Sinead O'connor is disgusted by critics who mock her fragile mental health, insisting it is equal to laughing at the infirm.

The Nothing Compares 2 U hitmaker has been dogged by rumours she has serious psychiatric conditions since her infamous appearance on American Tv show Saturday Night Live in 1992 when she ripped up a photograph of Pope John Paul Ii.

The incident, which O'Connor insisted was a protest against allegations of sex abuse in the Catholic Church, effectively torpedoed her career in the U.S. and sparked speculation the singer had mental health issues.

O'Connor was eventually diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2005, but she is adamant critics shouldn't mock her condition.

She tells British magazine The New Review, "I've had this for seven years now, but people have been treating me like I was mental ever since I ripped up a picture of the Pope on American television.

"It's been wounding and upsetting; it means facing a lot of prejudice. And it's unfair. You wouldn't abuse somebody with a broken leg by calling them a broken-legged c**t, would you? But hey, it's getting better. It is. People aren't calling me a f**king w**ker so much any more, so that's a good thing, right?"