Photo: Don Arnold / Getty Images

Sinead O’Connor has been living largely out of the spotlight for the past couple of years, only popping up in occasional headlines about her going missing in the Chicago suburbs or expressing her regrets about accusations she made against Arsenio Hall online. Recently, though, she took to social media to explain what’s been going on in her life, and to reveal that her struggles with mental illness are getting worse. (O’Connor was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2004, although she disputes that diagnosis, saying she suffers from PTSD and depression.) In the 12-minute video, which was uploaded onto Facebook last week, a tearful O’Connor says she’s been living in a motel in New Jersey, is struggling with suicidal thoughts, and has been isolated from everyone except her psychiatrist, ”the sweetest man on earth, who says I’m his hero.”

As to why she would share such painful and private details, O’Connor says she wants people to know what it’s like to experience mental illness and the stigma around it. “Mental illness, it’s like drugs, it doesn’t [care] who you are, and equally what’s worse, the stigma doesn’t care who you are,” she says. She adds that “I’m fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting, and fighting – like all the millions and millions that I know I’m one of – to stay alive everyday, which I’m doing because I love the people that are doing this to me.” We’re glad she has a doctor who cares about her, and hope she gets the support she needs. It does sound like she is safe and seeking treatment, based on a new message posted last night:

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As A.V. Club contributor Annie Zaleski wrote in an editorial for Salon last year, “O’Connor deserves empathy rather than mockery, support and understanding rather than dismissiveness or scorn.”

[via BBC News, Rolling Stone]