Selena Gomez

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Gomez reveals she struggled with suicidal ideation for years, and attended multiple treatment centers for mental illness.

At 30 years old, Selena Gomez is one of the most famous people on the planet (that’s not an exaggeration — she was once the most-followed person on Instagram, and is still in the top five). Despite (or perhaps, because of) her huge audience, the former child star and current actor (starring in the ultra-beloved series Only Murders in the Building), singer, producer, skincare brand founder, and mental health activist isn’t shy about opening up about difficulties in her personal life. Now, she’s pushing her own vulnerability to the limits with a new project that takes viewers further into her life, her medical journey, and her mental health struggles than anything she’s done before.

Gomez released her new documentary, My Mind and Me, to Apple TV+ today. The documentary was filmed by Alek Keshishian, who directed another iconic celebrity documentary, 1991’s Madonna: Truth or Dare. Keshishian started filming Gomez in 2016, when she was set to tour around the world for her musical album, Revival, but ended up canceling the tour due to anxiety and depression.

Gomez’s tour ended, but Keshishian’s work didn’t. He continued to film the ups and downs of the star’s life over the next several years. That included public-facing work (like her cooking show, her new skincare line, and the occasional release of new music), along with Gomez’s interior struggles, which included a battle with mental illness, a kidney transplant (the result of her lupus coming back from remission), and the ongoing struggle to find her own voice and sense of self.

Gomez is also this month’s Rolling Stone cover star, and true to form, she did not hold back. Here are some of the biggest revelations from her interview about her mental health journey.

‘I’ve been to four treatment centers’: Selena Gomez opens up about her mental health journey

During her Rolling Stone interview, Gomez revealed that she has gone through multiple stints at treatment centers, and that there were a few years where she considered suicide.

“I’m going to be very open with everybody about this,” Gomez said. “I’ve been to four treatment centers. I think when I started hitting my early 20s 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.”

Gomez went on, “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.”

Gomez confirmed that she thought about suicide, but never actually attempted it. “I thought the world would be better if I wasn’t there,” she said.

She also opened up about a period of psychosis she went through in 2018, much of which she doesn’t remember.

Gomez opens up about how her bipolar disorder has led to fertility concerns

One of the main topics of focus in My Mind and Me is Gomez’s bipolar disorder, which she revealed in April 2020 on an Instagram Live with Miley Cyrus. In her Rolling Stone interview, Gomez explained how she likely won’t be able to carry her own children because of certain medications she’s on for the disorder — some medications for bipolar disorder can increase the risk of birth defects.

“That’s a very big, big, present thing in my life,” Gomes said, then added, “However I’m meant to have [children], I will.”

Another highly personal topic, which Gomez has rarely addressed publicly in this manner before, is her romantic life.

Gomez famously dated fellow pop star Justin Bieber for several years, and their on-again, off-again relationship — not to mention his subsequent marriage to model Hailey Bieber — has been tabloid fodder for years. But in spite of that spotlight, Gomez has remained tight-lipped about her own opinions on the relationship, and about her life as a single woman in general.

“I grew up thinking I would be married at 25,” she told Rolling Stone. “It wrecked me that I was nowhere near that — couldn’t be farther from it. It was so stupid, but I really thought my world was over.”

Now, Gomez is in a better place — “I have a very healthy relationship with my therapist,” she told PEOPLE — and she’s using her experiences to help others. She started the Rare Impact Fund under her beauty label, which commits to donating one percent of all sales from her brand to help people access mental health resources, and visited the White House for a mental health summit.

“I found having a relationship with bipolar and myself, it’s going to be there,” Gomez says in the documentary. “I think I needed to go through that to be who I am and I am going to keep going through it, but I’m really happy. I’m at peace. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m competent. I’m full of doubt. I’m a work in progress. I am enough. I am Selena.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call 988 or visit 988lifeline.org

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