Selena Gomez Talks Rehab Stint, Anxiety

By Britni de la Cretaz 03/24/17

"I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or ... after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable.”

Selena Gomez

In a new interview with Vogue, Selena Gomez opens up about her anxiety, time in rehab, and her Instagram addiction. The singer and actress cut her tour short last year to enter rehab, though it’s unclear exactly what she was there for—not an addiction or an eating disorder or burnout, she says.

However, at that time, Gomez recalled thinking, “Life is so stressful, and I get the desire to just escape it.” 

The “We Don’t Talk Anymore” singer said her anxiety was at an all-time high, and she was finding the tour to be an isolating experience. “My self-esteem was shot. I was depressed, anxious. I started to have panic attacks right before getting onstage, or right after leaving the stage. Basically I felt I wasn’t good enough, wasn’t capable,” she says.

At the time, she said she decided to enter treatment because she “needed time to just be OK.”

Of rehab, she tells Vogue, “You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls ... real people who couldn’t give two shits about who I was, who were fighting for their lives. It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was the best thing I’ve done.”

After leaving rehab last year, Gomez accepted an award at the American Music Awards, telling the audience, “If you are broken you do not have to stay broken.”

One of the ways that Gomez is taking care of herself is by keeping her digital profile low and limiting her social media use. “I think 17 people have my phone number right now,” she says. “Maybe two are famous.”

And despite being the most followed person on Instagram, she says she hardly posts anymore, and leaves that to her assistant. She even went so far as to remove the app from her phone.

“As soon as I became the most followed person on Instagram, I sort of freaked out,” Gomez says. “It had become so consuming to me. It’s what I woke up to and went to sleep to. I was an addict, and it felt like I was seeing things I didn’t want to see, like it was putting things in my head that I didn’t want to care about. I always end up feeling like shit when I look at Instagram.”

Since taking the time to focus on her mental health, she says that she sees her therapist five days a week and that Dialectical Behavioral Therapy has changed her life. DBT focuses on regulating emotions, improving communication, and incorporating mindfulness practices.

“DBT has completely changed my life,” she says. “I wish more people would talk about therapy. We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back, the girl who’s down. We also need to feel allowed to fall apart."

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Britni de la Cretaz is a freelance writer, baseball enthusiast, and recovered alcoholic living in Boston. Follow her on Twitter at @britnidlc.