When she was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2001, singer Mariah Carey didn't want to believe it, and only sought treatment recently after "the hardest couple of years I've been through," she says in a People magazine story.
"Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me," Carey said. "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."
"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. Finding the proper balance is what is most important," she told People.
"For a long time I thought I had a severe sleep disorder," Carey said. "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 said she decided to go public about her condition 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."
Carey is working on a new album that's due out later this year.