Mike MarslandGetty Images
This time last year, Selena Gomez announced she was taking a social media hiatus. Reports would emerge in October that she checked herself into an East Coast facility to seek treatment for her mental health. (Gomez was reportedly hospitalized twice before for an alarmingly low white blood cell, and People was told by a source that “she has had a tough few weeks and the panic attack in the hospital was the tipping point. She realized she needed to seek additional help for her ongoing emotional issues.”)
Gomez spoke for the first time about the decision she made to get help last fall in a speech she made last week at McLean Hospital in Boston. She spoke about her breaking point and how it led her to start working through her bigger issues.
“It felt like all of my pain and anxiety washed over me all at once, and it was one of the scariest moments of my life,” she said. “I sought support, and the doctors were able to give me a clear diagnosis. The moment I received that information I actually felt equal parts of terrified and relieved—terrified, obviously, because the veil was lifted, but relieved I finally had the knowledge of why I had suffered for so many years from depression and anxiety. I’ve never had full answers, awareness or anything about this condition So I began to face it head on.”
Jay Ruderman shared a video of her speech, applauding Gomez for her courage speaking out about her journey. “Thank you @selenagomez for being so open about your #mentalhealth,” he tweeted. “Your bravery in seeking help and speaking out will inspire others to do the same @RudermanFdn was honored to hear your story last Friday at @McLeanHospital.”
Here, everything she said during her speech that was publicly shared, transcribed:
I think that we are better when we tell the truth. And so this is my truth. Last year, I was suffering mentally and emotionally, and I wasn’t able to stay all kept up and together. I wasn’t able to keep a smile or to keep thinks looking normal. And it felt like all of my pain and anxiety washed over me all at once, and it was one of the scariest moments of my life. I sought support, and the doctors were able to give me a clear diagnosis. The moment I received that information I actually felt equal parts of terrified and relieved—terrified, obviously, because the veil was lifted, but relieved I finally had the knowledge of why I had suffered for so many years from depression and anxiety. I’ve never had full answers, awareness or anything about this condition So I began to face it head on, as my mother taught me to face my fears and challenges when I was younger. I sought out help—I actually sought out to get the help that I needed. I got educated. I talked to a lot of people that were suffering with the same things. I read a lot about it, and it was something that kind of took over and I became very passionate about it. I’ve met with some greatest doctors, and I’ve met with specialists, and I’m just fortunate enough to be able to work with some of the greatest doctors and psychiatrists and amazing people to help me guide me personally through my journey. Although this does not mean that it has all gone away, but I can say that after a year of a lot of intense work that I am happier, I am healthier, and I’m in control of my emotions and thoughts more than I’ve ever been, so I’m very happy about that.
Gomez herself shared personal photos from her Boston trip on her Instagram today. “My Boston photo diary 💜🌈,” she wrote. “thank you for being so warm and welcoming to me while I was there!! I had the best time meeting so many of you.”
She also shared a photo of herself from the dinner. “So humbled to have been part of the incredible McLean Hospital’s Annual Dinner and was honored to be able to share a bit of my story,” she wrote. “Thank you Dr. Rauch for inviting me and spending time speaking with me about mental health. And thank you to all the amazing staff at McLean. And a huge thank you to David O Russell for connecting me with these amazing humans. These are the moments where I am so grateful for the platform God has given me. ❤️”