Mariah Carey is this week’s People’s Cover Woman where she revels that she is being treated for bipolar disorder.
Although she was diagnosed with the disease in 2001 when she was hospitalized after a mental and physical breakdown, “I didn’t want to believe it,” she tells PEOPLE editor-in-chief Jess Cagle.
“I didn’t want to carry around the stigma of a lifelong disease that would define me and potentially end my career. … I was so terrified of losing everything, I convinced myself the only way to deal with this was to not deal with this.
“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… 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. As hard as this is, I also knew it was time to finally share my story.”
Read the full interview here.