Sinéad O'Connor: Here's all the mental health issues she struggled with before her death

Legendary Irish singer and activist Sinéad O'Connor died on 26 July at the age of 56. The singer had been struggling with mental illness throughout her life.

Here's all the mental health issues Sinéad O'Connor struggled with before her death
© Vinnie Zuffante / Getty Images
Here's all the mental health issues Sinéad O'Connor struggled with before her death

TW: mentions of suicide, mental illness, abuse

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After decades of a successful career, Sinéad O'Connor passed away at the age of 56 on 26 July 2023. The singer had been through a very rough patch since her 17-year-old son Shane took his own life last year.

Since her son's suicide, Sinéad O'Connor had been struggling with her grief, which came after years of battling her own mental health issues, including bipolar disorder, depression, and PTSD as a result of abuse she suffered from her mother throughout her childhood. In an interview with the Independent in 2005, she also opened up about trying to take her own life.

Sinéad O'Connor dies at 56

On Wednesday, 26 July, 2023, Sinéad O'Connor's family released a statement to the BBC and to Irish broadcaster RTEannouncing the singer's death. In the statement, the family say they are 'devastated' and ask for privacy.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Sinéad. Her family and friends are devastated and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.

Although an official cause of death has not been revealed yet, many speculate that Sinéad O'Connor's death had to do with her history of mental illness and the loss of her son Shane last year. Indeed, the singer had been hospitalized just days after his suicide, following an alarming series of tweets claiming she wanted to kill herself to join him.

I am lost without my kid and I hate myself. Hospital will help a while. But I’m going to find Shane. This is just a delay.

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The singer had struggled with mental illness for years

Sinéad O'Connor was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2003. Four years later, she talked about her struggles with mental illness in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

It’s like being a bucket with holes in it. Just leaking tears from every pore.

She explained she had experienced suicidal thoughts before her diagnosis, and was taking medication which helped but that she was still a 'work in progress'.

I’m not going to sit here and claim that I’m kind of perfect or anything. Anything is an improvement when you’ve been in desolation ... to be out of that place is brilliant. It doesn’t mean you don’t have lumps and bumps.

The Irish singer was very open about her struggles, and encouraged her fans to be as well. In an emotional video from 2017, she urged her fans to look after their loved-ones who might be struggling, and she argued that her family had abandoned her.

If you have a family member that suffers from mental illness, care for them, tenderness, love, care for them. Visit them in the hospital, don’t dump them in the hospital and bugger off.

Sinéad O'Connor also suffered from PTSD as a consequence of the abuse she endured from her mother during her childhood. She also suffered from endometriosis, which comes with physical and mental suffering.

Read more:Robert De Niro in mourning: His grandson Leandro dies suddenly aged 19

Sources used:

Today: Late Sinéad O’Connor was open with mental health struggles, bipolar disorder diagnosis

Independent: Sinéad O'Connor: Talks exclusively about suicide and redemption

BBC: Sinéad O'Connor: Irish singer dies aged 56

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