Sinead O’Connor’s mental health struggles have seen the singer make an unfortunate resurgence in the public eye in recent years. Despite mental health being an ever-present topic of discussion, many are still shocked and surprised by just how badly mental illness can affect somebody. This may be why many have been shocked by O’Connor’s stark discussion of her struggles in a recent video posted to her Facebook account.
As Rolling Stone reports, O’Connor posted a video to her Facebook account on August 3rd, which was filmed in motel room in New Jersey, where she states that she has been living alone. The confronting twelve-minute video sees O’Connor outline her struggles, before alluding to suicide, which provoked an outpouring of support and compassion from her fans, followers, and other figures in the music industry.
“Mental illness, y’know, its a bit like drugs, it doesn’t give a shit who you are. And equally, you know what’s worse, the stigma doesn’t give a shit who you are,” she says in the video. “I’m fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting, and fighting, like all the millions and millions that I know I’m one of, to stay alive everyday, which I’m doing because I love the people that are doing this to me. I’m not staying alive for me. If it were me, I’d be gone.”
In the days following the video, O’Connor made a couple of further posts, including posting the address of the hotel she was staying at. Previous messages on her Facebook account had seen O’Connor express her exasperation with her mental illness, in addition to the frustration she was facing in regards to passing a kidney stone.
Today though, her Facebook account was yet again updated with a message from an unnamed representative, acting on her behalf.
“Hi everybody, I am posting at Sinead’s request, to let everyone who loves her know she is safe, and she is not suicidal,” the post began. “She is surrounded by love and receiving the best of care. She asked for this to be posted knowing you are concerned for her. I won’t respond to any questions, so please understand. I hope this comforts those of you were concerned.”
As Rolling Stone outlines, O’Connor’s previous mental health struggles have received heavy publicity in recent years. An incident in May of 2016 saw the singer go missing following the posting of a note online in which she alluded to suicide, and an incident in 2015 also saw the singer again speak of suicide following “a horrific set of betrayals” by her family.
Numerous musicians and figures in the music industry have also spoken at length about mental health recently, including industry body APRA AMCOS, Shihad’s Tom Larkin, and Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos, who strongly criticised the music industry’s lack of mental health support for artists.
If you or somebody you care for needs help or information about depression, suicide, anxiety, or mental health issues, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.