Kennedys Reveal Depths of Mary's Depression

'She was in a lot of agony for a lot of her life,' RFK Jr. says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2012 4:49 AM CDT
Kennedys Reveal Depths of Mary's Depression
Mary Richardson Kennedy flashes a smile outside her New York home in 2008.   (AP Photo/Peter Michaelis)

Friends and relatives of Mary Kennedy have opened up about the depression she struggled with for many years. They describe Kennedy, who hanged herself at her Westchester home this week, as a friendly, generous woman, but one who was fighting a tough battle against depression, and who had spoken of suicide before. "A lot of times I don’t know how she made it through the day," estranged husband Robert F. Kennedy Jr. tells the New York Times. "She was in a lot of agony for a lot of her life."

Despite her problems, he says, Mary managed to do extraordinary work for assorted causes. His sister Kerry, Mary's college roommate, describes a dynamic woman—one who variously worked for Andy Warhol, as an architectural designer, and as a white-water rafting guide. She says Mary struggled with drugs and alcohol, but had been sober for five months before her death, and had been fighting with "every ounce of her mission" to overcome depression. "As so many people who suffer from mental health issues, Mary was unable to do the things that she desperately wanted to do," says Kerry. "And she was fighting, fighting, fighting with every ounce of her being to beat back those demons.” (More Kerry Kennedy stories.)

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