Dolores O’Riordan’s Mental Health Issues, Suicide Attempt Stemmed From Childhood Abuse

Dolores O'Riordan suicide


Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer of The Cranberries, has died. Her cause of death is currently unknown.

A rep for the 46-year-old singer released a brief statement on Monday, January 15, saying that O’Riordan died “suddenly” in London, but offering no additional details.

“Officers were called at 9:05 a.m. on Monday, January 15, at a hotel in Park Lane. A woman in her mid-40s was pronounced dead at the scene. At this early stage, the death is being treated as unexplained and inquiries continue,” the Scotland Yard told People Magazine.

O’Riordan has suffered with depression for most of her life. According to TMZ, she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Her mental health issues stemmed from her childhood. In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, O’Riordan explained that she had been sexually abused when she was young. She began suffering from “terrible self-loathing,” leading to body image issues and, eventually, anorexia.

In the years that followed, O’Riordan spent a great deal of time trying to heal, but she couldn’t help but blame herself.

“That’s what happens. You think it is your own fault. I buried it. It is what you do initially. You bury it because you are ashamed of it. You think: ‘Oh my God. How horrible and disgusting I am.’ You have this terrible self-loathing. And then I got famous when I was 18 and my career took over. It was even harder then. So then I developed the anorexia. When I Googled anorexia and studied it, I found out it was a common pathology that develops later on in life. So I was putting on this charade, this perfect face. I had anorexia, then depression, a breakdown,” she told the Belfast Telegraph. “I knew why I hated myself. I knew why I loathed myself. I knew why I wanted to make myself disappear. It was something that I noticed manifested itself in my behavior and the pathologies I began to develop in my early adult life, such as my eating disorder, depression and eventually the breakdowns,” O’Riordan added.

She also admitted that she tried to take her own life in 2012 by way of an overdose.

“I tried to overdose last year. I suppose I am meant to stay here for the kids. It is just about acknowledgement for me now – not revenge. I’m not that type but it will free me to go into group therapy as I go on with my life and I can be a better and stronger mother. I am pretty good but sometimes I hit the bottle. Everything is way worse the next morning. I chain smoke when I drink. I have a bad day when I have bad memories and I can’t control them and I hit the bottle. I kind of binge drink. That is kind of my biggest flaw at the moment,” she told the outlet.

This wasn’t the only time that O’Riordan thought about taking her own life. In the mid-90s, she recalled being severely depressed and having thoughts of suicide.

“You get to the point where you want to die because you think that you’ll get peace when you’re dead and you can’t get any worse than you are,” she said.

O’Riordan split from her husband, Don Burton, in 2014. Their separation was very hard on her, and she fell back into another bout of darkness. At this time, O’Riordan’s children went to live with their dad in Canada.

“They just know that mommy isn’t well at the moment,” her mother Eileen O’Riordan told the Irish Mirror that year, acknowledging that her daughter was having a hard time following her split from Burton.

O’Riordan is survived by her three children, Taylor Baxter, 20, Molly Leigh, 16, and Dakota Rain, 12.

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