Why Mariah Carey’s 177 years of silence break my heart

https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/16/opinions/mariah-carey-bipolar-stigma-breaks-my-heart-lazzara-opinion/index.html

I am a huge Mariah Carey’s fan. I can’t wait to see her in Vegas in September.. She inspired me so much when I was a teenager and was feeling isolated for not quite fitting into a very homogeneous society that I had grew up in. Mariah is biracial, and she shared her struggle growing up biracial in 60s and 70s. But she ultimately found solace in music and she made it happen. What an inspiring story. There are many people who just hate Mariah but I love MC. She is unapologetic for being “mimi” (her nickname0, over the top diva. Why can’t she be a diva..? Anyways you can’t please everybody at the bottomline. There are people who would criticize you no matter what. That’s life. So Mariah unapologetically revealed her years of struggle with bipolar disorder.

(CNN)-Now that millions of people around the world have read in People magazine that Mariah carey lives with bipolar II disorder, many may be looking back at certain aspects of her career through a new lens. Now that they have heard from her that she was diagnosed in 2001, they can explain her surprising behavior on TRL, her frenzied public appearances before she was hospitalized for exhaustion-often PR speak for either rehab or mental health treatment-on her diagnosis.

When I read why Carey chose to wait 17 years to disclose her diagnosis, I felt heartbroken, defeated once more by a society that believes mental illness makes you dangerous, hart to talk to or unpredictable. In her itnerview with People, Carey said, “I didn’t want to carry around the stigma of a lifelong disease that would define me and potentially end my career.”

She also ntoed that, ‘Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me” a not-unfounded fear considering how outspoken her brother has been about her health. You only have to look to Twitter or Facebook to see how quickly the stigma about living with bipolar disorder spreads.

Even a logo post from 2016 claiming to praise cary is titled 7 reasons Mariah Carey is the Greatest Crazy Celebrity of All Time”

and opens by saying; who doesn’t love it when celebrities go crazy? Whether it’s Britney or Lindsay, or even Amanda Bynes.we all just plop down on the couch with popcorn and watch the spectacle unfurl. For me though, there is no one who does crazy like Mariah..

 

and yet, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 2.8% of US adults had bipolar disorder in the last year. those are millions of people who may not have acfess to security guards, and entourage, top-quality medical care, or even access to basic psychiatric treatment. If Mariah Carey, an undisputed pop star whose career has spanned 28 years and 14 records, can live in fear of stigma, there is serious work to be done.

 

i know this struggle well. On April 2, 2015, I made a decision that forever changed my life. I filed for short-term disability. I was not injured, nor was I physically ill. I had recently been diagnosed with bipolar II disorder and needed time away from work to find a medication regimen that would help me be a productive employee again.

In the months preceding my phone call to human resources, I had gone from being a top employee to one of the lowest-performing in my department due to the symptoms of my condition. My moods would cycle between normal depression and hypomania-a state of mind where I could feel anything from energized, uplifted, irritable, unreasonably ambitious or impulsive and i could barely get through a workweek without debatng taking time off. thankfully I was able to take five months away frommy job to find a mood stablizer medication that worked for me and soon felt like myself again.

I am hopful for carey’s future. According to people, she decided to speak out because I am just in a really good place right now, where i am comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder. I am hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone.

It can be incredibily isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.

I will be interested to see how Cary decides to take part in erasing the stigma of mental illness. Apparently, she decided to write a memoir, as well as record a 15th album and I hope that both will address the state of mental health in her life.

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