WEEI morning co-host Kirk Minihane returned to the airwaves Friday morning after announcing on Twitter he was hospitalized for “suicidal thoughts” last week.
“I’ve talked a lot about my issues with depression, and I’ve battled it the last three months or so. Last Thursday night I checked into the ER at Winchester Hospital with suicidal thoughts. I was then moved to McLean, where I was treated and released earlier this week,” Minihane wrote on Twitter Thursday afternoon.
Minihane continued, “I’ll be back at work tomorrow, and I’m a little nervous about it. But I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. And we’ll do what we do – we’ll talk about it,” referring to Friday’s show.
During the second hour of Friday’s Kirk & Callahan Show Minihane opened up to the audience about his fight with depression and suicidal thoughts. The conversation between Kirk and Callahan was so candid that as a listener, I had to remind myself what Minihane dealt with was reality. Callahan approached the situation from a rational standpoint, asking Kirk questions about how could someone with young children leave their family? To which Kirk responded by saying it’s a sickness, luckily he wasn’t as sick as those who actually took their life which is why he’s still here.
Minihane said he started thinking about how he would do it (referring to suicide) and the best way to do it which led him to focus on trains. He rode the train a few times and walked the route, but Thursday afternoon Kirk went to watch the train go by. He checked the schedule and found himself waiting for the train minutes before it came. Kirk said “I was lying to myself, I think…in saying that I’m just going to go look.” He began walking around for a few minutes and knew he didn’t want to die, but was struggling with what he was feeling.
“I felt for the past couple weeks that I was having a heart attack almost all the time, I was having a heart attack breathing and then I was also playing this character..A, on the air who was feeling good around my family, who was feeling good talking to my brothers, who was feeling good and joking and doing that, meanwhile sort of dying on the inside. I said I simply cannot live like this anymore. I have to give over, I have to give up whatever power I have and I drove the car to Winchester hospital, walked up to the emergency room woman and said, I’m having very dangerous thoughts.”
Minihane later said while he feels better now, he understands depression and anxiety is still something he will continue dealing with.
“The important thing for me is to recognize that I have these down times and tell people right away as opposed to hiding it and hiding it and hiding it. It doesn’t benefit me at all and it all comes from childhood stuff like everything else, I have to figure that out, but right now I feel okay, I feel pretty good, I think I sort of have a temporary high right now because I’ve been able to talk about it. Two weeks from now, three weeks from now, I’m sure I won’t feel great for a while and I just have to be honest about it.”
He acknowledged loving his job, his family and the support group he has to rely on moving forward.
Minihane also mentioned a lighter note that occurred shortly after being in the hospital. “The security guy was a very nice guy, he was probably in his late 20s or early 30s. I’m in there for about an hour or so and I’m a mess. He comes up to me, shakes my hand he says, I just want you to know I’m a big fan, but I gotta ask you a question, what’s Portnoy like?”