Katy Perry Opens Up About Mental Health Struggles In Public Therapy Session

By David Konow 06/13/17

The pop star got candid about depression and coping with the past in a therapy session broadcast live on YouTube.

Katy Perry
Photo YouTube

Building off of other young stars who have shared their struggles with mental health, Katy Perry took it a step further by allowing her fans to watch her for an hour-long therapy session, which was broadcast live on Witness World Wide.

Perry opened up to Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh, who has conducted similar celebrity therapy sessions for Viceland. “I’ve been in therapy for five years, and it’s changed my life,” Perry said. She spoke about her two personas—the public rock star and her true self, Katheryn Hudson.

“Sometimes I’ve built up this Katy Perry thing and it’s fantastic, but it’s more of a façade than a real [thing],” she said. Then as Singh tells her before they start to dig deep, “Katheryn is here, Katy’s gonna take a rest.”

Throughout the course of their talk, Perry dissolved into tears a number of times when going over particularly painful areas of her past. She briefly touched on alcohol, which she turns to when she’s “not in a good place…I use it to numb myself.” She also spoke candidly about feeling suicidal several years ago. Perry wrote a song about that emotional low point, "By the Grace of God," and said, “That’s how I process, I write songs.”

“And you get rid of those feelings?,” Singh asked. “Well yeah, some of them,” Perry replied. “Some of them don’t come out fully, that’s why I still do the work.”

Broaching the subject made Perry teary again. “It’s hard,” she says. “I sang it on tour, and it’s hard because I’m ashamed because of course Katy Perry’s so strong, but it’s hard because I felt ashamed I had those thoughts, feeling that low and that depressed. I wrote that song because I do believe in something much bigger than me, and I call that God for me.”

Perry’s open therapy session made positive waves on social media. One fan tweeted, “If you watch Katy Perry’s therapy session and DON’T love her, you have no heart.” Another fan tweeted, “I’ve gained so much respect for Katy Perry. Her therapy session and allowing the world to witness her…my heart breaks seeing her sadness.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.