Is Courtney Love Mentally Ill?

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In case you missed it, last Saturday, while performing at Brazil's SWU festival, Courtney Love had a minor meltdown after an audience member repeatedly held up a photo of Kurt Cobain. "I don't need to see a picture of Kurt, asshole!" she yelled. "And I'm going to have you fucking removed if you keep holding that up. I'm not Kurt, I have to live with his shit and his ghost and his kid every day and throwing that up is stupid and rude and I'm going to beat the fuck out of you if you do it again."

On first seeing this, we thought, "You go, Courtney!" Just as Yoko Ono will always be remembered under the specter of breaking up the Beatles, Courtney will never get out from under the shadow of her deceased husband. It must be a heart-breaking, ultra-stressful, and, on some level, insulting thing to be faced with every day. 

But then, just as we're with her, she goes and does what she always does: veers right and heads straight on into crazy town. "You didn't get kicked out of a band by him like Dave did," Courtney yells at the audience member. "Go see the fuckin' Foo Fighters and do that shit." After that, it's all downhill. Observe:



Leaving the stage to make a point is one thing, but why on earth keep dragging Dave Grohl into this stuff? She is quite literally obsessed with him -- we know that from the sheer number of times she feels the need to bring him up and talk shit in interviews. It's something she's been doing for years. She clearly feels genuinely cheated by the Foos frontman and yet she never utters a word about Krist Novoselic, who also profits from the Nirvana back catalog. It is obsessive and a little disturbing.

Further, getting an entire audience to chant "The Foo Fighters are gay" is not only entirely out of left-field and bizarre, but also completely childish and not a little offensive. We understand that people who use the term "gay" negatively frequently don't literally mean homosexual, but using the term in this context, to such a large audience, is both irresponsible and offensive. Could she not have used "shit" or something instead? Language issues aside, the whole incident is an embarrassment. Is she really upset with Dave Grohl over financial issues? Or is she jealous that his band is bigger than hers? Why else get thousands of people to chant negative stuff about Grohl's entire band and not just him?

But let's take a step back and take a look -- a really, really close look -- at Courtney Love here. She is emaciated, seemingly intoxicated, and quite literally screaming for attention. She does not look well. These images of her -- breast implants barely contained, arms barely there, clinging to the limelight and the tiara she's been wearing since 1990 -- are incredibly sad once you get past all of the annoying acting out she's doing.

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Love has been lost and alone for a long time -- titling her 2010 album Nobody's Daughter is no accident -- and has had to contend with two decades of hatred from a large portion of the public. Who could withstand that without going a little cuckoo? Certainly not someone who started out a little unstable in the first place.

When Vanity Fair interviewed her earlier this year, the grunge queen was trying to get along with English gentry and trying to find her place in a different community -- one as far away from her own as possible. She was also obsessed with "the fraud" -- Love's assertion that she and her daughter have been ripped off when it comes to Nirvana royalties and that this was going on even when Kurt was alive.

It's been standard practice for the world to refer to Love as a crazy bitch since her fame first blossomed. It's something she hasn't discouraged either -- her erratic and sometimes violent behavior has been evident from the mid-'90s (remember when she punched Kathleen Hanna in the face at Lollapalooza? That was all the way back in 1995) and she's never shied away from controversy.

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But has anyone ever really considered the fact that Courtney might be really, truly mentally ill? That she might have post-traumatic stress disorder? That maybe all that paranoia requires some medical help? That maybe she has anger management and depression and persecution issues? It's easy to dismiss these very real problems she's suffering through as something somehow "deserved" or "self-inflicted," but maybe Courtney's critics need to take a step back and acknowledge that maybe her behavior is a medical problem and not merely a personality-based one.

Yes, Love is annoying. Yes, she's a brat. But she's also fiercely intelligent as well as musically talented (she needs more focus these days, sure, but Live Through This remains a classic -- and even when that came out, far too many people suggested she didn't write it herself). If it's socially unacceptable to subject mentally ill people to ridicule and abuse in our everyday lives, maybe the world needs to lay off Courtney for a while, on the grounds that she is probably one of them. Maybe if she didn't feel she was always fighting the world, she could get some help.

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21 comments
Gigi McGraw
Gigi McGraw

Writers should stop perpetuating the grossly unsubstantiated rumor of Love's being "fiercely intelligent".  There is no solid evidence which support this view of her alleged intelligence at all.  There is a good deal of evidence which suggests that she is suffering from a mental illness.  There is literally nothing to show that she demonstrates anything other than a moderate albeit waning talent for music and performance.  Her writing has never been brilliant, insightful or particularly innovative--mostly they have been ungrammatical, misspelled and illogical.  Attempts to be subversive and cool are much too easily confounded with keen intelligence by sycophantic, easily impressed music journalists!

Guest
Guest

I really do like Hole's old music, it's some of my favorite, but I have really lost respect for Courtney. I understand that it must be hard living with Kurt Cobain's ghost, but what she said about her daughter just hit a nerve with me. I feel so bad for Frances Bean, and being a huge Kurt Cobain fan myself I know that Kurt would not have wanted his daughter to grow up in such a crazy household as she did (look at some of the allegations Frances Bean has said against Courtney Love in order to get a restraining order). I can't say if Courtney is mentally ill or not but she does need serious help. 

barkway
barkway

What do you mean "is she?" That poor woman has been mentally ill for quite some time as evidenced by repeated threats against people she doesn't like, strange public outbursts, revelations about her private behaviors from former employees, and more. Have you seen the documentary on Current TV, "Kurt & Courtney?" I'm surprised she didn't lose custody of Kurt's daughter long before the daughter turned 17. That child must be seriously messed up too...what a bizarre family background, poor kid.

Katysteiner22
Katysteiner22

There's nothing "wrong" with Courtney.  She's for real. People like her keep me alive.

Dave
Dave

more important question, is courtney love a cunt? answer is yes. true, id probably lick her rat out, and if she wanted to give me a blozzer id oblige, but i aint going near that pear-headed jew cunt with my flapper not protected. infested aid monkey bitch, blonde whore cunt-ridden prick. hope she gets arthiritis.

DaveAtLaw
DaveAtLaw

Crazy much?

You give people with the name Dave at bad rap.

LeeLooDallasMultiPass
LeeLooDallasMultiPass

What Courtney Love has is called Narcissistic Personality Disorder. People with Narcissistic Personality Disorder are beyond any sort of medical/psychological help. Her mixing drugs and alcohol into it, is only making her worse. Courtney feels that she MUST be the most important person in the room. She will exploit people to fulfill her needs and cast them aside when they no longer serve a purpose in her life. People in Courtney's world don't exist, they are merely extensions of her and puppets to be exploited. People with NPD tend to hold long standing grudges towards those who don't allow them to have their way. When these occasions arise, the person with NPD, like Courtney must always be made into a victim. All of her behavior is typical of someone with NPD. The world revolves around her, the idea it doesn't just will never register with her and when she is forced to realize that it does not she will self destruct as she is doing now.

Yes, I agree we need to ignore her and lay off of her. We also need to acknowledge that she is never going to get better. She's going to be begging for attention and we need to ignore her for good.

DaveAtLaw
DaveAtLaw

I was married to a woman who was diagnosed with NPD and when I look at CL, I feel like I'm looking into the face of my ex wife. The person I am most concerned with is Frances Cobain. I hope she is able to undo the damage her mother caused.

It's funny, I read that Vanity Fair article and CL was going on about her not being apart of the things her daughter loved and my head was screaming at her saying "it always has to be about you, doesn't it?" I have 3 daughters aged 10-15 who haven't seen their mother in 4 years because I got full custody and my ex-wife refused to even make an attempt to abide by the rules of supervised visitation. Her new husband makes her child support payments each month. It's really pathetic. I would love for her to have a relationship with her children (she only lives 20 minutes away) but I also have a duty to protect my children from her toxic behavior. First and foremost I want to give Courtney's daughter a big hug and tell her everything is going to be okay. Second off, I would strongly urge her to find a support group for those who have had parents with NPD. Like you said, CL is never going to get better. I think a big reason she's having meltdown after meltdown is because she does it for attention and she knows she is less relevant than ever. I just hope no one comes to any sort of harm from Courtney ever again.

Helga Nordwoman
Helga Nordwoman

She's had a lot of people over the years call her a narcissist. It hasn't stopped her yet. But you are right, she's the classic textbook example of a narcissist. I truly believe a lot of the reason she's crazy has to do with her guilt over the part she played in Kurt's death, however large or small that part is. Btw, what with her obsession with thinking everyone ripped her off? Doesn't she realize she blew all of her money on drugs, clothes and stupid bs? She doesn't deserve a single penny of anything having to do with Nirvana. Nirvana's earnings should be split 3 ways between Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and Frances Bean Cobain. I know that there was all the legal wrangling due to the fact that Kurt technically left no legal will but as far as any of Nirvana's music is concerned it should go to the members of the band and not some shrew widow who blew all of the money at the first opportunity that she had. Even if she did get ripped off she has no one to blame but herself for being an unstable drug addict. If she was sober, she would have been paying a lot more attention to where her money was going. Let this crazy b**ch rot in Bellevue where she belongs. At least all of the rich bachelor men will be safe.

DaveAtLaw
DaveAtLaw

It's called b**ch forgot that such a thing as probate exists. When someone dies and doesn't leave a will anyone who inherits anything from the estate can expect about 40% of it to go to the government. Plus anyone is able to make claims with the estate and when probate runs it, it means chances are the claims will go through. If she got ripped off, she got ripped off legally. It's a big IF because I think you are spot on when you bring up the idea of a NPD drug junkie being given millions of dollars. She blew the money and is not capable of accounting for it. Nuff said.

MittenMuffins
MittenMuffins

Courtney Love is an opportunist, a drug addict and while she is fiercely intelligent (there is no denying that - talented? let's not go there), being so doesn't mean you're asshole behavior is attributed to mental illness.

Some people are just dicks - or on drugs - I'm sure she's both and I'm sure being famous and rich, surrounded by ass-kissers, doesn't help. This article is ridiculous and gives zero argument for why she could be mentally ill.

All this article purposes is that her erratic behavior could be attributed to mental illness and suggests that the next time she acts like a psycho we, the public, should take pause before judging her and contemplate this possibility. It also has an undertone of shaming for judging her, which I think is utterly insane.

I'm shocked this idiotic rhetoric was even published anywhere. I feel dumber now that I read it. Waste. Of. Time. 

AH
AH

Sigh. Music is awesome. A lot of the people who make music are flakes, ego monsters and sometimes just dumbasses.

chuck
chuck

She is a piece of excriment and should be put down like a dying animal.Rae you mention in your article " But she's also fiercely intelligent as well as musically talented". Were you considerably drunk or on some sort of hallucinogenic drugs while wiritng it? She is a mooch and a vampire. She is drama and that is the only reason we pay attention to her. There is NO talent there... just a real fucked up drug addict. You have more talent in your feces that she has in her entire body. She is not what she seems. She is a liar and a fucking thief. She adds no value to "art" and neither does her music.

Guest
Guest

What is this article saying? She's been through rehab, which no doubt involved someone with a medical degree evaluating her on some level and I'm pretty sure I remember her referring to having a therapist. She's remarkably upright and above-ground for someone that is supposed to be a walking overdose. Maybe she doesn't begrudge Krist his share of the cash because he was there from the start, or maybe there is some completely different reason. Some people don't like Dave Grohl. Some of them likely have some form of mental illness but I'm not sure there's a correlation.

Anyway, let's be responsible when talking about mental illness. It comes in many forms and it doesn't require an exorcist or a witch doctor to live with it, generally. Ascribing Courtney's behavior to "mental illness" is astoundingly obvious and yet the tone of the article suggests that this is the result of some sort of considered study of the facts. It would be less offensive if you simply said she was "crazy" but again this isn't news. In the end we've got a youtube video of Courtney that went sort of viral a few days ago, so we've all seen it, and it's packaged with this article that I don't think is probably the author's shining moment. I guess it worked. I clicked on the link and read the story.

shag11
shag11

 Of course she's mentally ill. Saw her at the airport once. She had about 10 pieces of luggage, all opened on the floor in the international terminal. She was switching clothes around, I guess for another trip. But, it was all over the floor.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Crazy and Ugly ...

... ain't no way to go through life.

#J4KC
#J4KC

You are so wrong on so many points. First and foremost; she doesn't WANT medical 'help'. She 'wants' more money! And what does "way too many people say she didn't write much of 'LTT' mean? Less people saying it would've been more accurate? And mental health problems like PTSD do NOT let victims go out on stage where they know they'll be the center of attention! But narcissists might. Maybe some of the erractic behavior stems from self-inflicted drug abuse! If we lay off Courtney, what has she always done? Seek help? No. She becomes even MORE obnoxious! Yes, she does look sick. Invasive surgery for boob jobs is really asking for trouble. Bodies reject invasive surgery in subtle ways many times. It should only be for those who 'have' to have it. And I loathe her, but think about her mental issues everytime I see a picture or read about her. I'd say she is schitzoid, multi-personalitied, self-induced drug damaged, possibly damaged in vireo from her drug-using parents, and I'd say she's "possessed" on top of it all. So, why is she moving around independantly? Why hasn't anyone forced her to get help? Or lock her up? Many more questions. Least of which is NOT what 'really' happened to Kurt. She needs to be court-ordered to do a polygraph. And quit giving her a platform to spew de-humanizing rants.

GotTillItsGone
GotTillItsGone

I too believe Courtney is extremely talented. Sadly the craziness is eating her talent and portrays her as a c***. She'd never get the help she needs because she thinks she's sane, and there's nobody close who cares enough about her.

FarNiente F
FarNiente F

Talented?  How?  At least that British beehive hair chick could sing.  Courtney is just a wasted ex-gf of an over-rated rock star who committed suicide.

Almostdone
Almostdone

Waits for the slander to begin "whore, murder, didn't write her songs, Coat tails, junkie...." I agree she's extremely talented from watching her career before Cobains But she doesn't help herself, hope she is getting help from people around her.

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