“No way you’re never gonna shake me, Ooh darling ’cause you’ll always be my baby” Mariah Carey
The fact that people with mental illness are coming out just illustrates how far we have left to go.
The news today is that Mariah Carey is coming out as bipolar. Just the fact that she felt compelled to hide or even deny the illness is a story in and of itself.
Apparently Mariah was hospitalized in 2001 for her mental illness. So that makes it about seventeen years that she was living with her ‘dirty little secret’. I place none of the blame on Mariah Carey for her reluctance to come out but rather on society as a whole. The world is not compassionate towards mental illness. Understand whenever a mass shooting occurs America doesn’t want to address the culture of violence but rather ‘mental illness’. People with mental illness are ostracized and treated different, they are viewed in a different, negative light.
The fact that Mariah had a wonderful career speaks volumes of what people with mental illness can do. I am sure that her profession has tremendous pressures that the normal or regular person cannot even begin to understand. I imagine that Mariah can never walk away from her stardom. That wherever she goes there is the fear that she will be recognized and have pressuring interaction with the public. Yet despite it all Mariah, with her mental illness, persevered and succeeded wonderfully.
I would submit to Mariah that part of her musical genius in fact is due to the unique makeup of her brain. That her bipolar certainly helps her incredible creativity. She should be very thankful that she could hold things together. For somebody with mental illness it is an achievement simply to hold down a job, let alone produce number one hit songs.
So what is the future Mariah? I will tell you know that by your coming out you have recruited a whole legion of fans. We are proud to claim you among our numbers. Take that as a compliment you will see that we are an accepting and loving group. Understand the being in the spotlight and being mentally ill, that you are a spokesman for our community. Whatever you do, good or bad, will reflect on the mentally ill community. Perhaps this is unfair but it is now a fact of life. There is no turning back for you nor should you wish to retreat. We are here for your support as well, we are all brothers and sisters in this life together.
So the question remains who else out there is suffering from a mental illness but is afraid to admit the truth. The story I hear is that Mariah denied her mental illness. This is a familiar song and I personally sung it several times. However my performance led to a host of trouble and a quick return to the hospital. There is nothing wrong with wishing one didn’t have a mental illness, even to the point of denying reality. Reason being is the extreme prejudice that exists in society. If society accepted the mentally ill fully I don’t believe there would be an issue.
So Mariah allow me to make a humble suggestion. Embrace your mental illness. Explore the depths of your sorrows and reveal the heights of your mania, all in song. You see I know what it is like to walk and have all of creation tremble at my footsteps. I know what it feels like to be cast into the deepest abyss of darkness without a prayer for even a faint ray of life. Articulate our story Mariah, help us to present our reality to those who don’t understand. Do this through your creative genius of song and poetry.
Your fame will work for you and against you. Because you are a star you will be accepted into circles the rank and file of the mentally ill would normally be excluded from. Your mental illness, at least on the surface, will be conveniently overlooked. After all you are first and foremost a superstar and that will not change because of your bipolar. Yet that same spotlight will pry into your privacy even more now. For you are no longer Mariah Carey the singer but Mariah Carey the singer with mental illness. I wish it wasn’t so but I don’t want to lie to you. But I know you can handle it, millions of us have already.
So welcome Mariah, if you need help reach out, there are many sympathetic ears who understand.
Please check out my personal story in my memoirs “More Than The Madness”. https://www.amazon.com/More-than-Madness-John-Kaniecki-ebook/dp/B01M2AZ0KX/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Kaniecki, J. (2018). Welcome Mariah. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 25, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/fragments/2018/04/welcome-mariah/