Pete Burns on depression and growing up with an alcoholic parent

Pete Burns on being depressed and growing up with an alcoholic parent

By Catherine Walker

Looking at the pictures of Pete Burns in this week’s OK magazine you can but wonder what has happened in his life that he should end up looking the way he does.  Yes, we all know that he had a dreadful experience with cosmetic surgery that went wrong and that he had to have a series of operations to put it right but you can’t help wondering why this once perfectly gorgeous young man would want to go down that route in the first place.

He now resembles a cross between Cher and Jackie Stallone.  Several revelations in Pete’s interview with OK shed some light as to why this once successful, talented and good-looking young man now lives an eccentric life draped in tens of thousands of pounds worth of designer clothes with his husband, Michael, in a London flat.

Pete, once the singer with the band Dead Or Alive, talks openly about his life and seems to be a thoroughly gentle person.  OK says that he is one of the most delightful celebrities that they have had the pleasure of meeting.  The life of Pete Burns has obviously had many ups and down and although he seems to be pretty well adjusted now it would seem that the downs have outweighed the ups.

Pete’s mother had problems with alcohol and prescription drug addiction when he was growing up.  She was a survivor of the holocaust who suffered from depression and turned to alcohol when Pete was 14 years old.   As a consequence Pete says that he hardly drinks at all now.  But he did make suicide attempts in his teens which he says were his way of trying to stop his mother from drinking.

In the OK interview Pete says ‘I couldn’t take it.  I’d come home and find her with her wrists slashed and blood splattered all over the place.  Then in 1997 a severe depression hit me, but I didn’t respond well to anti-depressants.  It still occasionally hits me, but I’m in the hands of a fantastic psychiatrist and I’m on medication that works.’

Pete also says that he will always maintain his plastic surgery.  He adds ‘there’s not a part of me, apart from the soles of my feet, which has not had work done.  For me plastic surgery is a matter of sanity, not vanity.’

Although Pete seems to have put the past behind him in many ways and he seems quite content with his life today, we can't help but wonder if his counselling should focus on helping him build his confidence from the inside and deal with his constant need for surgery.  He has a close relationship with his husband Michael and his ex-wife Lynne Corlette, he seems settled and enjoys the simpler things in life like 'Daytime TV' he comments. 

It does sound as if there is never a dull moment in Pete’s life and we hope that one day he may feel fulfilment with who he really is and not feel the need to go under the knife to become something else.

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