Mental illness is no joking matter and there is still a real stigma surrounding it. This can leave people feeling ashamed, some may fear getting help out of that stigma, and that helps no one. It can have an major impact on health and hopefully with more celebrities being open about their own mental illness, it can encourage others and give them the push and support to seek help from their doctor. Because you never really know what someone is dealing with and the person who is trying to sort through an un-diagnosed mental illness can feel misunderstood. Just ask Mariah Carey, who has always been labeled things like “crazy” or “diva” or “unbalanced.”
The singer and mother of two has always been pretty private about her life, but recently she spoke with PEOPLE about her mental illness, getting diagnosed with bipolar, and the struggles she’s had over the years. She is getting surprisingly candid.
According to PEOPLE, Mariah was first diagnosed in 2001 when she was hospitalized for a mental and physical breakdown. But, she struggled with acceptance. “I didn’t want to believe it,” the singer tells PEOPLE editor in chief Jess Cagle.
It wasn’t until the past few years that she calls “the hardest couple of years I’ve been through” that Mariah Carey really dug in and looked into 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.”