This week one of the world’s greatest vocalist, Mariah Carey, opened up about a silent battle that she’s been suffering from for years. Mariah covered People Magazine admitting that for years she’s been suffering with bipolar II disorder, something she and I both have in common.
I was diagnosed with a mild case of bipolar II when I lived in Houston around January of 2017. Just like Mariah, I was in denial about it because I didn’t want that stigma of being “crazy” and “unpredictable”. However, after I opened up about my mental health struggles on my “Girl, That Damn Myleeza” podcast as well as a very detailed blog post, I was flooded with tweets, DMs, texts, and emails from people saying how I helped them face their mental problems head on and stop sweeping it under the rug.
Being bipolar II, in particular, doesn’t mean you change your mind a lot. It also doesn’t mean you’re dangerous, super erratic, and always unstable. What happens is you go through long periods of severe depression then long periods of hypomania, or random bursts of energy.
Me, personally, when I get into my hypomania, I feel very pressured. What I mean by pressured is every idea that I have been brainstorming on, I feel like I must do it now and if I don’t do it now I’m letting everyone I love down. My work ethic increases so much that I burn myself out. I mean having work ethic and being super dedicated to a task is important, but this level of work ethic seems mentally unhealthy. Then maybe a few months later, I feel depressed and I’ll isolate myself from the people I care about.
One of the biggest misconceptions about being bipolar is that you can’t live a normal life, which is absolutely false. With proper medication and therapy, it’s completely possible to live a healthy, normal life. Lucky for me, I don’t have to take my medication as much as I had to when I was first diagnosed, but when I feel like I’m going to one of my episodes, I’ll take it to level me out and put me back in focus.
My heart smiled when the skinny legend opened up. Celebrities have the platform and the influence to break the mental health stigma that your mental health diagnosis should be kept in a little box and thrown into the middle of the Pacific Ocean so that no one can know about it. The more people of influence open up about their mental health, the more lives will be saved.