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Mariah Carey's stress-related health issues

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Dorado, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Dorado

    Dorado Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was diagnosed with stress-induced dermatographia last year; my sympathetic nervous system was so sensitized from years of stress, histamine was released upon any object even lightly scratching my skin. That moment in my neurologist's office was an interesting one, as I immediately remembered reading about Mariah Carey back in the day. She had also experienced dermatographia, as well as a slew of other stress-related health issues. Years ago, her description of dermatographia fascinated me to the point of Googling pictures. How could "skin writing" be real?! I knew I occasionally had rashes, but I never realized I was actually experiencing the same exact symptom as Mariah, as mine was not quite as pronounced at the time.

    It's fascinating to look back at someone whose life is so public and see how stress (TMS) has also affected them over time and what symptoms troubled them. I went back to my favorite Mariah fan site and found a few of the many times she's addressed this. She has been open about dealing with racism and harassment, growing up poor (including having to pick between buying a bagel or riding the subway and her only pair of shoes having multiple holes as a child), abusive relationships, personal insecurities, familial dysfunction, workaholism, etc. I selected just a few of the many times she's touched on these topics, and hope that perhaps this makes people dealing with TMS feel less alone. She absolutely sounds like she could be a participant on the TMS Wiki forums!

    "Watch this," she advises, while very gently scratching down her forearm with an unvarnished fingernail. In less than a minute, the invisible line, extending from her wrist to her elbow, has turned into an angry red welt.

    "It's call dermatographia," she says with satisfaction. "Any little mark on my skin becomes red and raised." The condition is stress-related, she explains. "Today It's pretty good. It was really bad a couple of years ago." That would be the time her marriage to Sony Music Entertainment president and CEO Tommy Mottola began to unravel.

    Emotion written on skin. You could hardly dream up a more appropriate condition for a singer whose ballads, full of passion and pain, have sent tingles down millions of spines. Indeed, despite the wild success of her last album Butterfly, and the anticipation surrounding the release of her latest, #1's, a collection of her first 13 number-one hits, the last two years of Carey's life would have given hives to far less sensitive souls. There was her divorce from Mottola, a man who apparently loved too much; her hasty rebound into the arms of drool-worthy Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, prompting accusations of earlier infidelity; the endless tabloid speculation about relationships with men ranging from Donald Trump to Leonardo DiCaprio to Sean "Puffy" Combs; the collapse of Crave, her own private label at Sony; the $1.5 million lawsuit filed by a limo driver who alleged she had reneged on $40,000 in unpaid bills; which is still pending — and endless reports of prima donna behaviour, including the insistence on being photographed on her right, or "good" side.

    SOURCE: http://mariahcareynetwork.com/magazines/self98.html (The Mariah Network : Articles : Self : December 1998)

    The slightest touch brings 29-year-old Mariah out in angry, itchy red welts. The disease is called dermatographia, a condition related to hives. If a victim scratches the maddening itching, huge marks come up which can last for hours. The skin irritation becomes almost unbearable.

    Top dermatologist, Dr Marta Rendon Pellerano, said: 'Mariah's divorce and the related stress could have triggered the disease.'

    SOURCE: https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Skin+disease+strikes+singer.-a062229704 (Skin disease strikes singer. - Free Online Library)

    "The other day, I was really stressed out, and I was having heart palpitations. I know it was just that I was exhausted and had too much going on. So I had an EKG and all this stuff, and it was fine. My doctor was like, 'You never sleep; you never relax.'" As Mariah says this, we're being hustled from her town house to her limousine to go to the airport for her evening flight to Los Angeles, which comes after the interview — which was preceded by two business meetings and God knows what else. And she wonders why she feels stressed?

    SOURCE: http://mariahcareynetwork.com/magazines/jane99.html (The Mariah Network : Articles : Jane : April 1999)

    And in case you're interested in more details regarding the history behind Mariah's "TMS:"​

    "I was with people who didn't really know me, and I had no personal assistant," she says. "I'd be doing interviews all day long, getting two hours of sleep a night, if that. I was burning the candle at both ends and in the middle, and it caught up with me."

    Carey maintains that her hospitalization was caused by "a collapse from exhaustion" rather than the more complex psychological or chemical problems some rumors hinted at. "Yes, I was in a bad place emotionally, but anyone would be at that point of total physical depletion. I began seeing a therapist, and he told me, 'Look, you didn't have a nervous breakdown. It's a form of torture not to be allowed to sleep.' He said I had to start setting boundaries in life, to learn how to say no."

    "It's taken some people a while to understand that, but now they do. I've actually made up contracts that people who work with me have to sign, so they know I must have lunch breaks and dinner breaks and five or six hours of sleep a night. For so long, I had been so busy taking care of everyone and everything else, including my career, that I forgot about me. But I've learned that there are certain lines that have to be drawn."

    SOURCE: http://mariahcareynetwork.com/magazines/usatoday02.html (The Mariah Network : Articles : USA Today : November 29, 2002)

    The apartment has turned dark by the time Carey returns from the basement, and as the singer settles onto the living room sofa she savors a recent memory. "I had Easter in the apartment, and it was very nice. I had guests, friends — some of the people we talked about before," she says with a telling smile. "It wasn't stressful, you know. For so long, everything was stress-fest. I used to think that that was penance for success." Carey leans back, stretches her arms, and sighs contentedly. "Now I'm just trying to enjoy my life."

    SOURCE: http://mariahcareynetwork.com/magazines/instyle98.html (The Mariah Network : Articles : InStyle : July 1998)

    Hers wasn't an easy childhood. Her mother was white and her father part black, part Hispanic. They divorced when she was three, and Mariah says she 'felt like a freak.' She missed her father dreadfully, never quite believing he loved her. She thought fame might change that.

    Mariah lived with her mother, an Irish opera singer, and they moved 13 times to homes that were always poorer and more bohemian than anyone else's. The family stuck out like a sore thumb in their predominantly white neighborhood on Long Island, New York. Crosses were burnt on the lawn and the family dog was poisoned. Mariah's older sister Alison became a mother at 15, a drug addict and then a prostitute; she is HIV-positive.

    Mariah started singing at four and used to hide under the kitchen table, scribbling down songs when everything became too much. "People are still confused by my mixed-race background," she says. "They look at me all the time and ask, 'What are you?' I still don't know. When I was with my mother, who was white, people thought I must have a Hispanic father — they didn't realise he was black. When he picked me up they'd look at me as if I had three heads. I felt like a freak. I've just watched a tape of me at 11 setting a poem to music. At times I look happy, but then I look into the eyes of this little girl and can see she was very sad. I can remember that little girl praying, hoping, wishing for stardom. I thought it was going to solve the dysfunction in my life. It doesn't."

    "I broke my own heart by treating myself less humanely and working myself into the ground. The day it [her breakdown] happened they were trying to get me to do a video. I couldn't because I hadn't slept in five days and looked horrible. I tried to explain but nobody was listening. I got in my car and started driving. I was going anywhere I could to get away from my management, the label, from people who wouldn't stop pushing me. I decided to go my mother's house to rest and relax, but it didn't happen. I hadn't been eating and my blood sugar level was low. I got there and I passed out on the kitchen floor."

    In 1993, having left his wife and children, Tommy Mottola married her and the couple moved into a mansion in New York. Mottola was powerful, possessive, controlling, and that home soon became a prison of sorts to Mariah. He dictated the clothes she wore, her hairstyle, where she went and with whom. She was even escorted to the loo.

    Indeed, although her first album sold more than five million copies and included four number one singles, Mariah says she did not begin to guess at the fame she'd achieved until a year or so later when somebody stopped to ask for her autograph — she wasn't usually allowed out. "I don't think I'll ever truly feel as if I've made it... I was sheltered in that relationship with someone much older and very controlling. In the beginning Tommy was a sort of father figure who represented stability to me. But he became too overwhelming, too overbearing, too stifling. It was enough to kill anybody's spirit.

    "For a long while I was trapped. I was with his record company. My manager and my lawyer were his best friends. I was a kid. They were powerful men. I didn't have a father who was managing me. I didn't have a mother who was taking care of me. I was a teenager alone in New York and scraping a living together when we met."

    SOURCE: http://mariahcareynetwork.com/magazines/weekend03.html (The Mariah Network : Articles : Daily Mail Weekend : October 11, 2003)

    By her teens, Mariah was angry. She remembers bumping girls she did not like — unambiguously desirable girls such as cheerleaders — into the lockers. She knew that her route out would not be pregnancy, marriage or the comfort of drugs; instead, she saw, with a fear-driven focus that has yet to release its grip, that the arts can be a passport to approval.

    SOURCE: http://mariahcareynetwork.com/magazines/sundaytimes01.html (The Mariah Network : Articles : The Sunday Times Magazine : July 8, 2001)
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
  2. hecate105

    hecate105 Beloved Grand Eagle

    wow, she sounds a total tms candidate! but i expect many 'celebrities' are...

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