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Bipolar disorder: The disease that changed Mariah Carey's life

April 13, 2018 10:42 IST

Mariah Carey has revealed that she suffers from a bipolar disorder.

Mariah

Photograph: Kind courtesy Mariah Carey/Instagram

The singer-songwriter told People magazine that she was first diagnosed with the disorder in 2001, when she was hospitalised for a physical and mental health breakdown.

'I didn't want to believe it...

'Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me.

'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 said.

The pop diva is now in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II disorder, which involves periods of depression as well as hypomania.

'I'm actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good. It's not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that.

'Finding the proper balance is what is most important," she said.

'For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder. But it wasn't normal insomnia and I wasn't lying awake counting sheep.

'I was working and working and working … I was irritable and in constant fear of letting people down.

'It turns out that I was experiencing a form of mania. Eventually I would just hit a wall.

'I guess my depressive episodes were characterized by having very low energy.

'I would feel so lonely and sad -- even guilty that I wasn't doing what I needed to be doing for my career,' she added.

Carey said she decided to come forward because she wanted to remove the stigma attached to the bipolar disorder.

'I'm just in a really good place right now, where I'm comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder.

'I'm hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating.

'It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me,' she said.

What's bipolar II disorder?

It is a form of mental illness and causes cycles of depressive episodes followed by hypomanic periods.

According to WebMD, 'In bipolar II disorder, the 'up' moods never reach full-blown mania. 

'Most people with bipolar II disorder suffer more often from episodes of depression. This is where the term 'manic depression' comes from.

'In between episodes of hypomania and depression, many people with bipolar II disorder typically live normal lives.'

Symptoms:

People experiencing hypomania may notice a combination of the following symptoms according to Medical News Today.

  • An increase in energy or feeling more agitated
  • Feeling more upbeat or wired
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Decreased need or inability to sleep
  • Racing thoughts
  • Talking too fast or talking much more than normal
  • A tendency towards reckless behavior, such as spending too much, drinking or using drugs, or risk taking impaired decision making

Cure:

Bipolar II disorder can be hard to identify and is often misdiagnosed as major depressive disorder because symptoms of hypomanic periods are mild and unrecognised by the inidvidual says a report in Medical News Today. Treating the disorder involves a combination of medication and psychotherapy. 

(With inputs from PTI)

Rediff Get Ahead Bureau