Selena Gomez contemplated taking her own life before she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
The 30-year-old singer's mental health journey is the subject of a new documentary, My Mind and Me, streaming from today on Apple TV, which was filmed over the period of six years. It shows Selena at her most vulnerable, suffering from depression, anxiety, psychosis and suicidal thoughts.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Selena explained that she never harmed herself, despite drowning in dark thoughts for several years in between suffering from psychosis and being diagnosed with bipolar.
She told the mag: 'I thought the world would be better if I wasn't there.'
Selena first told the world she was living with bipolar in 2020, but the documentary, and the equally uninhibited conversation with Rolling Stone gives a glimpse in to how she and her doctors reached that diagnosis - including several stays as an in-patient.
She said: 'I’m going to be very open with everybody about this: I’ve been to four treatment centres. I think when I started hitting my early twenties is when it started to get really dark, when I started to feel like I was not in control of what I was feeling, whether that was really great or really bad.'
For weeks or months at a time, Selena veered between feeling high and low, with no obvious trigger. She would go from being unable to sleep for days and gripped by a determination to do random, extravagant things, like buy a car for everyone she knew.
These manic episodes would be followed by periods of crushing lows. In her own words, 'it would start with depression, then it would go into isolation. Then it just was me not being able to move from my bed. I didn’t want anyone to talk to me. My friends would bring me food because they love me, but none of us knew what it was. Sometimes it was weeks I’d be in bed, to where even walking downstairs would get me out of breath.'
In 2018 she was hospitalised for psychosis, and remains grateful that she 'walked out of it', acknowledging that many people are not fortunate enough to recover. It is a time of her life she doesn't remember much of, but it led to her eventual bipolar diagnosis. It also marked the start of a period where she was extremely medicated as doctors at the facility tried to find the right combination of pills that would keep her condition under control.
Although on paper she recovered and was allowed to leave, emotionally she didn't feel well at all.
Selena explained: 'It was just that I was gone. There was no part of me that was there anymore.' A new psychiatrist then helped her hone the medications she was taking so that she could feel stable and happy - and like herself.
'He really guided me. But I had to detox, essentially, from the medications I was on. I had to learn how to remember certain words. I would forget where I was when we were talking. It took a lot of hard work for me to (a) accept that I was bipolar, but (b) learn how to deal with it because it wasn’t going to go away.'
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