Following a series of comments she made on Twitter claiming she wanted to die, Sinead O’Connor revealed in an interview with the Irish Mail that she was having so much difficulty coping with one of her children that she would welcome a visit from social services if they called.
The singer, who has been diagnosed as a manic-depressive with bi-polar disorder, said she was only using Twitter to express her emotions.
‘I would never act on those feelings,’ she said. ‘A lot of people have suicidal thoughts and you should never be ashamed to say that is how you are feeling. That was how I was feeling at the time that I wrote on Twitter and now I am dealing with my feelings. But I would never ever act on those feelings. By saying you feel the way you do it’s a way of getting rid of the feelings.’
‘When I posted on Twitter it was like emotional diarrhoea, I was thinking out loud and it was a great blessing that I could express those thoughts.’
O’Connor currently lives in Bray, Co. Wicklow, with her husband, Steve and her three youngest children. (Her oldest son, Jake, 23, lives in London.) She said she is desperate for help with her six-year-old son, Shane, to whom she gave birth after an affair with musician and producer Donal Lunny.
When asked if she was worried her comments might attract the attention of social workers, she said: ‘Any experiences I have ever had with social services is they’re very helpful. They’re in the business of supporting parents and therefore kids. So they aren’t people to fear.
‘So I wouldn’t mind at all if they came around. Maybe they’d have some advice. If they could at least post some, I’d be grateful.’
Although she had attempted suicide by overdose a decade ago, at the age of 33, she said she would never act on her suicidal feelings now because it would hurt her family.
‘For me, suicide is one of the most selfish acts a person can do. You may as well murder your whole family,’ she said.
She recalled the pain the failed attempt caused her father and sister.
‘It was so selfish to put them through that,’ she said.
She said she believed that expressing suicidal thoughts should not be shameful. And people should share their feelings of depression.
‘People don’t let others know how they are feeling as they think they will be perceived as being mad. People don’t like to be thought of as anything other than normal.’
She said her desperate thoughts last week were the result of guilt that she drove her son’s father Lunny away by revealing their affair to the media when he was still married. She attributed her son Shane’s behavior to his father’s absence.
‘I felt suicidal because it’s my fault that Shane’s father isn’t in his life. And because I wasn’t able to take the pain away from him, the pain I caused.
‘And because I hadn’t understood that Shane’s acting out was over the grief he has around not having his father.’
She said she has been in touch with Lunny since the desperate tweets.
‘I have had communications back and forth with Donal. But nothing has been finalised.’
She also said she was in a better place than she was when she tweeted.
‘I have to be positive and strong for Shane.’