Cape Town - Mariah Carey revealed she’s been battling bipolar II disorder, and after suffering in silence for so many years she's now speaking out.
In a new People magazine cover story, Mariah talks about having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001.
The 48-year-old singer-songwriter says she couldn’t believe it when she was first diagnosed and hospitalised.
For years after her hospitalisation, Mariah recalls: "I was so terrified of losing everything I convinced myself the only way to deal with this was to not deal with this."
After "the hardest couple of years", Mariah says she sought treatment.
"Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me. 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 adds she’s now in therapy and taking medication to manage the disorder, which is characterised by extended periods of extreme mood swings, from "ups" (hypomania, an abnormal condition of extreme excitement) to "downs" (depression).
"I'm actually taking medication that seems to be pretty good. It's not making me feel too tired or sluggish or anything like that," she said.
"Finding the proper balance is what’s most important."
Mariah, who’s mother to six-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan, added that she’s speaking out about her battle with bipolar disorder because she wants to help eliminate the stigma associated with mental health conditions.
"I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder," she told People.
"I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone. It can be incredibly isolating.
"It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”