Mariah Carey was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder when she was hospitalized in 2001 for having a physical and mental breakdown. At the time, she said she didn't believe it.
At first, she wasn't seeking treatment for her bipolar, but she changed her mind recently because she said the past few years have been "the hardest couple of years I've been through." In 2014 she divorced husband Nick Cannon, who she shares two children with. She was then engaged to Australian businessman James Packer, and they split in 2016. Her E! reality show Mariah's World was canceled after one season.
"I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me," she told the magazine. "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."
Mariah is now in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II, which involves depression and hypomania. She said her medication doesn't make her feel too tired or sluggish. For a long time, she thought she had a severe sleep disorder because she never slept, constantly worked and had an intense fear of letting people down. This turned out be a form of mania, not insomnia. Eventually, she would hit a wall, and that would be the depressive episode side of the disorder.
"I would feel so lonely and sad—even guilty that I wasn't doing what I needed to be doing for my career," she said.
The singer, who's had 18 number one hits and has sold 200 million records, is back in the studio with an album due out later this year, and the singer said she's in a much better place where she's comfortable discussing her bipolar openly.
"I'm hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone," she said. "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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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.