Selena Gomez candidly spoke about her bipolar disorder diagnosis in a recent episode of Bright Minded, a celeb-filled Instagram Live series produced by Miley Cyrus to help promote mental and spiritual well-being during social distancing.
In the 20-minute discussion with Cyrus, Gomez stated that after years of going through “a lot of different things” she realized that she was Bipolar. The realization prompted her to seek help at McLean Hospital, a Harvard affiliated institution in Boston, where the diagnosis was confirmed. While self-diagnosis is a bit problematic, Gomez’s continued self-awareness of her fluctuating mental status has been key in her road to an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
“I went to one of the best mental health hospitals in America, McLean Hospital and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realized I was bipolar.” – Gomez
Gomez first went public about her mental health issues in 2016, when she revealed that she would be stepping away from the spotlight and seeking professional treatment due to continued struggles with panic attacks, severe anxiety, and depression. Gomez again sought help to manage her anxiety and depression in 2018 by attending a two-week wellness program in New York City.
“I am a believer of therapy … I wish I could have done a lot of things and experienced things maybe a little differently,” she said. “I go to therapy. It’s just one of the most important things — to get to know yourself. Not saying everyone in the world has to do it! But I do think that it’s helped me understand myself and my childhood a lot better.” – Gomez
Gomez’s Bipolar Disorder diagnosis comes just three years after the star underwent a kidney transplant due to complications with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), an inflammatory autoimmune disorder that Gomez has struggled with most of her life. The key characteristic of Lupus is organ system damage caused by the body’s immune cells attacking healthy tissue—particularly in the renal and vascular systems.
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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. 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. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith
The comorbidity of SLE and Bipolar Disorder presents a difficult obstacle to Gomez’s treatment as many (if not most) medications for Bipolar Disorder have negative side effects on liver and renal function. Gomez has faced this problem head-on by committing herself to learning as much as she can about her condition. The knowledge has helped her conquer her fears and accept the long treatment road ahead.
“When I know more information it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me when I know it” – Gomez
Gomez also addressed overcoming the stigma of mental illness, an issue that is exceptionally prevalent in southern, Latinx, and African American communities. In seeking help and speaking out publicly, Gomez found the strength to overcome the associated fear of being stigmatized.
“I think people get scared of it and I’ve seen it, even in my own family… I’m from Texas, it’s not known to talk about your mental health. You’ve got to seem cool, and then I see anger built up in children, teenagers or adults because they are wanting that [to talk about it] so badly. So, I just feel like when I finally said what I was going to say, I wanted to know everything about it and it took the fear away.”
Check out the full episode of Elton John, Kerry Washington, Selena Gomez, and Jimmy Fallon below: