Mariah Carey reveals struggle with bipolar disorder

Mariah Carey has revealed for the first time that she suffers from bipolar disorder.

The singer spoke to People magazine about struggling with the mental illness while being one of the world’s most successful performers.

She said she "didn’t want to believe it" after she was formally diagnosed with type-two bipolar, also referred to as bipolar II, following a mental breakdown in 2001.

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Carey did not seek treatment until fairly recently, after what she described as "the hardest couple of years I’ve ever been through". 

The years of turmoil included professional upheaval and troubles in romantic relationships.

One thing which held her back from getting treatment, she told the magazine, was the fear that she would be "exposed" as having the illness.

“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me,” she explained.

Bipolar II sufferers will have experienced both at least one episode of severe depression and symptoms of hypomania, periods of over-active and excited behaviour associated with mood disorders.

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Carey detailed her troubles with mania, saying she did not sleep and worked all night, before falling into spells of depression.

The pop star explained: "I would feel so lonely and sad — even guilty that I wasn’t doing what I needed to be doing for my career."

Carey is speaking out now, she said, because she is in "a good place" and is  "hopeful we can get to a place where the stigma is lifted from people going through anything alone".

She said of her mental illness: "It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me."