By Sonja Mattison
Last week Mariah Carey disclosed her long-term battle with bipolar depression. This was a very courageous act for her to share with the public about a matter wherein such a frown is imposed upon the illness itself. Mariah has conveyed that, in so many words, that she has come to solace with her diagnosis. This is inspiring to many. Yet, she is not the only one in Hollywood, or celebrity that has made it known to the media. Others such as Jennifer Lewis, Demi Lovato, Sinead O’Connor, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chris Brown, and Stephen Fry are just a few to mention that also have bipolar depression.
More so, the fact that these icons have come forward, is great, but why it is so terrific is bipolar is a very challenging disorder. It is nondiscriminatory while it affects any society and culture. Bipolar, also classified as a mood disorder, impairs one’s ability to think coherently and make keen judgment due to uncontrollable mood swings (episodes) known as mania and depression. Hyperactivity, or euphoria, is referred to as mania. Opposed to excited behavior (mania), depression is a state of extreme sadness or “blues” that will not go away for an extended time.
Because of the rarity of this illness compared to other maladies it has been looked at as a “rare illness.” Shame is often is associated with it, which is why it is often hidden. Hence, those who have gone beyond surviving its hardships, such as Mariah Carey, and the others mentioned can be considered as extremely brave. They have set an example that awareness should be brought to the forefront to erase stigma, and instead help many.
A large percentage of individuals who encounter the illness usually are related to genetics. However, it still is not limited to genetics. Thus, looking at this dynamic, we as individuals must do our very best to affirm our daily lives with being mentally healthy. For instance, often we should give ourselves a “mental break.” We do not have to take on everything in the world, especially because we do not own it; it is not our responsibility.
Life should be taken easy , step by step despite its shortcomings. Mental health is a dynamic that should not be ignored. We should embrace being mentally healthy. Although it is quite normal to be challenged with illnesses, it does not have to hold us back from being happy. Everyday should be an attempt to be a day of sunshine.
By Sonja Mattison