Mariah Carey has spoken about her experience of living with bipolar disorder and how she reached out for help.

In an exclusive interview with celebrity magazine People in the US, the singer said she "didn't want to believe it" when she was first diagnosed in 2001. She is now taking medication and receiving therapy for bipolar II disorder, characterised by episodes of elevated mood (hypomania) and depression.

We need your consent to load this Instagram contentWe use Instagram to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

"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."

Carey explained she initially thought she was experiencing "normal insomnia" and was "working and working and working".

She said she was "irritable and in constant fear of letting people down" and later discovered she 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," she recounted.

"I would feel so lonely and sad - even guilty that I wasn't doing what I needed to be doing for my career."

Carey added that: "Finding the proper balance is what is most important."  

If you were affected by issues raised in this story, please visit samaritans.org, contact the 24-hour helpline on 116123 or email: jo@samaritans.org.