‘I don’t want people to ever look at me and think she has it all’
Selena Gomez, 30, opened up about her mental health journey, becoming friends with her bipolar disorder and embracing the unknown in a recent interview with Jay Shetty.
The Wondermind founder’s soul-baring documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me premiered on Nov. 4 and shows fans a different, less composed side of Gomez, something she was very intentional about.
“I think I really ultimately wanted people to realize that I’m really not that put together. I can be. And I feel much better now. But I don’t want people to ever look at me and think she has it all. And she’s figured it out, and she is perfect. I just want to be someone that people can genuinely walk up to and say, ‘hey, I understand what you walked through. I did too,'” she said on the On Purpose podcast.
Gomez called out that this relatability is especially important to her because she has felt pressured to appear perfect in the past.
“I felt like I had to be [perfect] when I was, you know, when I was going through relationships, I felt like I had to be a certain way. That’s why in 2016, I was talking about my body and talking about my appearance and talking about how, ‘Oh, everyone’s going to see me as this Disney kid. No one’s gonna take me seriously.’ All of those moments. That’s kind of where, yeah, that’s where all the confusion came from for me,” she said.
She also opens up about her bipolar diagnosis and how embracing the condition as a part of her has aided in her healing.
“My favorite thing I say in the documentary, ‘I have bipolar.’ I learned how to live with it, and I just have made it my friend,” she said.
Gomez, who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2019, is an adamant supporter of therapy and has been open about the fact that she takes medicine as a part of her treatment plan. Still, she admits that her journey to figuring out what works for her has not been linear.
“To be honest, I’ve been to four treatment centers, and I have a lot of opinions on rehabs if you will. There’s a lot that I don’t agree with,” she said.
But through some trial and error, she has found that accepting the reality of whatever situation she is facing at the moment is crucial.
“But what I will say is…learning lessons through dialectical behavior or cognitive behavior therapy, there is something that has always been embedded in me throughout all those different moments in my life. And that was always to recognize when something is happening to me, accepting it. And once I realized that this was something that wasn’t going to go away…it wasn’t something that was going to be fixed by going to these places. It was more so, what can I know about myself. If I go down this road, I will be triggered, and I know that feeling and know how to avoid it. However, I go to therapy. I also take medication that I fully am on and believe in wholeheartedly. And it helps me stay balanced. But I still have to deal with it,” she said.
At just 7, Gomez began her career in the entertainment industry and has spent most of her life in the spotlight, making her deeply personal journey with her mental and physical health a public spectacle — a daunting reality for many child stars.
“To be honest, I don’t know any different. That’s what is really scary sometimes. It’s really sad. Other times, this is what I’ve been given. This is the path I want to continue to walk in. I know, any moment I can quit and walk away. That’s not how I was raised to be. So, maybe if this happened later in life, I would have had a different outcome. I really had to learn the hard way on how to deal with it…not give that clickbait that people want. I do my best to try and eliminate these negative stories or other people illustrating my journey. I interrupt them with my truth and that’s what I will always continue to do. It’s me taking control of my story and no one can change that, or say anything different,” she said.
Through her documentary and sharing more of her journey, Gomez has learned a lot about the importance of embracing her imperfections and finding triumph amidst tribulations.
“I always say that there’s blessing in the breaking. And every moment that you encounter in your life, even if it’s just road rage, it’s as simple as that to maybe losing someone that you love,” she said. “There is no perfect way to heal. There’s no perfect way of dealing with something. It’s more just how am I going to be a better person?”
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