Like the U.S. economy, Amber Portwood's recovery appears to have stalled.
Less than two months after checking out of a rehab center, where she was treated for both depression and anger management following a suicide attempt, the Teen Mom star was rushed to the hospital after suffering a severe panic attack.
"I couldn't breathe and I passed out," she said. "I stopped breathing."
Amber's issues, while serious and tragic, have done surprisingly little to inspire sympathy for the reality star, often criticized for partying and misplaced priorities.
"Honestly, I feel like I did two months ago. I'm still suicidal," Amber Portwood revealed to E! News yesterday. "I'm f--king depressed. My family's not together."
Amber says she is most upset about "lies" reported by tabloids: "What hurts me the most is when people believe the lies about me. The bullying is too much."
"Look at the rate of teen deaths related to bullying. It's scary."She insists, seriously, that she doesn't have a drinking problem.
"I went to rehab for depression and anger management, not for drug or alcohol abuse," Amber says. "I have been out twice since I left rehab and I'm 21."
"I take my medication the way I'm supposed to."
Nor is Amber relinquishing custody of her daughter, two-year-old Leah, to Gary Shirley, who she lets have custody now simply "to keep CPS off our backs."
"I see Leah whenever I can. I have stipulations as to when I can and can't see her," Portwood adds, noting that on the bright side, her own once-estranged mother "knows everything that's going on in my life right now and we're great."
That's good at least. She needs whatever help she can get.