Mariah Carey has revealed for the first time that she has bipolar disorder.
In a candid interview with People, the singer says she was first diagnosed in 2001 after she was admitted to hospital for a physical and mental breakdown. However, it is has taken until recently for her to seek treatment.
“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she said. “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.”
She is now in therapy and takes medication for bipolar II disorder, which involves severe bouts of depression, coupled with hypomanic episodes that occur in cycles.
"I’m actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good," she says. "It’s not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that. Finding the proper balance is what is most important."
Carey thought she had a severe sleep disorder, but later realised what she was experiencing was a form of mania.
“But it wasn’t normal insomnia and I wasn’t lying awake counting sheep," she said. "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 characterizsd 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.”
Having addressed her condition and finding ways to help manage it, Carey says she wanted to talk about her battle with bipolar to help remove the stigma surrounding it.
"It can be incredibly isolating," she said. "It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”
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