In this week’s People Magazine’s cover story, Mariah Carey reveals for the first time her secret 17-year battle with bipolar disorder after becoming terrified she would be “exposed” by someone else.
The iconic singer has been battling with the mental health condition since being diagnosed in 2001 following a mental and physical breakdown, and said the last couple of years have been her hardest yet.
“I didn’t want to believe it,” she tells PEOPLE editor in chief Jess Cagle.
Carey says she finally sought treatment recently after “the hardest couple of years I’ve been through” — years of professional upheaval, an E! reality show and romantic drama.
“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.”
She added on Instagram: “I’m grateful to be sharing this part of my journey with you”
One of the most successful singers of all time, with 18 No. 1 hits and more than 200 million records sold, Carey spent many of her years in the spotlight suffering in silence.
She is now in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II disorder, which involves periods of depression as well as hypomania (less severe than the mania associated with bipolar I disorder, but can still cause irritability, sleeplessness and hyperactivity).