Mariah Carey Reveals 'Isolating' Experience With Mental Illness

Star tells 'People' she has bipolar disorder
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2018 9:08 AM CDT
Mariah Carey Reveals 'Isolating' Experience With Mental Illness
In this Jan. 7, 2018, file photo, Mariah Carey arrives at the Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

Mariah Carey has recently endured the "hardest couple of years I've been through," and it spurred her to seek treatment for an "incredibly isolating" issue she'd long known about but refused to completely accept. In an exclusive interview with People, the 48-year-old singer reveals she has bipolar disorder (aka manic-depressive illness, per the National Institute of Mental Health), which she says she first was diagnosed with in 2001. "I didn't want to believe it," she says, adding that she long thought she simply had sleep issues. "Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me," she notes.

Then: "I simply couldn't do that anymore." Carey, who has 6-year-old twins with ex-husband Nick Cannon, says she's now in treatment, has surrounded herself with supportive people, and is focusing on songwriting. She's also taking meds for bipolar II disorder, in which periods of depression alternate with hypomania, a milder form of mania. "I'm just in a really good place right now, where I'm comfortable discussing my struggles," she says. "I'm hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. … It does not have to define you, and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me." (Carey and billionaire James Packer called off their engagement in late 2016.)

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