The Grammy-winning songstress shared that she was first diagnosed in 2001 after being hospitalized for a physical and mental breakdown, but that she "didn't want to believe it." She’s since sought treatment after enduring the “hardest couple of years” of her life.
“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she told the mag. “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, who was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder, which involves stages of depression as well as hypomania, initially thought she had a sleep disorder.
“For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder," she continued. "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."
She’s now adjusting to her new reality.
"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 shared. “Finding the proper balance is what is most important. … I'm just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II disorder," Mariah concluded. "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."
Click here for more from her cover story.