Iconic pop singer Mariah Carey just went through “the hardest couple of years” of her life. In a candid new interview, the 48-year-old confirmed that she has been battling bipolar disorder since 2001 — and we’re admiring her for speaking out on such a sensitive topic.

“I didn’t want to believe it,” she told People of her condition in a story published on Wednesday, April 11. “Until recently I lived in denial and isolation and in constant fear someone would expose me.”

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She was first diagnosed 17 years ago after being hospitalized for a mental breakdown, and after all this time, she just recently sought out treatment. “It was too heavy a burden to carry and I simply couldn’t do that anymore,” Mariah added. “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.”

Since coming to terms with her disorder after a nearly two-decade-long silent battle, the “All I Want For Christmas Is You” singer is taking medication and is in therapy to cope with her frequent depression and hypomania. “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 revealed.

It took Mariah — who is a mom to six-year-old twins Monroe and Moroccan with ex Nick Cannon — a long time to speak out, but she felt now was the perfect time. “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,” she confessed. “It does not have to define you and I refuse to allow it to define me or control me.” You go, girl!