Celebrity Suicides – Published, Hidden, and Nebulous Causes of Death – Part I of III
With the recent suicides of comedian Richard Jeni and band Boston leader Brad Delp, I started to reflect and research about other high-profile suicides. I learned that there were many famous, success people, talented artists, actors and musicians who suffered from depression and have successfully committed suicide. Sadly too many for just one post.
I never had suicidal ideations prior to vagus nerve stimulation therapy. I just didn’t want to live. There is a subtle difference. We all know the difference between not wanting to live and actually committing suicide.
If you have suicidal ideations, you should immediately call 911, a family member and the Suicide Help Line; 1-800-SUICIDE( 800-784-2433)
These people had everything, yet they had nothing:
Johnny Ace (1954), singer, American singer, playing Russian Roulette
Nick Adams (1968), American actor (“Rebel without a Cause” with James Dean), close friend of Elvis Presley and member of Elvis’ so-called “Memphis Mafia”, overdose of paraldehyde and Promazine.
Marshall Applewhite (1997), leader of the Heaven’s Gate cult
J. Clifford Baxter (2002), Enron vice-chairman
Ricky Berry (1989), American NBA Basketball player (Sacramento Kings)
Jonathan Brandis (2003), American actor, Kate & Allie, LA Law, hanged
Cheyenne Brando (1995), Daughter of Marlon Brando, hanged
Kurt Cobain (1994), lead singer and guitarist of the American rock-band Nirvana, gunshot
Ray Combs (1996), former host of popular American game show Family Feud, used bedsheets to hang himself
Dennis Crosby (1991), actor, son of Bing Crosby
Andrew Cunanan (1997), killer of Gianni Versace and four others
Denice Denton (2006), University of California Chancellor, jumped from 42-story San Francisco apartment building
Richard Farnsworth (2000), U.S. actor, Oscar nominee
Vincent Foster, (1993), Deputy White House Counsel in the Clinton Administration, gunshot
Sigmund Freud (1939), founder of psychoanalysis (lethal dose of morphine)
Dave Garroway (1982), original host of NBC’s Today Show
Rusty Hamer (1990), American former child actor (The Danny Thomas Show)
Lois Hamilton (1999), actress, The Dukes of Hazzard and Three’s Company, locked herself in a hotel room, took sleeping pills and placed a plastic bad over her head.
No single factor has gained acceptance as a universal cause of suicide. However, depression is a common phenomenon amongst those who commit suicide. Psychiatrists says that depression is suicide left untreated, but suicide is 100% preventable if treatment is sought.
I was shocked at the number of well-known suicides and I am only partially finished with this research project. Please comment with any insights as to why famous people commit suicide. Perhaps we all can learn something.
Charles Donovan was a patient in the FDA investigational trial of vagus nerve stimulation as a treatment for chronic or recurrent treatment-resistant depression. He was implanted with the vagus nerve stimulator in April of 2001. He chronicles his journey from the grips of depression thanks to vagus nerve stimulation therapy in his book:
Out of the Black Hole: The Patient’s Guide to Vagus Nerve Stimulation and Depression
His all inclusive book prepares depression sufferers to make an informed decision about this ninety-minute out-patient procedure. It is a “must read” before you discuss this treatment with your psychiatrist. A prescription for the procedure is required from an M.D. and it is covered by most insurance plans.