Just before dropping a much-anticipated new album, Selena Gomez took a moment to get real about mental health and medication in a new interview.
The singer told WSJ Magazine that it took years of therapy, but she’s finally gained some insight on her mental health and found a medication that helps her. Going on mental health medication, Selena said, “completely changed” her life.
“I had low self-esteem, and that’s something I work on continuously. But I feel so empowered because I’ve gained so much knowledge about what was going on mentally,” Selena told WSJ Magazine. “My highs were really high, and my lows would take me out for weeks at a time.”
“I found out I do suffer from mental health issues. And, honestly, that was such a relief,” she continued. “I realized that there was a way to get help and to find people that you trust. I got on the right medication, and my life has been completely changed.”
This isn’t the first time Selena has opened up about her mental health. In 2016, she canceled part of her Revival tour to get treatment for anxiety and depression. She’s also spoken about mental health struggles in speeches, been honest about depression and anxiety in interviews, and talked about her time in a mental health treatment facility. Through all of this, Selena has contributed to breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness, but her new honesty about medication takes that to a new level.
While it’s slowly becoming more common to hear people speaking openly about their mental health, talk of medication remains taboo. In reality, treating your mental health with medication is the same as taking medication for any other ailment. Selena’s openness about her mental health treatment can help degrade that stigma, which could increase access to proper treatment for more and more people.
Selena isn’t the only celebrity to open up about mental health medication recently. Lady Gaga recently got real about her own medication, saying that taking anti-psychotic medication helps her “tremendously.”
“Medicine really helped me,” Gaga said. “A lot of people are afraid of medicine for their brains to help them. I really want to erase the stigma around this.”
Now that she’s found a good treatment plan for her mental health, Selena said she’s feeling like her old self again — a feeling she likes.
“I remember Taylor said when I played her some of the new songs, ‘I feel like I’m seeing who you were before this,’” she said. “That makes me happy. I like feeling like that girl again.”
Related: Selena Gomez Opens Up About Mental Health Treatment
Selena Gomez is, without a doubt, an icon. She’s known for her fierce style and catchy music but she’s always made it a point to always keep it real with her fans.
Perhaps the most impactful thing she’s spoken out about is her mental health. The singer first hinted at her struggles with depression and anxiety back in 2016 and has only continued to open up about her ups and downs.
Struggling with mental health can often make you feel alone. Even though it’s 2020, mental health is still stigmatized and it doesn’t help that people who don’t understand mental illness often gaslight those who suffer from anxiety and depression.
But when celebrities like Selena open up about their own struggles with mental health, it lets others know that mental illness can happen to anyone, and most importantly there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.
Below is a timeline of every time Selena opened up about her struggles with mental health.
- 1. When She Made Her Now-Infamous Speech at the 2016 AMAs
- 2. When She Opened Up About Her First Time Seeking Treatment
- 3. When She Realized That Depression is a Never-Ending Battle
- 4. When She Returned to Instagram After Seeking Treatment for a Second Time
- 5. When She Opened Up About the Importance of Therapy
- 6. When She Received an Award For Her Mental Health Advocacy
- Selena Gomez says social media is ‘dangerous’ for her generation
- Selena Gomez Seeking Treatment After Emotional Breakdown in Hospital Following ‘Tough’ Few Weeks
- Selena undergoes a kidney transplant
- Relationship with The Weeknd
- The Justin Bieber saga continues
- Working on her mental health
- Got a showbiz story?
- Read Selena Gomez’s Emotional Speech at the American Music Awards
- Selena Gomez at the 2016 AMAs: ‘I Don’t Need Validation Anymore’
1. When She Made Her Now-Infamous Speech at the 2016 AMAs
After having to end her 2016 tour early due to health issues, Selena made her return to the public eye at the American Music Awards. Her speech alluded to her mental health struggles and inspired fans around the world. She said,
“I think it’s safe to say that most of you know a lot of my life whether I liked it or not. And I had to stop. Because I had everything, and I was absolutely broken inside. And I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down.”
“If you are broken, you do not have to stay broken.”
2. When She Opened Up About Her First Time Seeking Treatment
In 2016, she was checked into a rehab facility in Tennessee, where she stayed for three months. She later told Vogue for her April 2017 cover story,
“You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls. Real people who couldn’t give two shits about who I was, who were fighting for their lives. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was the best thing I’ve done.”
“Tours are a really lonely place for me. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically, I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable.”
She also told Vogue that she sees her therapist five times a week and has taken up Dialectical Behavior Therapy, a treatment that focuses on practicing mindfulness and taking control of your emotions.
“DBT has completely changed my life. I wish more people would talk about therapy. We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back, the girl who’s down. We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.”
3. When She Realized That Depression is a Never-Ending Battle
Shortly after her two-week stint at the Connecticut rehab facility Privé-Swiss in 2018, Selena was interviewed by 13 Reasons Why star Katherine Langford for Harper’s Bazaar for her February 2018 cover story. The pair discussed Selena’s career, her journey as a role model, and of course her mental health, where she explained that her depression was something that would never go away.
“I will always start with my health and my well-being. I’ve had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I’ve been very vocal about it, but it’s not something I feel I’ll ever overcome. There won’t be a day when I’m like, ‘Here I am in a pretty dress—I won!’”
“I think it’s a battle I’m gonna have to face for the rest of my life, and I’m okay with that because I know that I’m choosing myself over anything else.”
4. When She Returned to Instagram After Seeking Treatment for a Second Time
In October 2018, Gomez was hospitalized after issues caused by her kidney transplant, which she had in 2017. According to sources, the hospitalization led to a breakdown. Gomez returned to social media in January 2019 to let her fans know she was okay. She said in her Instagram post,
“It’s been a while since you have heard from me, but I wanted to wish everyone a happy new year and to thank you for your love and support. Last year was definitely a year of self-reflection, challenges, and growth. It’s always those challenges which show you who you are and what you are capable of overcoming. Trust me, it’s not easy, but I am proud of the person I am becoming and look forward to the year ahead. Love you all.”
5. When She Opened Up About the Importance of Therapy
Selena, who’s been the face of designer brand Coach since 2016, spoke on the brand’s podcast “Dream it Real” in April 2019 and made a point to discuss the importance of therapy in her life.
“I am a believer of therapy. I think that I have had opportunities where I kind of reflect on the younger me and I think that a lot of the times I wish I could hug my younger self. I wish I could have done a lot of things and maybe experienced things a little differently.” And that even though therapy is hard, ‘It’s amazing.’
6. When She Received an Award For Her Mental Health Advocacy
In September 2019, the Mclean Hospital awarded her with the 2019 McLean Award for Mental Health Advocacy. During her acceptance speech, Gomez explained that she was both scared and relieved when she got her official diagnosis.
“Terrified because that veil was lifted, but relieved that I finally had the knowledge of why I had suffered so many years with various depressions and anxieties for so many years. I never had full awareness or answers about this condition.”
“This doesn’t make me faulty. This does not make me weak. This does not make me less than. This makes me human. We need help, and we need each other.”
7. When She Spoke About the Power of Medication
In Selena’s first interview of 2020, she spoke with WSJ magazine ahead of her Rare album release. She admitted that some of the album was inspired by her journey with her mental health as well as her struggles with self-esteem. She said,
“I had low self-esteem, and that’s something I work on continuously. But I feel so empowered because I’ve gained so much knowledge about what was going on mentally. My highs were really high, and my lows would take me out for weeks at a time.”
“I found out I do suffer from mental health issues. And, honestly, that was such a relief. I realized that there was a way to get help and to find people that you trust. I got on the right medication, and my life has been completely changed.”
If you are currently struggling with your own mental health, here is a list of steps you can take. If you need more immediate help, please contact the National Suicide Hotline.
READ THIS NEXT
6 Selena Gomez Outfits You Can Actually Afford — And Where to Buy Them
Alysia Stevenson is a twenty-seven New York City transplant currently living in Florida with her boyfriend and three furbabies. When she’s not writing, you can find her watching beauty tutorials on Youtube or Parks and Rec for the millionth time.
Selena Gomez admits the journey to figuring out how to manage her mental health hasn’t been easy, but says she’s finally in a good place.
“My highs were really high, and my lows would take me out for weeks at a time. I found out I do suffer from mental health issues. And, honestly, that was such a relief. I realized that there was a way to get help and to find people that you trust,” Gomez, 27, told WSJ Magazine. “I got on the right medication, and my life has been completely changed.”
May 16, 201902:18
Gomez is getting ready to release her first studio album in four years on Friday. The album, called “Rare,” is earning rave reviews from critics and is being called a “danceable lesson in self-love and acceptance.”
Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.
“I feel like I was supposed to go through everything I’ve gone through,” Gomez said. “I had low self-esteem, and that’s something I work on continuously. But I feel so empowered because I’ve gained so much knowledge about what was going on mentally.”
Gomez, who got her start on “Barney,” as a child, has grown up in the spotlight. She opened up about her struggles with depression and anxiety in a speech last year, with the hope that her experience would encourage other people to seek help.
“It felt as though all of my pain, anxiety and fear washed over me all at once, and it was one of the scariest times of my life,” she said as she recently accepted the 2019 McLean Award from McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, honoring her for her work to advance the public’s understanding of mental health.
Gomez sought treatment in 2018 for anxiety and depression, one year after the singer had a kidney transplant as a result of her battle with lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease.
Hearing her diagnosis made Gomez feel “equal parts terrified and relieved,” she said.
“Although this does not mean that it has all gone away, I can say that after a year of a lot of intense work I am happier, I am healthier and I’m in control of my emotions and thoughts more than I have ever been,” she said.
Selena Gomez Seeking Treatment After Emotional Breakdown in Hospital Following ‘Tough’ Few Weeks
Selena Gomez is seeking treatment after suffering an emotional breakdown while in the hospital, a source confirms to PEOPLE.
The 26-year-old “Wolves” singer was hospitalized twice within the last few weeks, both times for a low white blood cell count, which can be a side effect for kidney transplant patients.
During her second visit, Gomez suffered a panic attack. “She has had a tough few weeks and the panic attack in the hospital was the tipping point,” a source tells PEOPLE.
“She realized she needed to seek additional help for her ongoing emotional issues. She’s surrounded by close family and has a lot of support. She’s doing better now and is seeking treatment on the East Coast.”
The singer is undergoing dialectical behavior therapy, a therapy method designed to help try to identify, and then change, negative thinking and behavioral patterns, the source says.
Image zoom Selena Gomez Angela Weiss/Getty
The news, which was first reported by TMZ, came a few weeks after Gomez announced that she is taking a break from social media.
“As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember— negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi,” Gomez added.
Around this same time last year, Gomez shocked fans by revealing that, due to lupus complications, she’d received a kidney transplant from her best friend Francia Raisa over the summer.
Gomez and Raisa, 30, opened up about the process during an interview with Today in October 2017. “My kidneys were just done,” Gomez told Savannah Guthrie. “That was it, and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life.”
RELATED: Selena Gomez Says Depression and Anxiety Is a ‘Battle’ She Will Face for the ‘Rest of My Life’
Image zoom Selena Gomez Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
“The thought of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it. And let alone someone wanting to volunteer, it is incredibly difficult to find a match. The fact that she was a match, I mean that’s unbelievable. That’s not real,” Gomez continued.
Raisa was sharing a house with Gomez when she realized how weak her friend was becoming.
“One day she came home and she was emotional. I hadn’t asked anything. I knew she hadn’t been feeling well,” the Grown-ish actress said. “She couldn’t open a water bottle one day. She chucked it and she started crying. And I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ and that’s when she told me. And she goes, ‘I don’t know what to do. The list is seven to 10 years long.’”
Raisa continued, “It just vomited out of me: I was like, ‘Of course I’ll get tested.’”
Raisa explained that because they were in an “emergency situation,” she completed her testing in a day — a process that usually takes about six months.
Image zoom Selena Gomez and Francia Raisa Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic
The recovery process was tough. The women were unable to do anything, from putting on underwear to taking a shower, without assistance. Gomez also said that they were on bed rest and only allowed to walk for an hour each day.
Raisa said the experience brought them even closer. “I am beyond grateful that God would trust me with something that not only saved a life, but changed mine in the process,” she said.
Gomez has been open about her battle with lupus for several years, and first revealed in 2015 that she’d undergone chemotherapy to treat the disease. Lupus causes the immune system to attack its own organs and tissues and can affect the whole body.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, about half of all cases of systemic lupus affect a major organ such as the heart, lung, kidneys or brain. In some cases, it can take years for the disease to be diagnosed and properly treated.
- By Melody Chiu @chiumelo
Selena Gomez has been hospitalized twice in the last two weeks, TMZ is reporting, due to complications from her kidney transplant. Multiple sources told the outlet that Gomez had an “alarmingly low” white blood cell count, was released days later, then readmitted because it persisted.
People reports that Gomez is now undergoing dialectical behavior therapy for anxiety and depression after having a panic attack in the hospital during her second visit. “She has had a tough few weeks and the panic attack in the hospital was the tipping point,” a source told the outlet.
“She realized she needed to seek additional help for her ongoing emotional issues. She’s surrounded by close family and has a lot of support. She’s doing better now and is seeking treatment on the East Coast.”
E! further explained why Gomez decided to seek treatment: “Selena has been trying really hard recently to remain focused, and not let her health affect her,” its source said. “She has been actively writing new music, and moved to Orange County for a change of pace and a fresh breath of air. Ultimately, with all of her arising health issues, Selena started to feel super overwhelmed.”
Gomez announced she was taking a break from social media at the end of September. Per TMZ, the last time she was seen out was September 27.
Gomez announced her break on Instagram, writing, “As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember- negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”
This post has been updated to include detail on Gomez’s current status.
Alyssa Bailey News and Strategy Editor Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton).
Selena is back and better than ever (Picture: REX/Instagram)
Selena Gomez is back, and fans couldn’t be happier.
After dropping the seemingly shady AF Lose You To Love Me yesterday, the 27-year-old has released Look At Her Now, an empowering bop that seems to celebrate where Selena is now in her life.
She sings about ‘dodging bullets’ and losing trust in a former flame, before marking her single status with the lyrics: ‘She knows she’ll find love, only if she wants it.’
It’s a triumphant return for Selena, who has suffered through health issues and break-ups over the past two years – but nothing can hold this girl down.
Selena undergoes a kidney transplant
Selena lives with the autoimmune disease Lupus, which causes inflammation to the joints, skin and other organs, and in 2017, she was forced to undergo a kidney transplant due to the damage caused to her kidney.
In September 2017, the Hands To Myself singer revealed she had a transplant earlier that year, with her friend Francia Raisa donating a kidney after discovering she was a match.
Sharing a picture from her hospital bed, holding hands with Francia, Selena wrote on Instagram: ‘I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health.
‘I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa.
Francia donated a kidney to Selena (Picture: Instagram)
‘She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made.’
Speaking on NBC’s Today, Selena said: ‘It really kind of life or death. My kidneys were just done. That was it and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life.
‘That was the day when I came home when I found out and she volunteered and did it.’
Journalist Savannah Guthrie asked: ‘You feel like Francia saved your life?’, with Selena replying: ‘Because she did. That’s it.’
Grown-ish star Francia, 31, also revealed that complications during surgery nearly killed the popstar, telling W: ‘A few hours after our surgery, I woke up and had a text from her that said, “I’m really scared.” My kidney was very active, and when it turned it broke an artery.
‘They had to take her into emergency surgery and get a vein from her leg and build a new artery to keep my kidney in place. She could have died.’
Relationship with The Weeknd
In January 2017, Selena and The Weeknd were seen canoodling outside Giorgio Baldi restaurant in Hollywood, and a few months later, they confirmed their relationship as they went public at the Met Gala.
It is believed the singer, real name Abel Tesfaye, was one of Selena’s biggest supports throughout her kidney transplant, and in his song Call Out My Name, he sings: ‘I almost cut a piece of myself for your life’ – hinting he offered his own kidney.
Selena and Justin dated for 10 months (Picture: Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
However, in October, the pair had split, as Selena began to be spotted with her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber.
And things seemed to turn sour, if we go by The Weeknd’s lyrics on his album Dear Melancholy.
On Call Out My Name, he sings: ‘Guess I was just another pit stop, ‘Til you made up your mind, You just wasted my time.’
And seemingly expressing regret over his split from Bella Hadid – who he got back together with after his and Selena’s break-up – he sings: ‘Wasted times I spent with someone else, She wasn’t even half of you.’
The Justin Bieber saga continues
Selena and Justin were the ultimate teen couple when they began dating in 2010, and have had an on-off relationship ever since.
After Selena’s split from The Weeknd, the star was pictured on numerous occasions with the Biebs, and in November 2017, it was claimed they were officially back together.
Justin was apparently encouraged by his pastor Carl Lentz to get back together with his teenage sweetheart, and things seemed to be going swimmingly for the pair.
Justin and Selena reunited in late 2017 (Picture: Backgrid)
However, in March 2018, it was claimed Jelena was over again due to disapproval from Selena’s mum Mandy Teefey.
A source told Us Weekly: ‘Justin’s family loves Selena, but Selena’s family has put her in a very conflicting spot because they still don’t trust Justin. Selena has tried to convince her family that Justin has changed … but her family just isn’t budging right now.’
And just four months later, Justin was engaged to Hailey Baldwin, who he had started dating a month prior.
Later that year, Justin and Hailey tied the knot, and the lovebirds had their second wedding last month following 2018’s religious ceremony.
Justin has married Hailey Baldwin (Picture: Hailey Bieber/Instagram)
Selena seemingly addresses her ex’s marriage in Lose You To Love Me, with the star singing: ‘In two months you replaced us, like it was easy, made me think I deserved it in the thick of healing.’
The former Disney star told E! News: ‘I wrote this song over a year ago. It’s obviously a very emotional song for me.
‘It’s interesting to see how far I’ve come from that point to now. Me sharing my story is exactly what I’ve always done. I can’t be unauthentic. I can’t pretend that I’m not going through something when it’s obvious that I had been.’
Working on her mental health
Following Justin’s marriage and a tough two years, Selena reportedly checked into a mental health facility following an ’emotional breakdown’.
Selena was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center twice in two weeks for an ‘alarmingly low’ white blood cell count, and fell into a ‘downward spiral’.
She was later treated with dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) at an East Coast psychiatric facility, and was said to feel ‘refreshed’ after the treatment.
Got a showbiz story?
If you’ve got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we’d love to hear from you.
MORE: Celine Dion ‘so very proud’ of twin sons on ninth birthday: ‘Double the laughter and double the love’
MORE: Pregnant Jenna Dewan glowing as she enjoys New York stroll with Steve Kazee
Read Selena Gomez’s Emotional Speech at the American Music Awards
Selena Gomez spoke Sunday at the American Music Awards, using her first public appearance since she took a break from her career to focus on her mental health to deliver an emotional message to critics and fans alike. She won the award for Favorite Female Artist — Pop/Rock.
Read her full remarks below, via our partners at Entertainment Weekly:
“In 2014 this stage was actually the first time that I was authentically, 100 percent honest with all of you. I think it’s safe to say that all of you know my life whether I like it or not. I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside. I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down. I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram. I want to see what’s in here . I’m not trying to get validation nor do I need it anymore. All I can say from the bottom of my heart is I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to share what I love every single day with people that I love. I have to say thank you so much to my fans because you guys are so damn loyal and I don’t know what I did to deserve you. If you are broken you do not have to stay broken. If that’s anything whether you respect me or not that’s one thing you should know about me. I care about people. Thank you so much for this. This is for you.”
Gifts: The 100 Most Influential Images of All Time
Most Popular on TIME
Contact us at [email protected]
Selena Gomez at the 2016 AMAs: ‘I Don’t Need Validation Anymore’
Selena Gomez’s break from the spotlight came to an end on Nov. 20, when she accepted the American Music Award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist — but she definitely made sure to address her personal struggles in front of millions.
“In 2014, this stage was actually the first time that I was authentically 100 percent honest with you,” she started her speech, referencing her heart-wrenching AMAs performance of “The Heart Wants What It Wants.”
“I think it’s safe to say that a lot of you know a lot of my life whether I liked it or not and I had to stop. Because I had everything, and I was absolutely broken. And I kept it together and I swore I would never let you down, but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down.” Gomez continued, “I’m not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore.”
Choking back tears as she delivered her heartfelt speech, Gomez sent hope to those who have gone through the same things she has in the past couple of years. “If you are broken, you don’t have to stay broken.”
Watch Gomez’s full speech below.