Mariah Carey Opens Up About Battling Bipolar Disorder For Nearly Two Decades

Featured on Blavity. Author: Malinda Janay

In a recent interview with People Magazine, Mariah Carey opens up for the first time about her battle with bipolar disorder. 

The award-winning superstar revealed she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001 after being hospitalized for a physical and mental breakdown, People reports. Despite the diagnosis, the "Fantasy" singer said she lived in denial. 

“I didn’t want to believe it,” Carey told the publication. 

It wasn't until recently hitting a rough patch that the singer-songwriter decided to finally seek treatment.

“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 is now in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II disorder. The disorder involves periods of depression as well as hypo-mania, which is less severe than the mania associated with bipolar I disorder but still causes irritability, sleeplessness and hyperactivity.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 4.4 percent of U.S. adults 18 and older experience bipolar disorder at some time in their lives.

Carey, who co-parents 6-year-old twins Morrocan and Monroe with ex-husband Nick Cannon, says that finding balance has been essential to her finding her peace.

“I’m actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good," she said. "It’s not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that. Finding the proper balance is what is most important."

“For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder,” Carey continued. “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.”

The mother of two has returned to the studio and continues to sing and write songs. Her new album is slated to be released at the end of the year.

“I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder," she said. "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.”


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