While mental health issues are being discussed more and more often in public forums, stigma still remains that can lead people to feel alone when they most need help.
Pop icon Mariah Carey is certainly familiar with this feeling of isolation.
She takes medication and goes to therapy for bipolar II disorder, which involves it involves at least one episode of major depression and at least one episode of hypomania (less severe than a full manic episode, but still disrupts sleep and involves hyperactivity).
However, she hasn't always felt comfortable with her diagnosis.
When she first discovered she was bipolar back in 2001, “I didn’t want to believe it,” Mariah told People.
Thankfully, the Grammy Award-winner is now receiving the treatment she needs after what she has deemed 'the hardest couple of years I’ve been through'.
“Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me. It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore," the mum admitted.
"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.”
The singer says that between therapy and medication, she's feeling like she has found balance in her life.
“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,” Mariah said.
The singer explained that at first, she thought she had a severe sleep disorder.
“But it wasn’t normal insomnia and I wasn’t lying awake counting sheep," the vocal sensation recalled.
"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 characterised 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.”
Now, though, Mariah says she is '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," she told People.
"It can be incredibly isolating. It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.”
We are happy to hear that Mariah is doing well, and we're sure her story is giving hope to others dealing with their own mental health.