«And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me once I know it,» she tells Miley Cyrus of her life-changing diagnosis.
by Heran Mamo
Selena Gomez openly discussed her bipolar diagnosis for the first time with Miley Cyrus on her Bright Minded Instagram Live series Friday.
Around 180,000 viewers tuned in for the ultra-popular segment between the former Disney Channel stars, who recorded a 20-minute candid conversation about mental health. After Gomez talked about her major donation to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in West Los Angeles earlier this week, where she was diagnosed with lupus in 2015, received a kidney transplant in 2017 and stayed at its mental health treatment center in 2018, the «Rare» singer recalled a trip she took to McClean Hospital, a psychiatric hospital outside Boston.
«Recently, I went to one of the best mental hospitals in…America, McClean Hospital, and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realized that I was bipolar,» Gomez told Cyrus. «And so when I got to know more information, it actually helps me. It doesn’t scare me once I know it.»
She continued: «I think people get scared of that, right? They’re like, ‘Oh!’ And I’ve seen it, I’ve seen some of it even in my own family, where I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ I’m from Texas, it’s just not known to talk about mental health. You got to seem cool. And then I see anger built up in children and teenagers or whatever young adults because they are wanting that so badly. 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.»
That’s a valuable childhood lesson the 27-year-old artist learned from her mother, Mandy Teefey, who helped ease her first-born daughter’s fear of thunderstorms. «When I was younger, I was scared of thunderstorms. And my mom bought me all these different books on thunderstorms so she’s like, ‘The more that you educate yourself on this, the more that you’re not going to be afraid.’ And it completely worked.»
The singer-actress won the 2019 McClean Award back in September for her mental health advocacy. «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 during her acceptance speech at the hospital’s annual dinner.
During her speech last fall, Gomez spoke openly about having both anxiety and depression. When she received her diagnosis, she confessed that she felt «equal parts terrified and relieved — terrified because the veil was lifted but relieved that I finally had the knowledge of why I had suffered with various depressions and anxieties for so many years. I never had full awareness or answers about this condition.»
During the Instagram Live chat, fans poured out their love for the «Look at Her Now» singer in the comments section, sending blue butterfly emojis after Cyrus disclosed to her fans earlier in the episode that Gomez had sent her the same emojis via Instagram DM, which sparked a conversation about having her on the show.
This story first appeared on Billboard.com