Kerry Katona and This Morning
Spread around the internet like wild fire is Kerry Katona’s shocking interview on This Morning 21st October, 2008. It seems that Kerry may have been under the influence of substances other than her prescribed medication whilst being interviewed.
This isn’t the first time this has happened as YouTube will attest there are several videos of Kerry Katona seemingly drunk or stoned to view.
This one shocked me more than others; I felt enormously protective of Kerry and wondered at the producers of the show for allowing someone clearly not in their ‘right mind’ for whatever reason to be interviewed on live television. Who is looking after this obviously fragile and damaged young women? Who has her best interests at heart?
Fern Britton and Phillip Scholfield didn’t duck the issue and challenged her on her slurred speech. Kerry went into a tailspin of denial and claimed her medication made her slur her speech; she has claimed this before when other interviews have attracted the same comments.
There are several issues here, the first one is the accountability of the programme makers, this programme will no doubt attract huge amounts of attention because of what's happened and hence more viewers which is of course their aim. Unfortunately I believe they have exploited someone with clear mental health problems, I can’t believe that there was nobody around Kerry either a member of staff or a friend who didn’t notice her erratic behavior and try and stop her. In my opinion this interview should not have taken place.
I also feel ashamed of the culture that is breeding this for public consumption, there is something deeply amoral about using a celebrity in this way, Kerry will be derided and ridiculed for her behavior when she actually needs support and understanding and ultimately treatment.
I have worked with countless addicts who also have a dual-diagnosis and need to take medication; bi-polar is very common. I have also seen clients who suffer from dry mouth or slurred speech because of their medication, the difference is they are very aware of it; they realize how they are presenting because of the medication. Kerry obviously had no idea how she came across or how other people perceived her.
She was also extremely defensive about her consumption of alcohol which Fern challenged her on; Fern was trying to make the link that as she has openly admitted a cocaine addiction why was she drinking alcohol? Fern seemed to imply that surely meant she couldn’t drink safely. Kerry didn’t seem to think it was a problem.
It’s been documentated that Kerry has received treatment for her cocaine addiction, she would be aware of the 12-step treatment model of total abstinence so Kerry would have known she needed to be abstinent form all mood and mind altering chemicals including alcohol. I would also hazard a guess that her medication clearly states not to drink alcohol and she would have been told this by her psychiatrist.
This is a young woman in clear need of help, her life has become a series of different traumas that are then whored out for public consumption, she is vulnerable and unsupported and needs help. She isn’t an evil person, a liar or an idiot, she suffers from an illness, her behavior is a manifestation of her illness. The good news is that I have seen plenty of people with bi-polar and addiction recover, achieve abstinence and manage their medication appropriately.