Singer’s suicide saddens Dr. Drew

Dr. Drew Pinsky and Adam Carolla will stage a “Loveline” reunion show at the House of Blues on Friday. So I took this as an opportunity to ask Dr. Drew to diagnose Carolla’s great yet odd brain.

Here are three strange things about Carolla. He doesn’t read. He seems to compulsively repeat opinions on his popular podcast. And he doesn’t seem to take kindly to people’s opposing opinions.

“You want me to diagnose him?” Dr. Drew says, then proceeds:

“OK, so he (Carolla) will tell you he is emotionally dead inside — that emotions don’t matter. That is a hallmark symptom of narcissistic disorders.”

But the good thing is, Carolla’s narcissism is tempered because he has undergone “a lot of treatment” and worked hard on underlying childhood traumas, Dr. Drew says. Another good thing: Carolla sees insights into people that others do not see, because his analytical mind is not clouded by feelings.

“He knows right and wrong almost like nobody I’ve ever met,” Dr. Drew says.

Dr. Drew jokes it’s good Carolla has an exquisite moral compass “because if he didn’t, he’d be a mass murderer.”

“This is why he and I work weirdly together,” Dr. Drew says. “I overfeel things, I’m co-dependent — and he’s the opposite.”

Because we are on the subject of feelings, Dr. Drew is heartbroken by the recent suicide of his “Celebrity Rehab” patient, singer Mindy McCready.

He treated McCready four years ago. She refused his follow-up care.

“She never wanted to address her own stuff,” Dr. Drew says.

But she seemed to be doing OK with her boyfriend and her kids for a while.

“Then (her boyfriend’s) bipolar stepped in, and he killed himself, and she fell apart completely,” Dr. Drew says.

Dr. Drew talked to McCready a few weeks before she killed herself.

“She was in so much pain,” Dr. Drew says. “I convinced her to go to the hospital.”

But the hospital let her sign herself out, and then she killed herself.

“I think the main reason she left the hospital is she feared stigma. She feared it like crazy.”

Dr. Drew says there is a lesson in her death for mental health experts.

“Please don’t believe your patients,” Dr. Drew says. “Doctors are trained to believe your patients. That’s a giant mistake in certain situations.

“You have to trust your instincts and the evidence and don’t believe the patient. Trust what you think is happening there and don’t worry about personal liberties and that kind of thing. Your job is to help that patient stay safe.”

My question: Why did McCready first kill their dog before she killed herself?

Dr. Drew says that was their favorite dog — McCready and her boyfriend’s. (She didn’t kill their other dogs.)

“She was in an abnormal brain state,” Dr. Drew says. “So in her mind, the dog was going to join them in heaven. We all immediately concluded that.”

If you can’t wait to see Dr. Drew and Carolla on Friday, you can hear them on their entertaining podcasts at “The Adam Carolla Show,” “The Adam and Dr. Drew Show” and “The Dr. Drew Podcast.” There is also “Dr. Drew On Call” on CNN’s HLN network.

Dr. Drew has recorded his podcast in Vegas, so he does have thoughts on our fair town.

“One of the most disturbing things I’ve seen is, you guys have portable mobile detox units running around. I don’t mind they are stabilizing people medically, but for God’s sakes give those people referrals for addiction treatment.”

Doug Elfman’s column appears Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. He also writes for Neon on Fridays. Email him at He blogs at

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