Kurt Cobain suicide note
The Kurt Cobain suicide note reveals much about Kurt Cobain AND bipolar suicide.
Kurt's note was found near his body in the greenhouse of his Seattle home on Friday, April 8, 1994, at the same time his body was discovered.
Despite being in the worst stage of his drug addiction and on the run from rehab, Kurt had carefully positioned the note so that it could be easily found by staking it to the top of a pile of potting soil.
The Kurt Cobain suicide note tells us a lot about acute bipolar symptoms and the factors that predict suicide in people with bipolar disorder as well as potential preventatives.
Kurt's mental health and addictions
Was Kurt Cobain bipolar?
Now I know many fans reject the notion that Kurt had bipolar disorder as well as his chronic drug addiction.
This is not intended to dishonor his memory but to share information that may help others.
If you immediately reject this possibility you may not know as much about Kurt or about bipolar disorder as you think. Is there really no connection between Kurt Cobain and bipolar suicide? Try our Bipolar Disorder Quiz.
In particular, it is important to consider things like the complexities of dual diagnosis where there is drug addiction and a need for rehab as well as psychological issues such as bipolar disorder.
Drug addiction rehab facilities were especially unsuccessful for him, so perhaps Kurt would have been better off in a bipolar treatment center as opposed to the drug addiction rehab centers he kept trying.
The Kurt Cobain suicide note does shed light on Kurt's manic depression.
Kurt taught us through his art and we can also learn much from Kurt Cobain and bipolar suicide.
It is a chilling example of multiple acute suicide risk factors, with almost no preventative factors present.
Let me explain . . .
Kurt Cobain suicide note
To Boddah (Kurt's imaginary childhood friend.)
Speaking from the tongue of an experienced simpleton who obviously would rather be an emasculated, infantile complain-ee. This note should be pretty easy to understand.
All the warnings from the punk rock 101 courses over the years, since my first introduction to the, shall we say, ethics involved with independence and the embracement of your community has proven to be very true. I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along with reading and writing for too many years now. I feel guilty beyond words about these things. (Throughout Kurt's note this is a recurring theme. Loss of pleasure in normally pleasurable events is a common and acute suicide risk factor. It could also have arisen from his profound drug addiction.)
For example when we're back stage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins., it doesn't affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury, who seemed to love, relish in the love and adoration from the crowd which is something I totally admire and envy. The fact is, I can't fool you, any one of you. It simply isn't fair to you or me. The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I'm having 100% fun. Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage. I've tried everything within my power to appreciate it (and I do, God, believe me I do, but it's not enough). I appreciate the fact that I and we have affected and entertained a lot of people. It must be one of those narcissists who only appreciate things when they're gone.
I'm too sensitive. I need to be slightly numb in order to regain the enthusiasms I once had as a child.
On our last 3 tours, I've had a much better appreciation for all the people I've known personally, and as fans of our music, but I still can't get over the frustration, the guilt and empathy I have for everyone. There's good in all of us and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too fucking sad. The sad little, sensitive, unappreciative, Pisces, Jesus man. Why don't you just enjoy it? I don't know!
(Another theme is the sense of loss - again this is a very typical and serious predictor and comes through clearly in the Kurt Cobain suicide note.)
I have a goddess of a wife who sweats ambition and empathy and a daughter who reminds me too much of what i used to be, full of love and joy, kissing every person she meets because everyone is good and will do her no harm. And that terrifies me to the point to where I can barely function. I can't stand the thought of Frances becoming the miserable, self-destructive, death rocker that I've become. (Also typical are feelings of fear and anticipated loss. Kurt's anxiety and agitation are palpable. What suicidal people want is not death but escape from pain, and Kurt was agonized with anticipatory concerns for his daughter.)
I have it good, very good, and I'm grateful, but since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general. Only because it seems so easy for people to get along that have empathy. Only because I love and feel sorry for people too much I guess.
Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I'm too much of an erratic, moody baby! (Kurt was not taking a mood stabilizer such as lithium and thus had no protection from mood swings or chronic depressive despair. Self-medicating as Kurt did just made things worse, with substance abuse being yet another of the acute risk factors. Kurt Cobain and bipolar suicide seem inevitable when he was not treating his mood disorder and making things worse with heavy drrecreational drugging)
I don't have the passion anymore, and so remember, it's better to burn out than to fade away.
Peace, love, empathy.
Frances and Courtney, I'll be at your alter.
Please keep going Courtney, for Frances.(This is another powerful lesson from Kurt Cobain and bipolar suicide - the one place Kurt's note where we see any sign of a preventative factor. Having a child and concern for family is one of the known suicide inhibitors, but it seems Kurt is overwhelmed by the final risk factor - delusional guilt - perhaps fueled by his drug addiction and rehab failures. Proper diagnosis and treatment could have used this preventative factor effectively.)
For her life, which will be so much happier without me.
I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU!
Picture of Kurt's Note
Was Kurt Cobain bipolar?
The Wikipedia article on Kurt discusses the whole suicide/murder conspiracy debate. To my mind this is drivel and it is a scandal that this is given so much space when there is no mention of Kurt's mental health problems, and a real failure to comprehend his dual diagnosis and drug addiction issues.
Not to mention the teaching value of the Kurt Cobain suicide note for a whole new generation of fans.
Peace, Love, Empathy
Again, if you are doubtful about whether Kurt displayed symptoms of bipolar disorder, I understand. However, there is a strong bipolar family history. So much so that Kurt once claimed he had "suicide genes".
Again, reviewing the Kurt Cobain suicide note in this way is not intended to be macabre or disrespectful. Kurt was a great artist who continues to inspire. However, his death was a tragedy that contains powerful lessons on the dangers of substance abuse for people with mental health problems, and the potential lethality of undiagnosed and/or untreated menatl illness.
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Related pages: Famous Bipolar People