Entertainment News

  • 15 August 2014, 9:14

Sinead O'Connor: Mentally Ill Treated Like Dirt

Sinead O'Connor has praised the compassion shown since the death of Robin Williams but says she wishes the same could be shown towards young women who suffer from mental illness.

Williams killed himself at his California home after struggling to deal with depression and being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

His death broughttributes from politicians, actors and fans.

O'Connor, who suffers from depression and has attempted suicide in the past, told Sky's Entertainment Week programme that in the wake of the star's death, she hopes attitudes to mental health disorders can change.

The 47-year-old said she believes media coverage of famous women struggling with depression is "notoriously abusive".

She used Amanda Bynes and Britney Spears as examples of stars who have struggled with mental health problems but have been "lynched" by the press.

Bynes was treated at a private psychiatric unit last year after a number of incidents with the police.

"When you admit that you are anything that could be mistakenly, or otherwise, perceived as 'mentally ill' you know that you are going to get treated like dirt so you don't go tell anybody and that's why people die," O'Connor said.

The Irish singer said it is important "not to buffoon delicate young ladies in the street" or call them "crazy" in news reports.

O'Connor said she would like to see the media apologise to Bynes and Spears but added that she does not need an apology herself as she is a "tough cookie".

Last year the Nothing Compares 2Usinger wrote an open letter to Miley Cyrus warning her about the dangers of being exploited by the music industry.

Cyrus responded with a tweet mocking O'Connor's mental health.

Watch the full interview on Entertainment Week tonight on Sky News from 8.30pm or on Saturday at 3.30pm or any time on Catch Up TV.

Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 08457 90 90 90 or email jo@samaritans.org

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