Mariah Carey describes seeking treatment for bipolar disorder

The singer-songwriter told People magazine, ‘I’m hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted’

Mariah Carey has discussed her experiences with bipolar disorder for the first time in an interview with US celebrity magazine People. The multimillion-selling singer said that she was first diagnosed with the disorder in 2001, when she was hospitalised for a physical and mental health breakdown: “I didn’t want to believe it.”

The singer, who is in her late 40s, said that it wasn’t until recently that she sought treatment following “the hardest couple of years I’ve been through”. In 2014, Carey separated from husband Nick Cannon, the rapper and TV host with whom she has twins, Moroccan and Monroe. In January 2016, she announced her engagement to Australian billionaire James Packer, but announced in October 2016 that the engagement had ended.

“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she told the magazine. “It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that any more. 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.”

I'm grateful to be sharing this part of my journey with you. @MrJessCagle @people https://t.co/jy1fOk4mMK pic.twitter.com/9E2D2OTARo

— Mariah Carey (@MariahCarey) April 11, 2018

Carey said that she was currently in “a really good place”, and hoped that talking about her experiences would help change perceptions of the disorder. “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.”

Initially, Carey believed she was experiencing a severe sleep disorder. “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 characterised 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.”

People reports that Carey is in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II disorder, which is characterised by episodes of hypomania and major depression and symptoms including insomnia, irritability and hyperactivity. A bipolar I disorder diagnosis requires the experience of at least one full manic episode.

Carey told People that she has been in the studio recording her 15th album, which follows her 2014 album Me. I Am Mariah... The Elusive Chanteuse. The record is expected to be the first release on Butterfly MC Records, Carey’s new joint venture with Sony subsidiary Epic.

In July 2017, it was reported that Carey was co-executive producing a scripted drama about her life for American network Starz.

Contributor

Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Catherine Zeta-Jones checks into clinic for bipolar disorder treatment
Publicist confirms Catherine Zeta-Jones is undertaking treatment in US following reports of stay in Connecticut hospital

Amy Fallon

13, Apr, 2011 @9:52 PM

Article image
Kim Kardashian requests compassion for Kanye West's bipolar disorder
The rapper’s recent string of erratic tweets prompted his wife to comment on his mental health for the first time

Laura Snapes

22, Jul, 2020 @3:56 PM

Article image
‘I bathe in milk': Mariah Carey on bossiness, breakups and being bipolar
Simon Hattenstone was told Mariah Carey would only talk about her Christmas tour. But the singer opens up about controlling men, family troubles and her diva demands

Simon Hattenstone

04, Jun, 2018 @5:51 PM

Article image
Mariah Carey sued by sister Alison for 'emotional distress' arising from memoir
Alison Carey describes Mariah as ‘heartless, vicious’ in lawsuit following pop star’s publication of The Meaning of Mariah Carey in 2020

Ben Beaumont-Thomas

03, Feb, 2021 @10:27 AM

Article image
Mariah Carey review – gold-plated pop diva cements her legacy
With her classic hits front and centre, Carey showcases her vocal range and camp persona with some incredible, playful performances

Michael Cragg

26, May, 2019 @11:39 AM

Article image
Sinéad O'Connor cancels tour owing to bipolar disorder
Singer announces cancellation of North American tour on Twitter, saying she wishes to be 'out of limelight and showbiz'

Sean Michaels

24, Apr, 2012 @11:14 AM

Article image
Mariah Carey review – delightful diva is all you want for Christmas
With sugar-plum fairies, drummer boys and Mariah hitting those incredible high notes, the only thing missing from this high camp festive show is live reindeer

Caroline Sullivan

12, Dec, 2017 @11:09 AM

Article image
Ellen Forney: a graphic memoir of bipolar disorder

John Crace: For years cartoonist Ellen Forney struggled to find effective treatment for her condition. Now she has created Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo & Me, a deeply personal hand-drawn book that details her experiences

John Crace

01, Sep, 2013 @5:30 PM

Article image
Lithium should be more widely used for bipolar disorder, researchers say
Lithium is most effective drug in reducing self-harm and suicide, and bad reputation is misplaced, study suggests

Denis Campbell

14, Aug, 2016 @4:52 PM

Article image
Hooray, Mariah Carey is single and seeking a man online
​But what sort of date would the diva who took over Disneyland to renew her marriage vows want?

Marina Hyde

11, Jun, 2015 @8:00 PM