Feature

The reality TV star suicides

Why have 11 former reality-show contestants taken their own lives?

"Susan Boyle should consider herself lucky" that she was only rushed to a hospital for exhaustion, said Frank Feldinger in The Wrap. We've discovered that "at least 11 reality-show participants have taken their own lives—and two more who have tried to—in tragedies that appear to be linked to their experience on television shows."

The problem is so widespread that some U.S. psychiatrists "now specialize in preventing former reality-TV stars from taking their own life," said Guy Adams the London Independent. One doctor "has treated more than 800 such patients." Reality-show producers might not be doing a good enough job of screening contestants for psychiatric problems and making sure former participants get the care they need when the show's over.

It seems obvious that reality-TV producers "like to take talent and beat it into the ground with pressure," said Meaningful Distraction. But everybody knows these programs are "designed to humiliate" contestants. So anyone who agrees to participate has got to be a little bit "crazy."

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