She was first diagnosed in 2001 — after her bizarre appearance on MTV’s “TRL” which resulted in her hospitalization, she says “I didn’t want to believe it.” It was only in recent years, after her marriage and divorce from Nick Cannon and the birth of their twins, her E! reality show her disastrous New Year’s Eve appearance in 2016 and multiple managers that she sought treatment.
“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she says. “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.”
She is now in therapy and taking medication for bipolar II disorder, which involves periods of depression as well as hypomania (less severe than mania). In November, she signed on with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation for management.
“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 says.
“For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder,” continues Carey, now back in the studio working on an album due later this year. “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 says she decided to come forward because “I’m just in a really good place right now, where I’m comfortable discussing my struggles with bipolar II 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.”