Mariah Carey’s shock mental illness diagnosis

MARIAH Carey hopes that being candid about her battle with mental illness will ease the stigma associated with it.

"Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me," Carey, 48, told People in an interview.

"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 suffers from bipolar II disorder, the symptoms of which include periods of both depression and hypomania, a type of mania that's less severe than that associated with bipolar I disorder, but that can still cause insomnia, hyperactivity, irritability and feelings of elation. Periods of hypomania are typically shorter than manic periods.

"For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder," she explained of her diagnosis. "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."


Mariah Carey performs in Times Square.
Mariah Carey performs in Times Square.

"Eventually I would just hit a wall," she continued. "I guess my depressive episodes were characterised 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 past year was a roller coaster of ups and downs for the We Belong Together singer, from her New Year's Eve debacle to her triumphant return to form and everything in between. It also included a breakup and a make-up with dancer Bryan Tanaka, an E! reality show and a shake-up of her management team, replacing Stella Bulochnikov with Roc Nation.

Thankfully, things are looking up for the Elusive Chanteuse, who shares 6-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe with ex-husband Nick Cannon.

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

"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," Carey said. "It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me."

This story originally appeared in the NY Post and is republished here with permission.

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