Aaron Carter’s life has changed a lot since the days of “I Want Candy.” The 31-year-old singer recently opened up about his mental health issues on an episode of The Doctors, and it’s clear that he’s been dealing with a lot.
According to People, Carter shared his multiple diagnoses as well as the medications he's been prescribed for his conditions in an exclusive clip for an upcoming episode of the show—and he didn't hold any details back.
“The official diagnosis is that I suffer from multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, acute anxiety; I’m manic depressive,” Carter says in the clip. “I’m prescribed to Xanax, Seroquel, Gabapentin, Hydroxyzine, Trazodone, Omeprazole.”
He gave the audience a close-up look of the numerous medications he is taking, showing off all of the pill bottles in a large plastic bag. “This is my reality … hi,” he said. “I have nothing to hide."
In addition to opening up about his mental health issues on the show, Carter also stopped by to confront his mother about her drinking addiction. Carter shared that The Doctors saved his life when he first went on the show in 2017 and dealing with drug addiction, among other issues, and now he "wants that for his mom."
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But back to Carter's mental health reveal: His conditions are all serious (but treatable) mental health conditions that are recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Multiple personality disorder, which is clinically referred to as Dissociative Identity Disorder, is a condition where two or more distinct personalities develop in a single person, which is often noticed first by family and friends. According to the APA, people with this condition can suffer from serious memory gaps and can be the result of traumatic events in one’s childhood.
Schizophrenia, on the other hand, is a mental disorder that can cause symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, thought disorders and cognitive impairment. It’s incredibly rare, with less than 1% of Americans diagnosed with the disease. There is no cure for schizophrenia, but symptoms can be managed with psychotherapy and antipsychotic medications, such as Seroquel (which, again, Carter is currently taking), per the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Anxiety disorders are characterized by excessive anxiety over a number of different factors and can manifest themselves in symptoms like feeling restless, being on-edge, having difficulty concentrating and irritation. Anxiety disorders cannot be cured, but, along with psychotherapy, anti-anxiety medications like Xanax can help alleviate the symptoms. Hydroxyzine, another of Carter's medications, can also help treat anxiety disorders.
Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic depressive illness, has many different types. While Carter didn’t specify which exact type he was diagnosed with, all manic depressive disorders share a similar quality: extreme mood swings. These can include periods of erratic, energized behavior, and quickly switch to periods of depressive, low energy behavior. Like the previous disorders listed, this mental illness cannot be cured, but symptoms can be alleviated through psychotherapy and medication.
While its unclear exactly why Carter is using each medication he is taking, NAMI says that certain medications can be used off-label, meaning they can be taken to treat other conditions they are not approved by the FDA to treat. For example, both Gabapentin and Trazodone are considered off-label medications for mental health conditions, per NAMI. Gabapentin, which is typically used to treat seizures, can also be used to help treat alcohol dependence and social anxiety. Trazodone is typically prescribed as an antidepressant, but can also be can be used to treat insomnia.
Carter's two-part interview on The Doctors will air Thursday, September 12, and Friday, September 13.
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