“I didn’t want to believe it.”
After years of living in fear, Mariah Carey has come forward to talk about her diagnosis of bipolar disorder to help remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues.
In an exclusive interview with People Magazine, the pop diva revealed she suffers from bipolar II disorder.
Bipolar II has less intensive manic episodes than traditional bipolar disorder, but also comes with depression. The condition leads to boosts in energy and creativity, not full-blown mania with has hallucinations and psychotic events. However, this makes it harder to diagnose and treat, which can cause the problems to worsen over time, as well as an increased risk of suicide.
Mariah was first diagnosed in 2001, after a mental and physical breakdown. She had some very public moments that had fans concerned at the time, including her meltdown on MTV's TRL with Carson Daly, who just came forward with his own story about anxiety.
Initially, Mariah thought she had a sleep disorder. But part of her knew her drive to keep going wasn't normal. She shared, "I was irritable and in constant fear of letting people down. It turns out that I was experiencing a form of mania."
And when she crashed, she simply thought it was hitting a creative wall. It was the fear of failure during those lows that prevented her from looking deeper at what she was feeling.
Why wait so long to share her disorder with fans? Mariah told People:
“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. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”
Today, Mariah is being treated with medications and talk therapy for bipolar II disorder. She is also in the studio recording her 15th album.