Chronic Pain Suicide of NY Times Reporter at 49

Sarah Kershaw, Former Times Reporter, Dies at 49 – The New York Times – Feb. 26, 2016

Sarah Kershaw, a former reporter for The New York Times who covered real estate, the Pacific Northwest and New York City schools, died on Monday. She was 49.

She was found with a plastic bag tied over her head and pill bottles beside her,

Ms. Kershaw told friends that she planned to end her life because she suffered from a debilitating illness.  

Before joining The Times, she worked at The Oakland Tribune and for news outlets in Venezuela. Ms. Kershaw was known for her ability to spot trends and produce quirky feature articles.

In recent years, Ms. Kershaw experienced chronic pain from occipital neuralgia, a neurological condition, and moved to the Caribbean in 2014 to focus on her health and freelance journalism, her family said.

Dr. Lynn Webster also mentioned her on his blog:
Chronic Pain and the Death of a New York Times Journalist

I’ve added her picture to this post because it affected me so deeply.

Sarah Kershaw

9 thoughts on “Chronic Pain Suicide of NY Times Reporter at 49

    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      I don’t know why this suicide in particular made me so sad. I suspect it’s because her picture showed such a vibrant healthy individual who seems to have a bright future. I’ve added her picture to the post now, so please return and check it out.

      Chronic pain isn’t fatal, but its symptoms are: the depression that arises when a person feels helpless and hopeless. Pain is so powerful it can make us feel that there’s little point in trying to fight, because no matter what you do, that pain will always be there. The best we can hope for is a reduction in pain that gives us a decent quality of life.


      1. Dyan Nickerson

        I am familiar with her train of thought. The hopelessness coupled with the omnipresent pain experienced by those with chronic illness where on-going pain presents as a symptom creates a living hell. Enter incompetent and/or uncompassionate medical support, which seems to be the norm, and there is really no other answer for me. So I get it. And it is sad. Sad this young woman’s death won’t affect one doctor the way it really should. Sad there is not a social revolt to bring much needed attention to this issue. Sad that it seems to foretell my own path.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Zyp Czyk Post author

          Re: “Sad that it seems to foretell my own path.”

          Indeed! We have to fight to remain afloat in these stormy waters and resist despair.

          Over the years, I have periodically spent time stuck in some terribly dark corners of my mind, believing myself to be doomed. But each time, I’ve emerged from the depths again, feeling as though I’d endured some trial, passed some test of my will.

          As long as my gloom seems guaranteed to lift eventually, I just try to empty my mind completely, place no blame on myself for letting it get to this point, and wait for it to pass.


      2. Brandt

        There is NO Reason Any Person With Chronic Pain Should be Made To Suffer, With The Pain Medicine That Is Available!!!!!!!!!!


  1. sunuvabeach

    I am a chronic pain sufferer w/o the amount of medication I need. I have lost quality of life – that is a serious dilemma. It’s is Chronic Pain Patient vs Doctor..we know who wins every time. So what do you do ?. You fight fight fight every hour everyday – 22yrs for me.

    The CDC & FDA have created new prescribing of Opioid guidelines. A serious blow to the Chronic Pain Patient. We need your help Citizens of America, Veterans & Doctors. Please look into this further – LIVES are on-the-line NOW !. That includes my own.

    Start with #PatientsNotAddicts then look further into what is going to happen to us.
    Write your Congressman. Help us any way you can. Drug addicts have ruined not only their own lives but ours ‘The Chronic Pain Disease Patient’ as well – THANK YOU !

    Rest Now In Peace SARAH – You may end up helping save many lives through your tragic story.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brandt

    You Shouldn’t Need To Suffer From Chronic Pain, With The Pain Medicine That Is Available With a Prescription!!!! Come On Doctors, Chronic Pain Is Real!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. Pingback: Top 15 posts of 2016 – 5 Warnings | EDS and Chronic Pain News & Info

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