Mariah Carey has revealed her private battle with bipolar disorder.

In an interview with People magazine, the 48-year-old pop icon said she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder back in 2001, during her much publicised physical and mental breakdown.

“I didn’t want to believe it,” she said of that dark time. In the years that followed, she experienced up-and-downs in both her career and personal life, including her split from ex-husband Nick Cannon.

“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she says.

“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 says she’s now in therapy to help manage bipolar disorder II, which involves periods of depression as well as hypomania, but is considered less severe than mania associated with bipolar disorder I. Common symptoms of bipolar disorder II include sleeplessness and irritability.

“For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder,” added Ms Carey. “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.”

Ms Carey, who shares six-year-old twins Moroccan and Monroe with ex Cannon, told People she’s now staying focused on finding the right balance of treatment that works for her.

Visiting dembabies’ classroom.. the only way to get me back to school ????????

A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey) on

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


I’m grateful to be sharing this part of my journey with you. @mrjesscagle @people


A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey) on

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health, contact beyondblue at 1300 22 4636, 24 OR Lifeline 13 11 14.

Share your comments below

  • Goals are important for everything in life. If we don’t have goals with measurable steps to get their it makes it very hard to achieve things!


  • I wish her all the best moving forward.


  • Glad she is getting the treatment she needs. I wish her and anyone else with this problem all the best.


  • It can go some way to explaining her reported behaviour. I’m so glad she is seeking help and telling her story. It helps remove the stigma and develop awareness and understanding. I wish her all the best.


  • I think some well known people are pressured because of the jobs they have throwing them into the limelight and loss of privacy it brings with it.
    One issue is that some people cruel and continue to remind sufferers even after they have had treatment and recovered from mental health issues….and in some cases accuse them for some things they were not involved in. Some who do that have mental health issues themselves but will not recognise it and seek treatment for themselves.


  • Mental illness impacts on many people from all walks of life and when high profile people speak out it does help others to know they are not alone. Wishing her and everyone that struggles with mental illness all the best.


  • Good on her for sharing. Glad she took the step to seek help and found her balance back. Her twins are gorgeous.


  • Quite a few celebrities are now starting to speak out about mental illness, which is a good thing.

    • I agree – the more public awareness and high profile the better for the community and for people knowing they are not alone.


  • More celebrities should be honest about mental health, they always talk about the physical health but mental health needs to be brought out into the open more. Strange that James Packer is also having mental health issues. What are these people eating or are they just striving for too much success and never resting enough.


  • It is brave for anyone with these issues to speak out.


  • Very brave of her to speak out.


  • Wow that would be so hard to deal with while being in the public eye all the time. I feel for her


  • What a brave women to come and speak out about her personal battles she is an inspiration to all women out there battling bipolar disease


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