Posted: August 09, 2018
By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Fans now know what killed actress Margot Kidder.
The Park County Coroner’s office ruled the “Superman” star’s death a suicide, The Associated Press reported.
Kidder was found by a friend in her home in Montana in May.
Her manager, Camilla Fluxman Pines, said Kidder died peacefully in her sleep.
But Coroner Richard Wood said that Kidder, 69, “died as a result of a self-inflicted drug and alcohol overdose.”
He said via a statement that no other information would be released.
Maggie McGuane, Kidder’s daughter, told the AP that she knew her mother died by suicide.
“It’s a big relief that the truth is out there,” McGuane told the AP. “It’s important to be open and honest so there’s not a cloud of shame in dealing with this.”
Kidder was one of several recent suicides by well-known celebrities this year. Others include celebrity chief Anthony Bourdain and fashion designer Kate Spade.
Kidder was said to have struggled with metal illness for many years. The AP reported that it was made worse in 1990 after a car accident left her in debt and eventually led her to use a wheelchair for nearly two years.
She had also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. A manic episode in 1996 left her homeless for a period of time, People magazine reported.
Kidder’s career stretched from the late 1960s through 2017, but she was most known for the four “Superman” films between 1978 and 1987, in which she portrayed Lois Lane, she also appeared in “The Amityville Horror” in 1979. Recently, she appeared on “R.L. Stine’s the Haunted Hour.”
Margaret Ruth "Margot" Kidder, who rose to fame for her portrayal of Lois Lane in the "Superman" film series, died Sunday, according to a Montana funeral home. She was 69.
Kidder lived in Livingston, Montana, according to the Franzen-Davis Funeral Home & Crematory. Funeral arrangements were pending Monday.
Her cause of death was not immediately known, according to TMZ. The celebrity news site was the first to report on Kidder’s death Monday.
Kidder rose to fame in 1978 while starring in the first of a series of Superman films opposite Christopher Reeve. She appeared in three subsequent installments of the series from 1980 to 1987.
The Canadian-born actress appeared in dozens of films during her career, including 1974's "Black Christmas" and 1979's "The Amityville Horror."
Despite her success, Kidder was homeless for a brief time in the 1990s as she dealt with mental health issues. After a highly publicized breakdown in 1996, she told PEOPLE magazine that she had been diagnosed with manic depression.
“It’s very hard to convince a manic person that there is anything wrong with them,” Kidder told the magazine at the time. “You have no desire to sleep. You are full of ideas.”
Kidder was also an outspoken activist who supported liberal causes. According to The Guardian, she was an active member of the “peace movement” for years. She was arrested in 2011 during a protest in Washington of an oil pipeline, CBC News reported.
Kidder is survived by her daughter, Maggie McGuane, according to PEOPLE.
Fans and friends took to social media to mourn Kidder:
While it is a disorder that affects an estimated 2 percent of the world’s population, bipolar disorder is one of the most difficult diseases for those who don’t suffer from it to understand.
Marked by soaring highs and crushing lows, the disorder causes sometimes wild spikes in energy and activity levels, making it difficult to carry out everyday activities.
The disorder is so widespread, that World Bipolar Day, a day set aside to raise awareness of the disorder and erase the stigmatism of mental illness, is observed in September. The observance falls on the anniversary of the birth of Vincent Van Gogh. It is believed the famous painter suffered from the disorder.
Here’s a look at bipolar disorder, the symptoms and where you can get help.
What is it?
Bipolar disorder is a psychological disorder characterized by “manic” episodes, either preceding or following a time of a major depression. Manic episodes are defined as experiencing a period of at least 1 week where you have “an elevated, expansive or unusually irritable mood, as well as notably persistent goal-directed activity,” according to psychcentral.com.
What are the types of bipolar disorder?
WebMD describes the types of bipolar disorders this way:
A person affected by bipolar I disorder has had at least one manic episode in his or her life. A manic episode is a period of abnormally elevated mood, accompanied by abnormal behavior that disrupts life.
Bipolar II is similar to bipolar I disorder, with moods cycling between high and low over time. However, in bipolar II disorder, the "up" moods never reach full-on mania.
In rapid cycling, a person with bipolar disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year. About 10 percent to 20 percent of people with bipolar disorder have rapid cycling.
In most forms of bipolar disorder, moods alternate between elevated and depressed over time. But with mixed bipolar disorder, a person experiences both mania and depression simultaneously or in rapid sequence.
Cyclothymia (cyclothymic disorder) is a relatively mild mood disorder. People with cyclothymic disorder have milder symptoms than in full-blown bipolar disorder.
What are the symptoms?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, here are the symptoms of bipolar disorder.
The depression phase
Symptoms of a depressive episode may include:
• No interest in activities you once enjoyed
• Loss of energy
• Difficulty sleeping—either sleeping too much or not at all
• Changes in appetite—eating too much or too little
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
• Thoughts of death or suicide
The manic phase
Symptoms of a manic episode may include:
• Feelings of euphoria, abnormal excitement, or elevated mood
• Talking very rapidly or excessively
• Needing less sleep than normal, yet still having plenty of energy
• Feeling agitated, irritable, hyper, or easily distracted
• Engaging in risky behavior such as lavish spending, impulsive sexual encounters, or ill-advised business decision
What resources are available?
Click here for a link to resources for patients via the International Society for Bipolar Disorders.
When to get emergency help
Suicidal thoughts and behavior are common among people with bipolar disorder. If you think you may hurt yourself and need help, call 911, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor.
Use that same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
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