Photo courtesy of Hispanicize

Latino celebrities, as perfect and healthy as they may seem, can deal with tough times and struggle privately with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Studies show that more than 16%, or the equivalent of 10 million people, suffer from some type of mental illness in the Latino community, and only 34% of these have received treatment. Stigma, financial problems, and language barriers prevent everyone from receiving proper diagnosis and treatment.

Mariah Carey opens up about her mental health

Mariah Carey is one of the most famous celebrities in the world, with an incredibly successful music career and millions of albums sold around the world. The singer and actress has managed to amass a great fortune and has positioned herself as one of the best in the entertainment industry. 

However, success and fame are not the equivalents of wellness and health. The demanding schedules and lifestyle of a superstar can seriously affect mental health. So how has Mariah Carey dealt with the state of her mental health?

In the late 1990s,’ Carey’s career was in one of its best moments after the success of her album ‘Butterfly’ (1997). Everything seemed fine, and after divorcing businessman Tommy Mottola, Carey had a three-year relationship with Mexican singer Luis Miguel that ended in 2001. This was one of the triggers that led the singer to suffer an emotional and physical collapse, leading her to be hospitalized for severe exhaustion.

That same year Mariah Carey was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type II, one of the forms of bipolar disorder in which people experience depressive episodes and present some form of mania. Carey kept this diagnosis hidden for years. In a 2018 interview with People magazine, she first went public about her struggle with bipolar disorder, stating that she did not want to carry a stigma that could ruin her career.

Carey’s bravery in speaking out about such a personal and sensitive topic is to be admired. She sought help and has been in treatment ever since. Her efforts were focused on normalizing struggling with mental health and removing the stigmas around it. 

Bipolar disorder and why people don’t seek help right away 

According to the National Institutes of Health, there are four types of bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder. These disorders can produce unusual changes in people, which may be reflected in energy, mood, and the ability to perform simple day-to-day tasks or activities.

Type II Bipolar disorder, which Carey suffers from, is a less severe form of this disorder and not as extreme as Type I Bipolar disorder, in which people can suffer full-blown manic episodes. 

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the onset of these disorders occurs after the age of 25 but can occur in adolescence and very rarely in childhood. Help in dealing with this illness should be sought when the first episode occurs, but many people feel ashamed to do so because of stigmas.

In other cases, some people fail to recognize what is happening to them and may even perceive the changes produced by the disease as normal and find them as moments of productivity and creativity, as explained by psychologist Kay Jamieson in her book “Touched By Fire.”