Mariah Carey Opens Up About Her Battle With Bipolar Disorder For The First Time

Mariah Carey was always a celebrity who loves the media spotlight and attention. The “Queen of Christmas” has always been called the “diva” of the industry.

While she’s never turned away from sharing her life with fans, she has kept quiet on a particular issue–her diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In an exclusive interview with People Magazine, she disclosed that for over 15 years, she’s been battling her diagnosis. According to Carey, she was diagnosed in 2001 after having a breakdown, but, she “didn’t want to believe it.”

During this time, she fought off the diagnosis and didn’t want to seek help–while going through a spiral of ups and downs in her life both professionally and personally.

“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me. 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 disclosed to “People” that she’s both in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II disorder. The type of bipolar disorder she has involves depression and hypomania.

“For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder,” continues Carey, now back in the studio working on an album due later this year. “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 says she’s taking medication right now that “makes her feel good.” She emphasized that finding “the right balance” for an individual is vital for maintaining good mental health.

After sharing her story on Twitter, fans were grateful and supportive that Carey was open and honest with them and owning her diagnosis.

h/t People.