Selena Gomez Discusses Her Mental Health Treatment Stay

By David Konow 08/08/17

“I went away for 90 days, and it was the best thing that I ever could’ve done."

Selena Gomez

Back in August 2016, pop star Selena Gomez made headlines when she canceled her world tour to take care of her mental health.

The Wizards of Waverly Place star told Vogue earlier this year that her anxiety had gone through the roof on the mega tour. “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage…Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable.”

So the 25-year-old singer/actress decided it was time to address the issue and take a break from her stressful tour schedule.

She recently opened up to InStyle magazine about her life-changing time in a Tennesee-based mental health treatment center, “I went away for 90 days, and it was the best thing that I ever could’ve done. I had no phone, nothing, and I was scared. But it was amazing, and I learned a lot.”

Gomez checked into the center to deal with depression and anxiety. "Everything I cared about, I stopped caring about. I came out, and it felt like, “OK, I can only go forward.” And there are still days. I go to therapy. I believe in that and talking about where you are. But I’m in a really, really healthy place."

Gomez really enjoyed the tranquil nature of the center and the ability to leave behind the time-consuming glamour of her Hollywood life. "I was in the countryside and never did my hair; I took part in equine therapy, which is so beautiful. And it was hard, obviously. But I knew what my heart was saying, and I thought, “OK, I think this has helped me become stronger for other people.”

After her stay, she was met with a very public challenge that she decided to accept: taking the stage at the American Music Awards. "When I came out, I was asked to go to the American Music Awards, and everyone around me was like, 'Do whatever makes you comfortable.' I didn't want my fans to have a negative view of taking care of yourself, so I just went in head-on, and I’ll tell you, the first time stepping on that carpet was so overwhelming. I felt like my back was sweating."

Gomez won favorite female pop/rock artist at the show and delivered a triumphant acceptance speech which addressed her mental health while empowering others to not be afraid to seek help if they ever need it. "I had to stop because I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside. I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down but I kept it too much together to where I let myself down," she revealed. "If you are broken you do not have to stay broken. If that’s anything—whether you respect me or not—that’s one thing you should know about me. I care about people.”

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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.