In a new interview with Variety, the 49-year-old songstress opens up about her 2001 hospitalization — which she insists was not a “nervous breakdown.”
“It was an emotional and physical breakdown, but it wasn’t a nervous breakdown, because you don’t recover from that really,” she tells the magazine, revealing what her therapist told her: “You didn’t have a breakdown; you had a diva fit and people couldn’t handle it.”
As she recalls, “He’s like ‘You always try to be such a nice person where you smile, and when you smile everything goes away. Everybody thinks you’re fine.'”
The way she remembers it, she felt herself being stretched increasingly thin while nobody on her team was there for her.
“These people are here making money off me, why don’t they care if nobody’s got an umbrella for me, and it’s a sunny shoot?” she says. “And the minute I was like, ‘I’m not fine; I need a day off, I need a moment,’ nobody could handle it because they infantilized me from the beginning.”
According to Carey, her therapist told her that the breakdown stemmed from her desire to keep everyone around her happy. “He’s like ‘You always try to be such a nice person where you smile, and when you smile everything goes away. Everybody thinks you’re fine,'” she notes.
As for her diva-ness, it’s something about which she is very self-aware. “And by the way, I do need someone to be like, ‘Okay, we’ve got to go, you’re running late.’ Yeah, I am like a petulant child. But my true fans know this. I’m eternally 12. But we’re artists,” she adds.