Mariah Carey and 8 Other Stars Who Have Spoken Out About Bipolar Disorder

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Mariah Carey is not the first celebrity to speak out about being bipolar.

The 48-year-old singer recently told People that she was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder in 2001 and only recently came to terms with her condition. She is now going to therapy regularly and taking medication. 

"Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she says of keeping the diagnosis private. “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."

According to the Mayo Clinic, bipolar II disorder is a lot like bipolar I, with "moods cycling between high and low over time." However, "the 'up' moods for bipolar II never reach full-blown mania." The medical website notes that people with this condition "suffer more often from episodes of depression."

In addition to Carey coming forward about her condition, a number of other stars have been vocal about their battle with bipolar disorder.

Here are their accounts:

Demi Lovato

The 25-year-old pop star has been very vocal about being bipolar, but was adamant during an interview with iHeartRadio’s Elvin Duran last August that she does not want the condition to define her.

“I think when people refer to me as being bipolar, it’s something that is true -- I am bipolar -- but I don’t like people to use it as a label,” Lovato -- who revealed she was bipolar in 2011 --- explained. “It’s something that I have, it’s not who I am. I think Demi Lovato, activist, is something that I would really be proud of.”

Catherine Zeta-Jones

In April 2011, the 48-year-old actress checked out of a mental health facility and revealed that she was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. 

"This is a disorder that affects millions of people and I am one of them," she told People at the time. "If my revelation of having bipolar II has encouraged one person to seek help, then it is worth it. There is no need to suffer silently and there is no shame in seeking help."

Jane Pauley

In her 2001 autobiography, Skywriting: A Life Out of the Blue, the CBS Sunday Morning host opened up about being bipolar. 

"The diagnosis was a shock and a relief," she said during a 2004 interview on the  Today show. "Someone was taking charge of this. He [Gary Trudeau] was going to get his wife back.”

At the time, the 67-year-old journalist said that she was taking lithium to help with her condition. "It's just a salt," she noted on Today. "It just is stabilizing. It allows me to be who I am. A mood disorder is dangerous. You’ve got to get those dramatic waves of highs and lows stabilized.  It’s dangerous if you don't."

Carrie Fisher

The late actress was admirably candid about her mental health struggles, which she opened up about during her many interviews with ET throughout the years. Fisher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, battled manic depression and also fought drug addictions.

In one memorable 2011 interview with ET, Fisher revealed the advice she would have given her younger self. "You know, I don't think I could have told my younger self anything," she shared. "Get help -- there's not much else."

"Learn to say the words, 'I don't know,'" the Star Wars actress added. "Mean them."

Patty Duke

The Patty Duke Show star -- who died in March 2016 at age 69 -- became a major advocate for mental health awareness after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1982, a moment her son, Sean Astin, described to ET as a “watershed” for his mother’s life and legacy.

“All of a sudden, [here] was this thing that, not only was it important for her own life, because now she could design a care-giving plan, and she could get medication, and there was a name for what her series of symptoms was,” Astin explained. “But now, she had a new identity and a whole new mission. A whole new sense of purpose, and that was to share what she had gone through with other people.”

“She was one of the first public figures with a big, public profile who did that,” he further recalled. “What's so funny is, as her son, seeing her -- the real her, the authentic her -- which most people saw as well... the more she opened up, the more she shared of her pain, the more she revealed how excruciating pain can be turned into bliss.”

Maurice Benard

The 55-year-old actor was not only diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his real life, but also portrayed a man suffering from the mental illness on General Hospital.  

While on Dr. Oz in 2016, Benard revealed that he had three mental breakdowns before discovering he was bipolar. "It’s like being in a nightmare and not being able to wake up," he said of those times. "I see it as God and the devil fighting."

Maria Bello

While promoting her 2015 book, Whatever...Love Is Love: Questioning the Labels We Give Ourselves, the Coyote Ugly star opened up to ET about her mental illness. 

"I think that my disease, since I'm medicated, is a gift, because I've gone so far through extremes -- from the very bottom to the very top of human emotion and feeling," the 50-year-old actress said. "I think that I am more empathetic because of it."

Scott Stapp

In May 2015, the Creed frontman revealed he was bipolar after having a psychotic breakdown the year prior.

"I was hallucinating," he told People. "I drove around the United States for a month, following an angel that I saw on the hood of my car. In my delusional thinking, I thought my family was involved in ISIS, and that millions of dollars had been taken from me to support terrorism. All of it was nonsense. I was out of my mind."

"There's a stigma associated with it," the 44-year-old singer added. "But [my wife] Jaclyn kept telling me, 'Embrace it. We love you.' It became a big sign of relief, because finally, we had an answer."

For mental health support, contact the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance at dbsalliance.org.

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