Phoebe Prince, the troubled Irish teen who killed herself on January 14, made a previous suicide attempt it has been revealed.
In an article published in Slate.com today journalist Emily Bazelon reveals that the 15-year-old Irish girl who attended South Hadley High School in Massachusetts had longstanding emotional problems that have not been made public to date.
“The whole story is a lot more complicated than anyone has publicly allowed for,” wrote Bazelon, who claims that after a bad break up with Sean Mulveyhill, the boy she was seeing, Phoebe told her mother she’d swallowed a bottle of Seroquel (a drug used to treat bi-polar depression).
Phoebe’s mother Anne O’Brien drove Phoebe to Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Bazelon writes, talking to her daughter all the while to keep her awake.
Phoebe was hospitalized for the week after her failed attempt. A counselor at the school told the police she had gone into organ failure (which, suggests Bazelon, implies she might actually have also overdosed on a non-prescription medication like Tylenol).
Bazelon also reports that Phoebe’s mother told the police that her daughter had started cutting herself in 2008, while she was at a private Irish boarding school.
By February 2009, Bazelon states, Phoebe was cutting herself again, and in May she started taking Prozac (an anti-depressant).
The latest revelations have added to the picture of a troubled young teen, but it’s not clear that Bazelon’s revelations will alter or affect the charges against the teens charged in the bullying tragedy.
Bazelon, however, has concluded that Phoebe’s tormentors have suffered enough. They are, she suggests, being disproportionately punished for their transgressions.
“All of the kids accused of hurting Phoebe Prince have been kicked out of school.’ Bazelon writes. “They have been the focus of intense, public rage. They've been blamed for the suicide of a vulnerable, troubled girl. They will live with this always. Maybe that is already enough.”
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