Carey, who was diagnosed with the disorder in 2001, sought treatment after what she called the “hardest couple of years.” The stigmas of mental illness had a deep impact on the Grammy award-winning singer.
“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” Carey, who co-parents her 6-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan with ex-husband Nick Cannon, said to People. “It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore. I sought and received treatment, I put positive people around me and I got back to doing what I love — writing songs and making music.”
Carey is far from alone in her struggle with bipolar disorder, a mental health condition that affects millions of people. Though the perception is that mental illness is rarely discussed as an important topic of conversation within the African-American community, Carey and many others have detailed their health battles.
Carey’s confession also comes after several fatal police shootings of people of color battling mental health issues. Saheed Vassell, a 34-year-old Brooklyn man killed by New York Police Department officers on April 4, also suffered from bipolar disorder, his father said.
What is bipolar disorder?
Formerly called manic depression, bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings that include “emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression),” according to the Mayo Clinic. It is a lifelong condition that can affect your sleep, energy, activity, judgment, behavior and the ability to even think clearly. Mood swings can happen rarely or multiple times during a year.
Symptoms of mania and hypomania, less severe than mania, include being abnormally jumpy, having increased energy, being in a euphoric state, a decreased need for sleep, extreme talkativeness, racing thoughts and easily being distracted.
There are also different types of the disorder: bipolar I and II. Bipolar I is marked by a combination of manic, hypomanic and depressive episodes. Bipolar II is less severe, involving depressive and hypomanic episodes, but no manic episodes.
Carey is taking medication for bipolar II disorder, she explained to People.
What are common treatments?
The disorder is treated in two primary ways: medications and psychological counseling (psychotherapy). Carey is in therapy and on medication, she said.
“I’m actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good,” the “Honey” singer said. “It’s not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that. Finding the proper balance is what is most important.”
Though medications and therapies are common treatments, many folks find that it’s easier and better to seek remedies with the help of a support system or a community. As more and more people share their stories, dialogues about mental illness, including bipolar disorder, will surely help others to cope with these conditions.
“I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone,” Carey said. “…It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”
How Many Kids Does Nelson Mandela Have?
Black Excellence Came Out To Honor Martin Luther King Jr. At MLK50 In Memphis
1. Roland MartinSource:Susan Henry 1 of 29
2. Rev. James LawsonSource: 2 of 29
3. Roland Martin with Kameron Whalum and Rev. Kenneth T Whalum Jr.Source:Susan Henry 3 of 29
4. Rev. Jesse JacksonSource: 4 of 29
5. Roland Martin with Noelle TrentSource:Susan Henry 5 of 29
6. Al GreenSource: 6 of 29
7.Source:Susan Henry 7 of 29
8.Source: 8 of 29
9.Source:Susan Henry 9 of 29
10. LeVar BurtonSource: 10 of 29
11. Kim Coles with Roland MartinSource:Susan Henry 11 of 29
12.Source: 12 of 29
13. Roland Martin and Rev. Kenneth T Whalum Jr.Source:Susan Henry 13 of 29
14.Source: 14 of 29
15. Kristin Clarke, president & executive director of the National Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under LawSource:Susan Henry 15 of 29
16.Source: 16 of 29
17. The Lorraine MotelSource:Susan Henry 17 of 29
18.Source: 18 of 29
19. Tamika MallorySource:Susan Henry 19 of 29
20.Source: 20 of 29
21. Leaders of the Women's MarchSource:Susan Henry 21 of 29
22.Source: 22 of 29
23. Gina BelafonteSource:Susan Henry 23 of 29
24.Source: 24 of 29
25. Michael Eric DysonSource:Susan Henry 25 of 29
26.Source: 26 of 29
27. Rep. Barbara LeeSource:Susan Henry 27 of 29
28.Source: 28 of 29
29.Source: 29 of 29
What Is Bipolar Disorder? Mariah Carey Opens Up About Battle With Mental Health was originally published on newsone.com