A publicly-deemed ‘diva’ and one of the world’s biggest pop stars, Mariah Carey, has revealed her longtime battle with bipolar disorder in a cover story interview with People magazine. Carey is notorious for her voice and public attitude, both of which can pack a big punch. But her recent announcement gives some insight into her public outbursts and personal strife throughout her career.
Carey says she was diagnosed in 2001 after being hospitalized for a mental and physical breakdown, a situation she “didn’t want to believe.” She went on to tell the magazine that up until recently she “lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear that someone would expose” her illness. “It was too heavy a burden to carry, and I simply couldn’t do that anymore,” she said. “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.”
The past few years haven’t been too kind to the singer, both professionally and personally. She told the magazine she recently received more treatment over the past few years to treat her cancelled E! reality show, Mariah’s World, a divorce, and later separation from her former billionaire fiancé. Talk about a whirlwind of disappoint.
It would be fair to say that most people wouldn’t jump to the conclusion of having bipolar disorder, to any degree, upon experiencing certain symptoms. Carey thought she was suffering from “severe sleep disorder” at the time. Upon further investigation, she realized her feelings ran deeper than insomnia. “I was irritable and in constant fear of letting people down,” she said. “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 also credits self-esteem issues from childhood to her mania in a different interview with the New York Post’s Page Six. “Growing up different, being biracial, having the whole thing where I did not know if I fit in,” she said. “That is why music became such a big part of my life, because it helped me overcome those issues. Sometimes it is hard to let your guard down.”
But all is not lost for the butterfly queen. She is reportedly working on a new album due out later this year that could possibly break her record of the most Number One singles on the Billboard Hot 100 (making it 19). A show based on her life is also in the works for the Starz network, directed by herself and Brett Ratner.