In 2018, Selena Gomez was admitted to hospital for psychosis. Her mum found out from TMZ.

Content warning: This post includes discussion of suicide that may be distressing to some readers/listeners. 

Selena Gomez’s long-awaited documentary, My Mind & Me, dropped on Apple TV+ on November 4, giving us a deeper insight into her private life.

Gomez is quite a private celebrity, and has even explained in the past that she doesn’t use Instagram, and has other people manage her account. We know her through her connections to other celebrities, like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber, but aside from those relationships, she maintains a lot of secrecy around what she’s really like.

But, watching the documentary, we quickly learn how affected she has been by her diagnoses of lupus, an autoimmune disease, and bipolar disorder. She’s struggled with anxiety, depression, psychosis, and chronic pain all throughout her life, which has mostly been spent working.

Watch: Official trailer for Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me.

Apple TV+

Here’s everything we learned about Selena Gomez from her documentary.

Working for Disney made her feel like a 'product', and press tours as an adult triggered that feeling.

As a teenager, Gomez landed a role on Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place, becoming part of the Disney machine with many of the peers she's still considered alongside, like former best friend Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers.


In the documentary, Gomez visited London and Paris to promote her album Rare, released in January 2020.

She had just returned from a charity trip to Kenya, as part of her work with the WE Charity, and was clearly impacted by the culture shock of launching straight into a press tour.

In one scene, Gomez breaks down after a French journalist quickly wrapped up the interview after Gomez said she wanted to do more philanthropic work.

Gomez went backstage and cried to her crew about how she felt like a brand rather than a person.

"I'm done, I can't do that anymore… do you know how cheap that makes me feel?" she said.

"[The interviewer's] asking me good questions and then she didn't even pay attention to what I was saying. I don't want to do that ever again, I feel like a product... It was making me angry. You know what it is, it made me feel like Disney."

She’s been working her whole life.

Gomez was seven when she first booked a role on Barney and Friends. When she was 11, she moved from Texas to Los Angeles to work, which remained her core focus.

“I was proud because I got to go escape my life and be in Barneyland and just play and sing… I just fell in love with these escape things,” she recounts in the documentary.

“Then I never stopped, I just kept going." 


She admitted her constant commitment to performing made her feel lonely, and that during her most recent trip to a facility, she’d realised connection was the most important thing to her. This led her to tour her hometown in the documentary, visiting her old school and her neighbours from childhood.

A major theme of the documentary is Gomez's complicated relationship with her level of fame.

"I don't want to be super famous, but I do know that if I'm here, I have to use that for good," she said.

"What makes me happy is connection, and it helps me get out of my head. I'm still here to use whatever I have to help someone else."

She underwent painful medical treatment for lupus.

We see Gomez tell a neighbour in 2019 that her autoimmune disorder lupus - for which she required a kidney transplant in 2017 - was in remission.

However, in 2020, she had another health scare with pain flare-ups caused by an overlap of lupus and myositis, which causes inflammation of the muscles and pain she had not felt since she was younger.

"Now it just hurts. Like, in the morning when I wake up, I immediately start crying because it hurts, everything," Gomez said through tears.

In the documentary, we see Gomez on the phone with a doctor who tells her she can take medication that will stop her joint pain for about a year. 

Then we see footage of Gomez in a hospital, receiving intravenous treatment.

Gomez in 2016. Image: Getty.


She cancelled a tour for mental health reasons.

As Gomez was attempting to shed her ‘Disney kid’ image, she was putting a lot of pressure on herself to perform perfectly. 

After a rehearsal for 2016's Revival tour, we saw her crying to her friends over how unhappy she was about the show, but even consolation and encouragement from her manager couldn’t calm her down. 

The intense scene pointed to the mental health issues to come for Gomez, who would end up abandoning the tour after 55 performances to go to a treatment facility. 


At the time, the press were making claims that she was a ‘party girl’ who was ‘drinking too much’, while also hounding her about her then-recent breakup with Justin Bieber.

She has struggled with suicidal ideation.

Speaking to Rolling Stone in a cover story released in conjunction with the documentary, Gomez said she had suicidal ideation for years, but never acted upon the thoughts.

"I thought the world would be better if I wasn't there," she said.

Gomez's former assistant Theresa Mingus, who was interviewed on camera for My Mind & Me, explained learning Gomez was suicidal at the time of the Revival tour cancellation.

"At one point, she's like, 'I don't want to be alive right now. I don't want to live.' And I'm like, 'Wait, what?!' And it was one of those moments where you look in her eyes, and there's nothing there. It was just pitch black. And it's so scary. You're like, 'Fuck this. This needs to end. We need to go home.'"

She suffered psychosis in 2018.

Gomez began hearing voices in her head and suffered a psychotic break that saw her enter treatment for several months in 2018.

Gomez's friend Raquelle Stevens said: "If anybody saw what I saw in the state that was she in at the mental hospital, they wouldn’t have recognised her at all, and I was devastated because psychosis can last from days to weeks to months to years to life".

In Rolling Stone, Gomez shared that she only remembered "snippets" of this time.

She said she found herself slowly "walking out of psychosis", before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder and finding the right medication.


Gomez's mother found out she was in the hospital thanks to TMZ.

At the time of her psychosis, Gomez had a strained relationship with her mother, Mandy Teefey.

Teefey learned her daughter had been hospitalised in 2018 through TMZ.

"They called me and wanted to know what my daughter was doing in the hospital with a nervous breakdown. She didn’t want anything to do with me, and I was scared she was going to die," Teefey recalled.

"You hang on as tight as you can and try to help them with their treatment, and that's the hardest thing to do, to then just go to bed and hope that they wake up the next day," she added, crying. 

"It's a miracle she got out. But there's always the fear that that's going to happen again, and it hurt us so much."

Later in the film, Gomez cries over how she treated her loved ones around this time.

"I shouldn't have treated them the way that I did sometimes. And they know it wasn't me so then when I wake up the next day, they tell me what happened but they explain to me, they’re like, 'Look, I know that that’s not you talking. And we're really concerned and you know, just know that we love you... I remember certain things that I did, and I was so mean. And so like even to this day, I keep saying thank you and I'm sorry."

She’s been to four treatment centres.

In the documentary, Gomez tells us she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2019. Speaking to Rolling Stone, Gomez confirmed she had sought treatment for mental health four times.


"I'm going to be very open with everybody about this: I’ve been to four treatment centres," she said.

"I think when I started hitting my early twenties is when it started to get really dark, when I started to feel like I was not in control of what I was feeling, whether that was really great or really bad."

Her breakup from Justin Bieber was the best thing to happen to her.

For eight years, Gomez's public life was wrapped up in her on-again, off-again relationship with Justin Bieber. 

They split for good in 2018, just a couple of months before he got engaged to his now wife Hailey Bieber.

The documentary often shows Gomez being hounded by paparazzi, who yell questions at her about the relationship.

"Everything was so public," she said in the doc. "I felt haunted by a past relationship that no one wanted to let go of. Then I just moved past it, and I wasn’t afraid anymore.

"I feel like I had to go through the worst possible heartbreak ever and then just forgetting everything at the drop of the hand, it was really confusing.

"But I just think that needed to happen and ultimately it was the best thing that ever happened to me."

Her biggest song was inspired by her mental health.

Fans of Gomez have long thought her biggest song, Lose You to Love Me, was about her breakup with Bieber. 

While he was likely part of the inspiration, she reveals in the documentary that the song was also about her mental health battles, and she decided to write it after finally opening up about her bipolar diagnosis. 


"I text [songwriters] Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter and I said 'I think I'm ready to just be sad'. We wrote the song in 45 minutes. The fastest song I've ever written."

She said it was about "more than a lost love".

"It's me learning to choose myself, to choose life, but also hoping that people can find grace and peace in that too. The song is about knowing that you completely lost every part of who you are, just to rediscover yourself again."

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Her bipolar medication may impact her ability to carry children.

To Rolling Stone, Gomez shared the two medications she takes to manage her bipolar disorder means that she may not be able to carry her own children.

"That's a very big, big, present thing in my life," she said, adding "however I'm meant to have them, I will."

Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me is streaming now on Apple TV+.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

Feature Image: Apple TV+.

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