it wrong - 'Virenicka'. He says 'Is that right?' No I say, and spell it slower and louder. Wrong again. Long story short, it took about 4 tries of me repeating the spelling, and him getting it wrong, before I finally gave up and just took the stupid calendar. Somewhere in my mother's house is a crappy KROQ calendar that says 'Thanks for coming Veronyka'. Since that night I've wondered about Dr Drew...

  • Melissa D

    Actually, I think he's stated he has dyslexia. That would explain it. Great story, though. You have your Chanadler Bong calendar now!

  • Veronica

    Oh no! I feel bad now. :/

  • Slash

    Also, who the hell is Mike Starr and Joey Kovar? I guess it shouldn't surprise me they're playing pretty fast and loose with the term "celebrity."

  • Slash

    It seems pretty clear to me that McCready was mentally ill. Apparently a lot of addicts are self-medicating.

    As for the criticism of "Celebrity Rehab" (which I have never seen), duh.

    I don't know why we don't already have "Ow My Balls" on somewhere. Or maybe that's what "Jackass" was, or maybe what "Tosh.0" is now. At least it's honest. "Ow My Balls" is Shakespeare compared to most of the "unscripted" shows on now.

  • Green Lantern

    "Ow My Balls" is currently known as "Ridiculousness".

    Seriously, that show is ALL about being harmed in the genitals and laughing about it.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I think there really needs to be some distinctions made here. Correct me if I'm wrong, but for the most part people commit suicide when they have nothing left to live for, when the depression get's that deep. Most addicts do not commit suicide as they always have something to look forward to, they will always chase that high. Ultimately this path can lead to an overwhelming depression and thus suicide, but I think if you look you'll find that while most suicides stem from depression, they don't stem from depression brought on by addiction.

  • Rochelle


    I'm not trying to provoke further discussion, but if you want more information see the link above. Substance abuse is the second most common factor in suicide.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Thank you, I stand corrected.

  • LaineyBobainey

    Substance abuse and depression are highly comorbid. They're pals, addiction and depression. Additionally, "Most people commit suicide when..." is just a ridiculous statement, because people attempt/commit suicide for many different reasons. There's no "most people". It's not a team sport. It's fascinating and so very heartbreaking to learn the myriad reasons people cite for attempting to/or ending their lives.

    So, in a nutshell, you are wrong.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Ok I'll give you that. What I was trying to say is that in my experience it is the underlying issues that lead people to substance abuse that also lead them to suicide. I honestly think drug and alcohol abuse on their own don't lead to suicide. I could still be wrong though.

  • Rochelle

    Respectful discourse is important to me, and I have kindly feelings towards you because of your avatar, but I think you are wrong and I am confused by most of what you said. Depression is only one of many reasons people commit suicide. In fact, overwhelming depression is pretty safe - it takes energy and the ability to plan in order to attempt suicide. Many addiction specialists will tell you that addiction is suicide, a really long slow suicide. I've known many addicts, some who've kicked it, some who haven't. None of them enjoy being an addict or spurn suicide because they get to get high again. I genuinely do not understand what you mean in your last sentence.

    I've spent much too long on this today, and now I have a date. A date in which I will not discuss suicide, addiction, or depression. But we will probably discuss our feelings about Community, and puppies and rainbows.

  • John W

    "I’m just saying maybe we shouldn’t give them a quarter of a million dollars and put them on television."

    Courtney I'm surprised they didn't pay her a quarter million dollars to commit her suicide on television. With an extra ten grand for shooting the dog.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I hate to split hairs here, but I'm going to anyways. I don't like labeling people "victims of suicide".

  • In 2009, my cousin Anthony was a happy healthy normal 16 year old boy. Very popular, athletic, smart, aiming for a scholarship to U of I. After my uncle had a heart attack and his little brother, who has Down's and autism, had to be hospitalized for a month, Anthony told her doctor he was stressed and overwhelmed. She prescribed Zoloft--and if you've read any articles about what happens when you prescribe Zoloft to boys under 18, you know where this is going. Two months later, Anthony hung himself, a side effect of medication that drastically warped his mind. He actually survived, but, as a result of oxygen deprivation, he is still unable to walk on his own and may never regain the ability to speak.

    I'm genuinely not trying to start a pointless fight. But if that's not a victim, I don't know what one is. Yes, his story is hardly typical, but it exists. Every story is different. You simply cannot generalize when it comes to mental illness and whatever unbearable darkness and/or break with reality leads to something like suicide.

  • LaineyBobainey

    Suicide is an irrational act that a rational mind can't understand. If being subjected to the will of your own fucking brain doesn't make you a "victim", I don't know what it makes you. It's certainly not something that someone who is rational and well wakes up and thinks, "I'm going to kill myself today. This is a good idea."

  • lowercase_ryan

    Show me one Of Kavorkian's patients that came across as irrational.

  • LaineyBobainey

    Dude, you're talking about euthanasia. That's generally regarded as a completely different animal than suicide. You're smarter than this. At least I've given you credit for being smarter than this in the past...

  • lowercase_ryan

    It's regarded as a separate animal, but it shouldn't be. Instructing someone to end your life is no different in my book. Dying by your own hand is suicide is it not? I completely disagree with you that suicide is inherently irrational.

  • LaineyBobainey

    I don't even have the patience to deal with you if you're going to be deliberately obtuse.

  • Rochelle

    I can see your point. Suicide is a choice. But when you are dealing with an addict or someone with mental illness, it is a choice driven by impulses created by the illness, not the person's actual brain. So, suicide is also a symptom. It's horribly complicated and requires complex compassionate thinking to wrap your head around.

  • HMDK

    And there's the other end of it. Well put.

  • HMDK

    I'm a notorious hairsplitter, so let's!

    It kinda comes down to free will, not only if you believe in it, but much more importantly so, if you believe it can be impaired. (It may be free... sometimes) Context matters. One thing has always rung a false note with me, and that is the popular idea that suicide is automatically selfish. How dare this guy/gal inches away from death and in incurable pain kill themselves.. don't they know the suffering of those left behind? Well, how about the selfishness of those left behind? Who want someone to feel untold agonies just for one more day. I think life is as sacred as we make it. And I think if we own anything it's that. Our life.

  • Rochelle

    My brain is held together with anti-depressants and lifestyle choices. The anti-depressants are the pharmaceutical equivalent of duct tape: ugly and requiring constant reapplication, but better than nothing. The positive chemistry encouraged by the drugs can be overwhelmed by too much stress, too many rainy days, too many cookies, or an average monthly hormone fluctuation. When the brain chemistry gets out of whack good choices start to seem like too much effort and bad choices start to seem reasonable.

    I'm always hoping some one will come up with a better treatment. Sometimes staying sane takes all the energy I have, but the alternative is misery.

    I don't know Mindy McReady, so I don't know how hard she worked at being sane and sober. I do know that she would have been especially vulnerable to suicidal thoughts given the stress she was under - her body was still adjusting to having given birth, she had had her baby taken away (a move I support, but still stressful), and she was under suspicion in the death of her boyfriend. It would take a lot of strength and a big dose of luck to get through that alive.

  • very much relate. if i dont watch stress, food, sleep and more, my meds got nothing on what my brain can do to destroy me.

  • Quorren

    "Sometimes staying sane takes all the energy I have, but the alternative is misery." Yes.

  • Frank Booth

    Wow you just described my reality. A carefully balanced house of cards.You made me feel less.....weird. Thanks

  • Rochelle

    You're welcome and thank you!

  • HMDK

    I like your duct-tape metaphor. It fits. It feels real. The first drug I tried made me impotent, the second the opposite. Now, my only side-effect is cotton-mouth and weird dreams. But since I've had weird dreams my whole life... eh, cotton-mouth is better than cotton-dick or eterna-wood.

  • Rochelle

    Yikes! I had one that made me stooopid. I could not hold a thought in my head for more than 30 seconds. I don't dream as much or as vividly as I used to. I miss it, but not enough to go off the meds.

  • HMDK

    Yeah, for us guys almost all anti-depressants means some kind of lax in stiffness. I've no idea why, since being able to have sex, even if just manually, is probably the last, best bullwark against suicide. VERY glad I found a better drug.

    BTW: The weird unfocused thing you mention, I've had that too. It destroys you. Walk into a room to pick something up, that you know is important, but you've forgotten what it is and WHY it's important. It's a loss of self. Worst side effect ever.

  • F'mal DeHyde

    Believe it or not, hypothyroidism can do the same thing. I was in a fog most of the time till I was finally diagnosed.

    So many ways for the body to get out of wack.

  • Siege

    I'm torn on the Celebrity Rehab issue -- on the one hand, it doesn't seem to be a great idea to put people with problems like this on TV (I feel the same way about Hoarders and Teen Mom, to be honest) but at the same time, I also feel fairly certain that Dr. Drew thinks he is doing the right thing. I've read his book, and I think he really does care about these people and is doing the best he can to help them. Does the televised aspect of bug me? Yes. But I also think that they're right about getting these people in the door. Many of the celebs who agree to CR wouldn't go to rehab (or be able to afford it in some cases) if this opportunity weren't available to them.

  • I'm torn too. I think showing the realities (such as they are in a heavily edited tv show dealing with pampered celebrities) of rehab is important - I just don't know that this was the way to do it. But, I don't feel the need to blame the deaths of the five people who were a part of the program on the program. But, I am glad that they aren't making new ones anymore.

  • Tom

    giving somebody a large amount of money at one time is generally a problem. it generally tends to bring out your worst demons. most lottery winners and professional athletes go broke. I have no idea what the solution to addiction is, but I can understand how giving an addict a large sum of money to attend treatment could be counter-productive

  • HMDK

    It should at least not be at the addict's disposal.

  • HMDK

    "We don’t necessarily need to try to understand what drives people to do tragic and terrible things. I’m not saying that."

    Well, maybe you should. Knowing how shit works is the first step to countering it.

  • Badly phrased, I think. I would agree that we might spend more time trying to understand mental illness and addiction than criticizing people who suffer from them. But I am unsure if you can "know how shit works" when it comes to the complex chemistry of the human brain and body. You can certainly have a rudimentary knowledge of the biological factors involved, but I don't think that would give you much insight into the experiences of those dealing with debilitating conditions, much as knowing how fibromialgia works doesn't do a damned thing to help you understand what someone who has it is going through. I have known a lot of folks with various mental illnesses and/or addictions, and I can't find a single common factor that is not bio-chemical. So good luck understanding them as a whole. It simply doesn't work that way.

  • Quorren

    Just piggybacking off of you, I did the unmentionable and defriended someone yesterday because she was ranting that if you have an addiction/mental illness, you should just get better. Like, McCready attempted rehab, but that's just an ATTEMPT, so she must not have really wanted to get better. There must be some sort of switch you can just flip to put yourself in happy mode.

    I've suffered from depression for over a decade. If all of us sad people
    could just magically turn off all our self-doubts and self-loathing
    (including the behaviors we use to act on those thoughts; for some,it's
    drugs, for me, it's eating ALL. THE. THINGS.), don't you think we would've all toggled that switch already?

    It's 2013. While we may never know what all goes on in the brain to cause mental illness, you're think we could at least move beyond the idea that there's some mythical switch involved and depressed people just WANT to be that way.

  • HMDK

    Welcome to my world. Well, you're already in it, by the sounds of it. HEY BUDDY, JUST SNAP OUTTA IT!
    It's the ignorant people who compare them "having a bad day" with actual depression.

  • Yeah, and people (like me) with joint ailments should just dope up and get back to doing acrobatics....only no one would say that to me. I think you chose wisely in defriending a person who thinks it's as easy as wanting to get better. I've never met anyone with any kind of medical issue who didn't want to get better.

  • HMDK

    No, and that wasn't what I meant. Of course it's all bio-chemical. And you have to understand that and work from that. A hundred years ago, someone suffering from deep depression, like me, would have little to no treatment. Now, we have a slew of diffrent pills, some better than others. It might seem strange, coming from someone like me, but I have hope for better medication.

  • Rochelle

    This! Sometimes I wish I could read my brain chemistry levels and adjust my medication dosage the way diabetics can with insulin.

  • HMDK

    Oh, I long for the day.

  • I sort of figured it was a case of the phrasing not matching your intent. I think what we mostly need to do as a society is have substantive conversations about it instead of either using it for entertainment purposes, demonizing it, or ignoring its existence all together.

  • HMDK

    Yeah, I'm still not sure how I caused such great animosity here, since the only thing I actually said was that learning more about illnesses would aid us in treating them. Something I have a real interest in.

  • Melody

    Do you know what goes on in the mind of a suicidal person? It's not the same for every person and unless you yourself have ever, ever been that low, I'd suggest not making such an idiotic statement regarding suicide and addiction. Addiction is a disease, with many, many factors that cause it and all of those factors are not the same from person to person.

    So, do you honestly know how either of those two very complex and terrifying conditions work? What sort of solutions would you propose, since you seem to think you have some answers.

  • HMDK

    Wow. What did you read into my comment?
    I'm 33, and have suffered from severe depression since about 17.
    Wait, are you guys seeing me as arguing against the whole article? No, my only point was that understanding people's motivations isn't a bad thing. That was my only point.

  • Melody

    If that was your point, it was poorly worded.

  • HMDK

    Yeah, I know. I'm usually at my words better use able thingy. sorry.

  • Jezzer

    I'm sure if you put your mind to it, there could be a non-snotty way to phrase that and get your meaning across.

  • HMDK

    We've come a long way down a weird road when stating the obvious is considered snotty. Seriously. It wasn't meant that way. I was more confused that anything else. So I upvoted your rebuke of me. But I'm still going... huh?

  • It's only obvious as a judgment statement, which is why it comes off as snotty. The premise of your suggestion is flawed.

  • HMDK

    My only suggestion was the pretty tame one, that we should learn about causes for problems before enacting solutions, because it might inform us. Basically, my only intention was to say: "prepare".

  • ghisent

    This is a fair point, but for me the larger issue is that it isn't really germane to either the piece as a whole, or the sentiment of that particular sentence. The gist of the piece was more about compassion and understanding for those who are afflicted by the demons of addiction.

    Also, it was a little condescending-sounding. Perhaps not in intent, but certainly in outcome.

  • HMDK

    I wasn't being condescending... you wouldn't LIKE me if... eh, I know. But it really wasn't meant that way. In fact I responded the way I did becuase I found it weird that someone would shy away from understanding root causes of anything. So I misread something, someone misinterpreted me, and now we need a new dictionary. Damn, I almost made that rhyme. What a crime.

  • Guest

    Given your apparent complete tone deafness, I guess we should take comfort that your responses aren't in song.

  • Jezzer

    This was my response, but I deleted it because I saw you apologize down-thread for hitting things off on the wrong foot, so I deleted it. Then someone copy-pasted it and put it back.


  • HMDK

    Hah! It gives a nice little insight into what we'd say if we WERE'NT faceless and anonymous. That's sort of why my name is my real one and my face (sadly) is too. (Altough it's 8 years old and I for some reason look like the smuggest motherfucker in a coin-operated photo-booth ever). Basicaly, I got sick of my own shit, so now I use my real name to keep myself honest.

  • Maguita NYC

    That season of Dr. Drew's show where Mindy was on, was the only season I had ever watched. And it was more than enough.

    Yes, Dr. Drew and his staff did their best, and seemed professional. However, no matter the dollar value you put on Entertainment , the line between scripted reality and fiction gets easily blurred.

    Mindy McCready was not a fictional character, but a truly and sadly lacerated living breathing soul. To vilify her existence and the tragic ending of it, is to let go once more of one's humanity.

    I believe she had children. I believe she had family and friends. May they find solace in her music. And may she rest in peace

  • Bert_McGurt

    "Alcoholism is a disease. But it's the only disease you can get yelled at for having.
    Goddammit Otto, you're an alcoholic! Goddammit Otto, you have lupus! One of those two doesn't sound right."

    Mitch Hedberg, sadly paraphrasing the addiction that got him too.

  • Alice

    I have had very close relationships with alcoholics and addicts and have battled with my own drinking problem. So speaking from my personal experience, it is hard to be objective about addiction when it is ruining your life. It is virtually impossible for me to compartmentalize/label alcoholism as a disease, when it FEELS like a series of selfish decisions that seek short-term gratification at any cost, whether that cost is your family's happiness, the ability to make a decent living and provide for your family, or the ability to get up in the morning and deal with life.

    The way alcoholism manifests in many people is that it rots their brains and they regress into a juvenile state of dependence on others. So, I can, and have yelled and screamed at both myself and others for not being able to get their shit together and straighten their (or my) lives out.

  • VonnegutSlut

    I immediately thought of Hedberg & this quote when I was first reading this. It pretty much encapsulates this perfectly & tragically.

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