Selena Gomez has revealed she has recently been diagnosed with bipolar disorder during an Instagram Live with Miley Cyrus, and says learning more about the mental health condition helped her to feel less afraid.
Over the last couple of years, an increasing number of celebrities have chosen to open up about their mental health diagnoses. From Jameela Jamil and Fearne Cotton to Demi Lovato and Nadiya Hussain, women in the spotlight are changing the conversation surrounding conditions such as anxiety and depression by talking about their experiences.
One of these women is, of course, the incredible Selena Gomez, who has spoken about her experiences with anxiety and depression on many occasions. And now, the Lose You To Love Me singer has revealed she was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
Appearing on Cyrus’ new Bright Minded: Live series via Instagram Live, Gomez spoke about how she was coming to terms with the diagnosis.
“I went to one of the best mental hospitals in America, McClean Hospital, and I discussed that after years of going through a lot of different things, I realised that I was bipolar,” Gomez explained. “I was equal parts terrified and relieved – terrified because the veil was lifted but relieved that I finally had the knowledge of why I had suffered with various depressions and anxieties for so many years.
“I never had full awareness or answers about this condition. When I have more information, it actually helps me – it doesn’t scare me once I know it.”
Gomez then went on to explain how educating herself about bipolar disorder, which affects around 1 in every 100 people, had helped her to overcome the fear she had initially felt in response to the diagnosis.
“When I was younger, I was scared of thunderstorms and my Mum bought me all these books on thunderstorms … she was like ‘the more you educate yourself on this, the more that you’re not going to be afraid’,” the singer explained. “It completely worked. That’s something that helps me big time.”
Gomez isn’t the only celebrity who has spoken out about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder – famous names including Demi Lovato and Mariah Carey have also opened up about what it’s like to live with the mental health condition.
Described by the NHS as “a mental health condition that affects your moods, which can swing from one extreme to another,” people living with bipolar disorder often experience manic or hypomanic episodes (intense high mood) and depressive episodes (intense low mood). They may also experience psychotic symptoms in some cases.
If you are struggling with bipolar disorder, Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org.