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