Selena Gomez is opening up about her struggle with anxiety and depression, with the hope that her story will inspire other people to not be afraid to seek help.
"It felt as though all of my pain, anxiety and fear washed over me all at once, and it was one of the scariest times of my life," Gomez, 27, said as she recently accepted the 2019 McLean Award from McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, honoring her for her work to advance the public's understanding of mental health.
Gomez sought treatment last October for anxiety and depression, one year after the singer had a kidney transplant as a result of her battle with lupus, a chronic autoimmune disease.
Hearing her diagnosis made Gomez feel "equal parts terrified and relieved," she said. While it was scary to have the "veil" lifted, Gomez said she was relieved to understand why she had been suffering and to gain the tools to help her better handle her condition.
"Although this does not mean that it has all gone away, I can say that after a year of a lot of intense work I am happier, I am healthier and I'm in control of my emotions and thoughts more than I have ever been," she said.
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She remarked that it "feels right to share" her experience with anxiety and depression, though "it isn't easy."
"I have feared being misunderstood and judged. I know that I have been given experiences and people and opportunities that have made my life exceptionally beautiful and sweet — and yet I struggle with my own thoughts and feelings at times," she said. "But this doesn’t make me faulty. This does not make me weak. This does not make me less than. This makes me human. We need help, and we need each other."