Mariah Carey Reveals She Has Been Secretly Battling With Bipolar Disorder

Mariah Carey has made a surprise revelation: she has been battling bipolar disorder.

In a PEOPLE magazine cover exclusive, the songbird lifts the lid on a her struggle with the illness – which she says she was diagnosed with way back during her infamous 2001 breakdown and hospitalization.

 

Speaking on her reaction at the time, Mimi says: “I didn’t want to believe it.”

In the years that followed, she battled to keep her condition under wraps and only sought help very recently.

She explained:

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

Carey, who stressed that her new album will arrive later this year, is in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II disorder. Though less severe than bipolar I, it can still be defined by periods of depression, hypomania, irritability, sleeplessness, and hyperactivity.

Elaborating on her symptoms, she added:

“For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder. But it wasn’t normal insomnia and I wasn’t lying awake counting sheep. I was working and working and working … I was irritable and in constant fear of letting people down. It turns out that I was experiencing a form of mania. Eventually I would just hit a wall. I guess my depressive episodes were characterized by having very low energy. I would feel so lonely and sad — even guilty that I wasn’t doing what I needed to be doing for my career.”

With her status now revealed, Carey is optimistic about the future:

“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.”

The singer joins the likes of Demi Lovato and Britney Spears on the list of notable names open about their struggle with the disorder.

 

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