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After Cobain’s parent’s divorced, he lived with his mom in a trailer park for a year. Cobain then lived with his father in Montesano. His father made him participate in sports. Cobain would intentionally not perform well while playing sports to get back at his dad. Cobain decided to learn how to play guitar instead of playing sports. He enjoyed reading and doing other artistic activities. Cobain’s interests made him a target for bullies. (Wilson, 1996)
Cobain was a sickly child. “As an infant, he suffered from chronic bronchitis and scoliosis, and, by the age of seven, he was being prescribed both Ritalin and sedatives to allow him to sleep” (Headlam, 1996). Cobain complained of burning stomach pain that kept him from participating in gym class.
In 1985 Cobain started the band Nirvana. The band went through several changes before finally becoming Nirvana. In 1987 the band was playing in several locations. In 1988 the band landed their first record deal. Cobain’s music mainstreamed the grunge sound. Nirvana rose very quickly to become stars. “Nirvana was, briefly, the most popular band in the world largely because of the cult of personality that grew around Cobain” (Headlam, 1996).
After Nirvana released the album Nevermind, Cobain married Courtney Love. “Love shared Cobain’s penchant for self-destruction, but none of his ambivalence about fame. Together they went on a drug taking spree that resulted a few times in Cobain nearly dying and Love taking heroin during her pregnancy” (Headlam, 1996). Cobain claimed that the birth of his daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, made him a different man. He claimed that he was a doting father and husband. It is believed that the drug use continued though.
“On March 5th , 1994 Cobain was rushed to the hospital in a coma after an unsuccessful suicide bid in which he washed down about fifty prescription painkillers with champagne” (Ronson, 1996). The attempt was not made known to many people.
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Axis 1: Bipolar 2 Disorder
Axis 2: None
Axis 3: Psychological factors affecting medical condition: Stomach pains
Axis 4: Sudden fame, no family support
Axis 5: GAF 51-60
Cobain did not handle his parents’ divorce well. He said that he never felt loved or secure again. He became more withdrawn. While living with his father Cobain was forced to participate in sports. To get back at his dad Cobain would not perform well in sports. Cobain was frequently bullied due to his interest in artistic activities and his love of reading.
Cobain used his music as a way to talk about his feelings. “Cobain became famous for his dark, brooding lyrics, his unkempt, wildly colored hair, and his frequent drug overdoses” (Headlam, 1996). Cobain sang the words “I’m ugly and contagious” in Nirvana’s first hit song. In the song Pennyroyal Tea Cobain gives a list of drug store items used for his stomach pain. “Cobain admitted that these lyrics to Serve the Servants were autobiographical: “I tried hard to have a father/but instead I had a dad/ I just want you to know that i/ Don’t hate you anymore” (Wilson, 1996). “Cobain was distressed to find out that what he wrote and how it was interpreted could quite often be miles apart” (Ronson, 1996).
Cobain suffered from burning stomach pain. “For Cobain it is likely that his family’s early attempts at stomach remedies propelled him on a lifelong binge of self-medications, first with painkillers, such as Percodan, then glue, marijuana, opiates (which he injected directly into his stomach), and cough syrup” (Headlam, 1996). Cobain’s suicide note ended with “Thank you from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach.”
A mood stabilizer such as Depakote should be used along with an antidepressant. Cognitive-behavioral therapy should be utilized as well. Phase 1: Increasing activities and elevating mood should be completed in order help Cobain become more active and gain more confidence. Phase 2: Challenging automatic thoughts in order to recognize and address any automatic thoughts. Phase 3: Identifying negative thinking and biases should be completed in order to help alleviate the negative automatic thoughts. Phase 4: Changing primary attitudes should be completed in order to complete the process.
Detoxification is needed. A methadone maintenance program may be needed, but is not recommended. A residential treatment center is recommended. Cobain should be on suicide watch as well.
Treatment can be successful if it is followed. Treatment may not be successful if any one part is not followed. Depression will not be decreased if drugs are not decreased and drugs will not decrease if mood is not improved. All areas of treatment must be closely observed and all areas must be working together.