Mariah Carey Talks About Having Bipolar Disorder

In 2001, singer Mariah Carey learned she had bipolar disorder, and now she is admitting it to the world. In an People magazine cover story, Carey talks about her initial denial and her decision to open up about her diagnosis:

“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me. 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.”

“I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder. I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”

Bipolar disorder, also called manic-depressive disorder, affects about 5.7 million adults in the U.S., which is about 2.6% of the population.

Reactions to the news seem mostly positive, with comments such as this on Twitter:


This story reminds me of a TedX talk, "Everyone Is Hiding Something" about a woman's struggle with an eating disorder.

Image source.


  • What are the potential personal and professional consequences to Mariah Carey of going public with her diagnosis?
  • What do you hide about yourself that might be useful for others to know?
  • What is the value of admitting personal struggles in the workplace?
  • How does Mariah Carey's story demonstrate leadership character dimensions, such as courage, compassion, authenticity, and vulnerability?