In a new cover story for People, Mariah Carey has opened up about her mental health struggles, specifically her battle with bipolar disorder.

Carey told People that she “didn’t want to believe it” when she was first diagnosed in 2001 following a breakdown.

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“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.”

So what was it that finally prompted Carey to accept that she needed help and to shift from denial to treatment?

Well, apparently things got to be too much in recent years, with professional problems compounded with romantic entanglements and personal drama. All of that ended up combining to be “the hardest couple of years I’ve been through.”

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Now, Mariah Carey says she is in therapy and is receiving treatments for her bipolar II disorder.

“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.

Carey says that she wants to share her story so others can draw from her own experiences.

“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,” she said.