Gary Shirley Isn't to Blame for Amber Portwood's Suicide Attempt

Gary Shirley Leah
Gary Shirley and daughter Leah
The fact that 'Teen Mom' Amber Portwood decided to try to kill herself Tuesday morning is really really sad. In fact, it's horrific. Unfortunately, as much as families or loved ones of those who attempt to take their lives want someone or something to blame, you can't blame a person's suicidal misery on anyone else. The problem comes from within and, with professional help, can only be handled from within.

I'm sure Amber's family is completely heartbroken and feeling incredibly powerless at the fact that they could have lost Amber to suicide. There is no scarier feeling in the world. However, blaming Gary Shirley, Amber's ex-boyfriend and father of her child, isn't going to help Amber. In fact, it's only taking the responsibility off the person who needs to seek help for her emotional problems -- and that's Amber.


Amber's family is claiming that Gary somehow caused Amber's suicide attempt by calling her names, verbally abusing her, and constantly threatening to take Leah away. I don't really doubt this; of course, fans of Teen Mom know Amber has delivered up plenty of her own verbal abuse, physical abuse, and more.

Now I'm not letting Gary off the hook. He's got his own ginormous emotional problems to deal with, not the least of which is his sick and twisted "Amber codependency," but his awful ability to communicate with his teen ex about their daughter and their turbulent relationship doesn't make him the driving cause of Amber's self abuse. In fact, I'd argue that Gary is similarly killing his own self over this soul-crushing relationship but in that slow, internal, awful way that leads you to blow your whole life trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Let's face it. These kids need help (where are you now, MTV?) and airing all their private woes on television isn't helping anyone. It's surely not helping the stars of the show, even if it's lining their pockets for the moment, and it's probably not preventing any teen pregnancies either. After all, the kids at risk of teen pregnancy aren't tuning in to a show like this. They're off having unprotected sex!

Kidding aside, you can't place blame for suicide anymore than you can't ultimately place blame for drug or alcohol dependency. Family and friends can, however, reach out and offer emotional support and professional help though (*cough* MTV *cough*). I just hope Amber's family sees that's what they need to do rather than blame Gary, who is a complete self-abusing disaster himself.

Do you think anyone is to blame for Amber's suicide attempt?


Image via MTV

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