Katy Perry has opened up about her experience of going into therapy in a frank new interview.
The 32-year-old singer, born Katheryn Hudson, tells Vogue that she has seen a therapist regularly for five years. The experience, she says, “changed my life”.
“When I am in the room I am just Katheryn Hudson, which is amazing because people in my position hear yes too much,” says Perry – indicating that her therapist isn’t afraid to challenge her thinking.
Celebrities who are constantly surrounded by ‘yes men’ can often become severely unhappy, Perry observes. “It kills them or makes them completely disconnected from reality – and I don’t want that.”
Perry became an international superstar at the age of 23, with the release of her second studio album One of the Boys (her first record was a gospel album under the name ‘Katy Hudson’). Much of the intervening 11 years have been spent on the road, including a staggering 17 months away from home during The Prismatic World Tour.
Today, Perry says that the pressures of celebrity and the strain of constant touring meant that she occasionally came close to burnout in her 20s – but that her career goals kept her focused.
“I blasted off on a rocket, holding on for dear life,” Perry says. “But I had so much ambition and determination, and that’s what kept me going.
“The rocket was riding me for a bit, but now I am riding the rocket.”
Perry now sometimes abstains from drinking for the good of her mental health (“I go through little periods when it’s time to cleanse my mind”), and says that she is enjoying being in her 30s.
“I love it! I wouldn’t give anything to go back to my 20s,” she says. “I’m so much more grounded.
“And I’ve learned a lot of lessons – patience, the art of saying no, that everything doesn’t have to end in marriage.” (Her marriage to Russell Brand ended in 2012, shortly before the conclusion of her 127-show California Dreams tour.)
The singer has been candid in the past about the impact of her sheltered, conservative Christian upbringing, revealing earlier this year that she was told to “pray the gay away” after experimenting with her sexuality as a teenager.
In her conversation with Vogue, Perry – now a staunch Democrat and LGBTQ advocate who supported Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential election – says that she is still influenced by the devout conservatism of her youth.
“I miss references all the time,” she admits, explaining that she only knew who Madonna and Marilyn Manson were as a teenager because her family took her to picket their concerts.
“My house was church on Sunday morning, church on Sunday night, church on Wednesday evening; you don’t celebrate Halloween; Jesus gives you your Christmas presents; we watch Bill O’Reilly on TV,” she says.
“That was my whole childhood and youth and early teens. I still have conditioned layers dropping off of me by the day.”
But another lesson she has learned with age, says Perry, is that it’s never too late to learn – no matter who you are. “Your education can start now.”
Images: Rex Features