Mariah Carey for the first time ever opened up about her secret battle with bipolar disorder and how she’s sought treatment to deal with it.
In an interview published Wednesday in People magazine, the 49-year-old pop singer said even though she was first diagnosed with the condition in 2001, she “didn’t want to believe it.”
“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” Carey shared. “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.”
Despite being one of the most successful singers in history, with more than 18 number one hits and hundreds of millions of records sold, the “Heartbreaker” singer explained that she finally decided to get help after “the hardest couple of years I’ve been through.”
“For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder,” the singer said. “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.”
Carey shared that she’s now taking medication for bipolar II disorder and spending time in therapy.
“I’m actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good,” the singer said. “It’s not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that. Finding the proper balance is what is most important.”