Selena Gomez on Mental Health Journey, DBT Therapy, and Turning 29

Fitness

Ahead of her 29th birthday this July, Selena Gomez gave a candid interview to Vogue Australia where she addressed not just her romantic history but her mental health journey. Gomez, whose makeup line Rare Beauty dedicates part of its sales to increasing mental health access, spoke about how her own experiences with treatment shaped her. Gomez has talked before about getting help from doctors for her anxiety and depression. She also told Miley Cyrus last year that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

When asked what helps Gomez with her day-to-day mental health, the singer credited DBT.

“I’ve studied DBT, which is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy,” she said. “I’ve been to four treatment centers. I think in mental health, I never understood the stigma until I went to my first treatment center, because that was years ago. But then there was a photograph that got out, and it’s wild to see how mean they were. It was like: ‘She’s the next this person, she’s the childhood star,’ whatever. And: ‘She’s doing drugs.’ They’re saying all this stuff about me. I’m watching all of that change, slowly but surely, because now, if any media outlet made fun of me, they’re the ones that look like the asshole because we don’t tolerate that anymore. It’s actually crazy that I’m watching it happen, even though I know we have so much more to do. And I have goals. I want to put this as a curriculum into schools. I feel like I practice [DBT] every day…And then I also love being in the studio. Because the first hour I’m in a studio, I just talk. It’s like therapy. You just go in and you share your heart.”

She offered an honest message to people struggling with mental health: “Honestly, I never want to be a person that’s like: ‘I got medication, it’s fine now,’” she started. “I do believe in medication, obviously, therapy—all of these things I’ve done to try and make myself better. But my advice isn’t going to be: ‘Oh, you’re going to get over it.’ It’s actually an everyday practice. So if I’m thinking about something, I want to catch it before then. Or if I’ve been alone and isolated for too long, I’ll be like: ‘Oh wait, I need to be around people I love.’ And like I said, I also go to therapy. You can find ways to live in it. But once you understand it, the fear of you admitting that you have something goes away.”

Gomez was asked what she hopes for her own future as she turns 29 on July 22. She told the outlet that she has changed drastically even in the last two years and is thankful for her growth. “I am beyond grateful that my loved ones were really safe during the pandemic. And I’m just really happy with who I am,” she said. “I’m grateful that as I step into 29–even just two years ago–I was different. It’s only gotten better, and that’s kind of what people say, you know, when you get older, you feel a bit more confident with who you are. I don’t know if that’s gonna be every year for me. Maybe it is. But I just feel like I’m constantly growing in the right direction.”

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