“Teen Mom” is turning tragic.
Tuesday’s reported suicide attempt by 19 year-old Amber Portwood again raises concern about whether the side effects of appearing on MTV’s docu-soap are simply too much for its young participants to handle.
Portwood was discovered unresponsive in her Indiana home with a rope around her neck after baby-daddy Gary Shirley placed a frantic call to 911.
The couple’s saga – including custody of their 2 year-old daughter Leah and Amber’s recent domestic battery charges – has played out in front of a worldwide audience.
“I really think it was a cry for attention, for help,” says blogger Ashley Majeski, who covers the show extensively for TheAshleysRealityRoundup.com. “She needs to get the hell out of the spotlight and get some serious help.”
But the spotlight — and the police blotter — are where Amber, and so many of the “Teen Mom” participants seem to gravitate.
“The show tends to attract people who may not have come from the best backgrounds,” Majeski says. “Therefore they haven’t had good examples set for them by their parents on how to deal with stress and anger.”
Some published reports have suggested that the hot-tempered high school dropout may have been set off by rumors of Shirley’s infidelity.
“Gary and Amber got into an argument (on the phone)” a source told Life & Style magazine. “She said she was mad because he cheated on her, but he thinks that was just [an excuse] to pick a fight with him, because it happened two years ago. She said she was so upset, she was going to kill herself.”
Gary, unaware she was serious, told her to “go ahead,” the source reveals.
“Okay, when you come check on me, I’ll be in the garage with a rope around my neck and you’ll find my body there,” she responded before hanging up.
In an interview with E! News, Portwood’s brother says she was also upset that her 300 pound on-again-off-again boyfriend was going to disappear with Leah.
Amber is the latest in a long line of “Teen Mom” and “16 & Pregnant” alumni to become famous for all the wrong reasons. They include:
6/11 April Purvis: The mother of “16 & Pregnant” (season 1) star Whitney Purvis is arrested for possession of marijuana and methamphetamine.
5/11 Joshua Drummonds: The baby-daddy of Nikkole Pavlon (season 1) is popped for larceny and forgery after stealing checks from his mother.
4/11 Valerie Fairman: The season 2 participant is charged with assault for punching her mother.
3/11 Jenelle Evans: The season 2 bad-girl was popped for her participation in a video-taped beating of a friend. Her rap sheet also includes charges of stealing credit cards, breaking and entering, and possession of drugs.
“These young women, I am sure, leave the show their lives no better for it,” psychologist Dr. Rita Holloway told NBC’s “Today” show.