Sinéad O'Connor to Dr. Phil: "I Am Fed Up of Being Defined as the Crazy Person"

Irish singer has battled depression, has attempted to take her own life in the past and sparked fresh concerns about her mental health in recent years due to alarming social media posts

By Corinne Heller Sep 08, 2017 4:36 PMTags

Sinéad O'Connor is getting help, from Dr. Phil.

The 50-year-old Irish Grammy-winning "Nothing Compares 2 U" singer has battled depression, sparked fresh concerns about her mental health in recent years due to alarming social media posts.

In a rare interview on Dr. Phil, set to air on the show's 16th season premiere on Tuesday, she said, "I am fed up of being defined as the crazy person, the child abuse survivor."

"I'm changing my name," she added, as seen in a promo video released Thursday. "Sinead O'Connor's gone. That person's gone."

O'Connor says her mother, who died when she was a teen, abused her physically and sexually.

"She ran a torture chamber," O'Connor said. "She was a person who took delight in hurting you."

When asked what she loved about her mother, O'Connor responded, "What I love about my mother is that she's dead."

Sinéad O'Connor Found Safe, No Longer Considered a Missing Person
CBS Paramount Domestic Television

O'Connor has spoken candidly about her mental health issues before. She told Oprah Winfrey in 2007 that she attempted suicide on her 33rd birthday in 1999.

O'Connor revealed on Dr. Phil that she tried to kill herself eight times in one year.

In 2011, O'Connor sparked concern online and received a police visit after tweeting what appeared to be a suicidal rant.

In 2015, O'Connor posted on Facebook that she had "taken an overdose" and referenced what she says was "appalling cruelty" done to her by her family and police. She also said she is "desperately in need of a job and a place to live." Her post spurred fans to call the authorities, who found her to be safe and sound and took her to a hospital to get checked out.

In 2016, O'Connor revealed on Facebook that she had spent time in rehab "for thirty years of being a weed head," adding, "Can proudly state I now have clean piss and will be in a 'sober living environment' for the next year."

This past August, O'Connor posted a Facebook video showing her crying in a motel room and saying her family had abandoned her amid her mental health issues.

"People who suffer from mental illness are the most vulnerable people on Earth," she said. "You've got to take care of us. We're not like everybody."

Days later, O'Connor said she is "well and "in a wonderful, loving hospital" after passing a kidney stone. She said she was diagnosed with PTSD and depression.


"I am now back on depression meds and also meds for PTSD," she wrote. "I have the best doctor and medical team now that I have ever had. And today I woke up beaming smiling for no reason at all. Every day I am more me, alive, like the sun is coming up more every day."

"They are going to send me to live in a community of domestic abuse survivors as they reckon the reason I have not recovered for two years is I been seeking the wrong help," she said, adding, "I have good people around me and I will never be lonely again. My mission from now on will be to dedicate my life to the abolishment of stigma toward mentally ill people and in particular to the abolishment of the abandonment of mentally ill people by their families."

Dr. Phil talked about his interview with O'Connor on Jimmy Kimmel Live! He said the singer reached out to him.

"She actually called me," he said. "She said, 'Look, I'm in trouble. I need help.'"

"She said, 'I want to destigmatize mental illness,'" he said. "She said, 'I clearly have a problem.' She said, 'Too many musicians are dying and I want to use my life to be a teaching tool. I'm willing to sit down and talk.' So we did."

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