Following Dr. Phil’s candid, emotional sit-down interview with Sinead O’Connor, the famed TV psychologist is opening up about the troubled singer’s cries for help.
ET’s Kevin Frazier recently spoke with Dr. Phil, who said he was moved to help O’Connor after the 50-year-old musician posted an alarming, tearful Facebook video from a motel room in New Jersey last month, in which she talked about being suicidal.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Sinead O’Connor because she’s one of the most pure voices in music and here I see this this iconic talent alone in the middle of the night, in a motel room in New Jersey,” Dr. Phil recalled. “I mean, it’s like hitting bottom and crying for help.”
“She says she attempted suicide eight times in one year, and that’s a dangerous numbers game,” he added. “So I was very concerned for her wellbeing.”
Seeing O’Connor’s latest emotional video, Dr. Phil said it was a plea for help that he couldn’t ignore, and he mobilized his team to get her assistance.
“We were able to, in 24 hours, get her out of a motel room alone in the middle of the night crying to a hundred-acre treatment facility in the rolling hills of Tennessee,” Dr. Phil shared. “I think this could’ve gone real bad, real soon. So I was glad to see her accept the help and embrace it so passionately.”
After undergoing treatment, O’Connor agreed to sit down with Dr. Phil for an intimate interview in which she opened up about her troubled childhood and her claims that she was both physically and sexually abused by her late mother, Marie O’Connor, who died in a car crash when she was 19.
According to Dr. Phil, it was O’Connor herself who wanted to go public with her struggle with suicidal thoughts and personal demons in a televised interview.
“I said, ‘I will help you. I’m happy to do this quietly and privately, or we can do it publicly,’ and she said, ‘Oh, no, no. I watch your show and you talk about your guests being teaching tools. I’m willing to be a teaching tool. I want to destigmatize mental illness,'” Dr. Phil recounted. “She said, ‘Look at all the musicians just recently that have taken their own lives [or have had] drug overdoses. We need to talk about this. I don’t want to live in the shadows anymore, I want to be a teaching tool.'”
Dr. Phil said he’s got a lot of hope for O’Connor, and thinks she’s “a fighter” who would have likely continued to battle back her problems even without his intervention, but added, “I never take lightly somebody saying that they’re gonna kill themselves. It’s a myth that people who talk about it don’t do it.”
Dr. Phil also revealed that O’Connor has been in treatment for more than a month, and that her experience has been mostly positive. However, the singer has had her rough days as well, where she’s gotten combative and leaves the facility.
“It’s the nature of the mental illness. She’s up and down, but the down times are getting fewer and farther between and the lows are getting higher,” he shared. “This is not gonna be a ‘success,’ only a journey.”