Mariah Carey Looks Back At Her 2001 Breakdown

Singer says the media focused on her troubles because 'it was after September 11.'

In the summer of 2001, as [artist id="976"]Mariah Carey[/artist] was promoting her film "Glitter" and its soundtrack, she began to have a very public breakdown. In July, she delivered ice cream and did a little "striptease" on "TRL," then she was hospitalized for "extreme exhaustion" and took a break from public appearances. Nearly a decade later, as she's been promoting an album and a movie again for the past few months, the singer spoke to Paper magazine about that very stressful time.

"I didn't have the right support system around me at the time," said Carey, who this fall released the critically acclaimed film, "Precious," as well as her album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel. Though her breakdown began in July, she told the magazine that the media continued to focus on her mental state for months because of September 11. "A lot of people taking shots at me had no place to go. We are friggin' ADD, this country. There's a huge ADD situation."

Carey also talked to the magazine about why she's made a point of dressing as sexy as possible since a very early age. "I have had very low self-esteem my whole life," she said. "When I was 12 or 13, I remember walking up the driveway, and this guy who was 20 — which may have been highly inappropriate — said to me, 'I like your pants,' and I was like, 'Oh, that looks good? Oh, OK, I will wear tight pants now.' "

These days, Carey has settled down with her husband, Nick Cannon, who she said makes her feel like a kid again because he acts like one himself. "All we do is have fun together," she said, adding that she hasn't always had the easiest time getting into relationships with people.

"I have always been very protective of myself," she said. "Trusting people is very difficult for me. I have seen examples of people's lives getting trashed by other people who never should have been in their lives to begin with."