A number of factors contribute to today’s problems faced by suicidal children of celebrities.
The recent and tragic suicides of Marie Osmond‘s son Michael Blosil and former Growing Pains actor Andrew Koenig have us here at HollywoodLife.com wondering why children of celebrities appear to be especially prone to depression, and eventual suicide. We reached out to Los Angeles-based psychiatrist Dr. Carole Lieberman, who confirms celebrity children are more likely to endure these experiences for several reasons. “Celebrity parents are usually self-absorbed, focusing more on themselves and their career than their children,” Dr. Lieberman tells us. “This lack of attention and nurturance can cause depression.”
“The teen years are when a person is figuring out his identity,” she adds. “When his parent is a famous star, it is harder for a teen to find an identity for himself that seems as important as that of his parents.
She also believes that because celebrities tend to be “dramatic,” their children seek more dramatic methods of suicide, such as Michael jumping from his apartment balcony or Andrew hanging himself on a tree in a public park.
“Both of these are very public suicides, which would undoubtedly draw more attention to them,” Dr. Lieberman points out. “They are trying to get the attention from their death that they didn’t get during their life. Andrew, though not a teen, was still trying to figure out his identity because he was a child star who was not cast in anything that brought him as much fame, ever since.”
And while depression can be passed down through genetics, Marie’s son was adopted and therefore wouldn’t have been affected the depression Marie suffered and chronicled in her book Behind The Smile.
“Michael’s depression seems to have started when his (adoptive) parents, Marie and ex-husband Brian Blosil got divorced,” Dr. Lieberman says. “This is also a factor in causing depression and suicide in children of celebrities. Celebrities have a higher divorce rate and divorce causes depression in children.”
Dr. Lieberman foresees a difficult road ahead for Marie, as “it is much harder for a parent to cope with a child’s suicide than a natural death, because the parent blames him or her-self for not being a better father or mother.”
Our hearts go out to Marie, Walter Koenig and any parent of a child who feels they have run out of options to the point where they decide to take their own life.