Image: Getty

Gather ‘round, lambs, for a brief update about our mother and leader, Mariah Carey, who revealed that she’s been living with bipolar disorder II for over a decade.

This news comes via a People exclusive; Carey was officially diagnosed way back in 2001, but didn’t really come to terms with her diagnosis until seeking treatment after what she called “the hardest couple of years I’ve been through.” For those unclear as to what Mimi could be referring to specifically, a few events from the past couple of years come to mind: her reality show on E!; a broken engagement with an Australian millionaire; another broken relationship with her backup dancer, Bryan Tanaka; and a disastrous New Year’s Eve performance. Perhaps pushed to her limit, Carey realized that it was time to get help.

From People:

“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.”

What Carey thought was initially a sleep disorder—characterized by insomnia that was incessant and unyielding—was actually something entirely different.

“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.”

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Gotta say, this explains a lot!

Carey is now in therapy and taking medication to manage her diagnosis and is apparently back in the studio recording new music!! I can’t wait for new music and I’m glad Mimi is getting better! I dedicate this—her own song, natch—to her for inspiration; I know it is about shaking off the detritus of a shitty relationship, but I feel its message is universal enough to apply in most, if not all, situations.