Ralphie May Opened up About Addiction, Mental Health Crisis in Just-Released Book

Comedian Ralphie May's posthumous memoir paints a chilling picture of a man with mental and physical breakdowns in his final years.

In his new book, This Might Get a Little Heavy, May said he barely survived a case of pneumonia and a pulmonary embolism in 2011. Afterward, he topped his normal marijuana habit with the use of prescription drugs, which led him to exude "hostile" and "erratic" behavior.

"They made me crazy," he wrote in the memoir, which was released on Tuesday. "I was constantly awake, usually for days on end."

He recalled one incident in which his then-wife, Lahna Turner, had an "intervention" after he took too much Xanax on a flight.

"She wanted me to go to rehab. Today," he shared.

May entered rehab and discovered he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from multiple events — his parents' divorce, a brutal car accident and bullying from other comedians.

After a few years of healthy gains, he recalled sliding back into a dark place in 2014 when his long-time dog Pimp died.

May made more than one hundred phone calls to his wife, assistant and other loved ones during what doctors called an "insomnia-induced dementia event."

"When the phone wasn't good enough, I fought with Lahna on Facetime and showed her a gun. I threatened to use it to kill myself," May wrote.

Turner had him rushed to the hospital, where he stayed for days. She soon filed for divorce, which became a drawn-out, hostile battle that was not resolved at the time of his death.

May died on October 6 in Las Vegas, one day after he performed a set at Harrah's Hotel and Casino. He reportedly passed at his private residence after a six-week battle with pneumonia; he entered cardiac arrest before his death.


Earlier this week, Nevada's Clark County Coroner's Office announced that 400-pound May died of natural causes stemming from hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

This Might Get a Little Heavy is available now.