(Remember, this is just my opinion!)
I think he is/was a bit of an emotional/psychological mess, who would have had major problems no matter what he did with his life. I think being in the music business was a terrible thing for him; it made his problems worse with the pressure, public scrutiny, etc. I also think he had problems adjusting to adulthood, he suffered too many loses in too short of time, he didn't have much in his life besides the band, and he believed too strongly in rock 'n' roll mythology.
It seems to me that Richey's stay at the Priory wasn't very helpful to him. Besides the things that the band have said, (that he got confused by what he was told there, that they ripped out the person he used to be), I also question just what he was being treated for there. It seems that he was mainly treated as a substance abuse patient. While I agree that Richey had problems with substances, I think his primary problems were psychological and emotional. He seems to have used drugs and alcohol as a way of self-medicating himself. Or, perhaps he should have been a dual-diagnosis patient. That's a fairly recent development in psychiatry, which recognises psychological problems equally with, and yet separate of, substance abuse.
I think it was a terrible idea for him to have gone on tour with the band so soon after leaving the Priory.
I believe he left 1 February, 1995, and intended to disappear into anonymity. I don't believe he jumped off the Severn Bridge. Obviously, he was unable to continue his life the way it was. I do think it's entirely possible that since he was unsatisfied with the previous attempts at treatments for his various problems, he wanted to explore other methods of help.
I think if he ever comes back, it will be long after the band has broken up, and no one in the media, or the fans, care anymore.
However, I also believe that is very possible that he has died sometime since he disappeared, of one, some, or all, of his vices - starvation, drinking, drugs, self-mutilation (perhaps by infection) - or of not taking good care of himself in general.
Either way, I don't expect the public will ever see him again.
Copyright © 2002, 2004, 2006, 2015 Vivian Campbell. All rights reserved.