Mariah Carey Reveals Bipolar Diagnosis, After 17 Years Of Silence

One of the most influential female artists of our generation, Mariah Carey, has opened up about her almost 20-year struggle with mental illness.

MORE: Here’s What It’s Actually Like To Live With Bipolar Disorder

In an interview with ‘People’ magazine, the 90’s pop icon revealed she was diagnosed with bipolar II disorder in 2001. The fear of stigma pushed her to keep the battle with mental health a secret. Having lived in the spotlight for three decades made her maintain the secrecy of the diagnosis, afraid it might affect her longtime career.

“I didn’t want to carry around the stigma of a lifelong disease that would define me and potentially end my career. I was so terrified of losing everything”, said the 48-year-old singer.

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The worldwide international star said she has been ‘in denial and constant fear of being exposed’. Only after the burden became too heavy to bear did she take the decision to come forward about the mental disorder. And the favorable context helped her as well. Let’s not forget that, only a few years ago, the attitude towards mental illness has shifted dramatically, driving many celebrities to talk about their internal struggles.

MORE: Robbie Williams Reveals Battle With Mental Health: “Disease In My Head Wants To Kill Me”

But in the pop universe where Mariah blossomed, being honest about mental struggles was something unheard of. Carey became really famous at a young age, winning two Grammys when she was just 21. That put enormous pressure on the fresh young artist from the get-go.

By the end of the 2000s, she turned into a downright diva but the years that followed were not so great. She was hospitalized in 2001 for exhaustion, after a feud with her label and the ‘Glitter’ movie flop.

Over the last decade, Carey’s inconsistent live performances and the public persona stood out more than her music. Mariah Carey is now undergoing treatment for bipolar II disorder, a disease that entails sudden and extreme shifts in mood.

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