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January 2011



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David Van Nuys, Ph.D. Updated: Feb 15th 2010

Mary Forsberg Weiland, formerly a successful fashion model and wife of rock star Scott Weiland (singer for the popular 1990s rock band Stone Temple Pilots) recounts her life story growing up in in San Diego in a chaotic family environment featuring povery, frequent moves, divorce and remarriage, depression, suicidal ideation, and delinquency; her early and sudden success as a fashion model; more depression; her very intense and volitile marriage to Mr. Weiland; their drug addiction problems; and her very public manic episode in which she burned her husband’s clothes and damaged a hotel room. Though embarrassing, this episode resulted in her acceptance of treatment for bipolar disorder, an action which she credits with completely transforming her life and reducing her misery. Through her book, she hopes to share her experience with others so as to reduce the shame and stigma associated with addiction and bipolar disorder diagnosis and treatment.

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David Van Nuys: Welcome to Wise Counsel, a podcast interview series sponsored by Mentalhelp.net, covering topics in mental health, wellness, and psychotherapy. My name is Dr. David Van Nuys. I’m a clinical psychologist and your host.

On today’s show, we’ll be talking with my guest, Mary Forsberg Weiland, about her recent memoir, which tracks her fame as an international model, her marriage to a rock star, and her struggle with both drug addiction and bipolar disorder.

Mary Weiland was born and raised in San Diego, California, and at age 15, she was selected out of approximately 40,000 young girls across America to appear in a special issue of Seventeen magazine. Soon after, she became emancipated and began an 18-year modeling career, represented by some of the most prestigious agencies in the business. Mary’s career as model took her around the world shooting campaigns for cosmetics giants such as Max Factor and Estee Lauder, as well as editorial photographs for magazines, including Cosmopolitan and Vogue.

At the age of 16, while working with the Bordeaux Agency in Los Angeles, Mary was assigned a driver named Scott Weiland, a then struggling rock singer. After an on-and-off romance of eight years, they married in 2000 at the height of Scott’s success as the front man for Stone Temple Pilots, one of the most accomplished and successful rock groups of the 1990s.

Both Scott and Mary have struggled with a myriad of substance abuse problems during their life together. While Scott was constantly in the news for a series of drug-related arrests, Mary herself made seven separate visits to rehab centers to overcome various addictions. After a widely publicized incident in 2007, when Mary was arrested and incarcerated after lighting a fire to Scott’s wardrobe, she finally got the help she needed. This led to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

Mary has ended her relationship with drugs and alcohol and turned her attention to helping others with bipolar disorder, which often goes undiagnosed. She’s working toward a certificate in drug and alcohol counseling with a focus on co-occurring disorders. She lives in Los Angeles with her two children, Noah and Lucy.

Now, let’s go to the interview.

Mary Forsberg Weiland, welcome to Wise Counsel.

Mary Weiland: Hi. Thank you for having me.

David: I’m happy to have the opportunity to speak with you. I’ve been reading your 2009 book, Fall to Pieces, and I have to say, it’s a real page turner.

Mary Weiland: Thank you so much. I didn’t want to put anybody into a coma with just medical jargon.

David: Well, this one really doesn’t do that. It was kind of hard to put it down, and I have to say I read it all the way through – just finished it up last night. Now, just to make sure all our listeners have some context for the discussion that we’re about to have, I want to mention up front that you were a very successful fashion model, married to Scott Weiland, a well-known rock star who is the lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots, STP, and another group, Velvet Revolver. Do I have that right?

Mary Weiland: You have it right, yes.

David: Okay. I’m of a generation that I did not know any of those groups, you’ll be horrified to hear.

Mary Weiland: I don’t know that I would have as well, if I didn’t marry into it.

David: Okay, and then, of course, another major thread that runs through the book has to do with your struggles with both drug addiction and bipolar disorder. Your book is a memoir, so maybe it makes sense for us to step through the major phases of your life story. So tell us about the early years of your growing up.

Mary Weiland: The early years of Mary were pretty chaotic. They were not the worst childhood you could have, and there was a lot of love there, but it was definitely falling under something that you might call chaotic, which was we moved quite a bit; my parents married and divorced each other more than once; and my father was struggling as well with his own addictions. And it was different than most people’s childhood, and I don’t know that that set the tone for where I have ended up today, or if it was just a part of me from the beginning – if bipolar and addiction, if those were just going to happen to me regardless, which I’m pretty certain that that’s the case. But I did experience a lot of depression as a child.

David: Yes, something I just realized that you and I have in common is that my parents also got divorced and remarried to each other several times.

Mary Weiland: Yes, I have a couple friends that have done that as well. It’s definitely not something many people do, but you got to give your parents credit for trying.

Read More …  http://www.mentalhelp.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=35049&cn=4


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