Thu, Apr 12 12:12 PM |Entertainment

Mariah Carey Finally Confesses Secret Medical Diagnosis In Hopes Of Helping End The Stigma Surrounding It

Mariah Carey is a legendary diva and her antics (both on and off-stage) have kept the world entertained for decades.

However, the musical icon recently revealed some surprising information in the cover story for the new issue of PEOPLE. It seems that she was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder in 2001; around the same time of her famous breakdown, which played out super publicly.

At the time, the songstress was hospitalized for “extreme exhaustion” after her bizarre TRL appearance, which involved ice cream and stripteases. 

Now, Mariah pins this type of behavior on not “having the right support system around […] at the time.”

Mariah was actually in denial about being bipolar, so she attempted to ignore it. That is until she found herself going through “the hardest couple of years I’ve been through”, which presumably is a reference to being slammed for odd performances, a short-lived romance with billionaire James Packer, which, um, reportedly paid off handsomely for her, so all it well that ends well, and her reality show being canceled by E!, among other not-so-great career hits.
I'm grateful to be sharing this part of my journey with you. @mrjesscagle @people


“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she explained. “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.”

“I’m actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good,” Mariah noted. “It’s not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that. Finding the proper balance is what is most important.”

 “For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder,” she continued. “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 is in a much better mental space now though, so don’t worry, fans.


“I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder,” she dished. “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.”

Proud of you for speaking out, Mimi!


What exactly is bipolar II disorder? How does it compare to the usual bipolar I? Here are few facts to jot down.

Bipolar I is actually the more severe form, due to the manic episodes. While it is characterized by episodes and symptoms that can last for days (and in some cases, weeks) for bipolar II disorder the episodes aren’t as lengthy. Still, an individual finds themselves balancing similar depressive episodes as well as hypomania over time. In the latter state, they may not sleep, are irritable and experience hyperactivity.



Those with bipolar II are more likely to suffer more often from episodes of depression, as opposed to hypomania. In some cases, individuals have dealt with at least one hypomaniac episode in comparison to a number of depressive episodes.

Episodes of hypomania in bipolar II do not reach the full level of mania associated with bipolar I; the episodes are not associated with psychosis. Manic episodes are characterized by an extremely high mood that is followed by risky behaviors, including increased sexual behavior, spending sprees, gambling, substance abuse, driving very fast, etc. Because the highs of bipolar II are less intense and involve more perceived energy than usual, they are classified as “hypo,” which in full means “less than mania”/“under mania.”
Visiting dembabies' classroom.. the only way to get me back to school 😂🦋
That said, both cases of bipolar disorder come with great struggles, so just because bipolar II isn’t associated with psychosis doesn’t mean it is a “mild” form of anything. On the contrary, it has been found that bipolar II has been associated with an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior, when compared to bipolar I and clinical depression.


Bipolar II can be very hard to diagnose. A great deal of patients with bipolar disorder are initially diagnosed as having clinical depression. Because the episodes of hypomania are not as lengthy or associated with psychosis, they can also incorrectly simply be attributed to one’s personality.



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