7 Reasons To Seek Addiction Treatment
Substance use disorder, which is more colloquially known as drug addiction, is a serious mental...
Selena Gomez is a former Disney star perhaps best known for her appearance on the popular TV show Wizards Of Waverly Place. However, the singer is also known by some for her somewhat public mental health journey, and for spending time in treatment centers to deal with those mental health struggles.
In 2014, Selena Gomez first went to rehab at an upscale facility called Meadows. Though this prompted tabloid rumors that the star was seeking treatment for addiction and other speculation about her personal life, she later explained that her stay was primarily to recover from a physical illness.
“I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy. That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke…I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re a–holes. But I was angry I even felt the need to say that. It’s awful walking into a restaurant and having the whole room look at you, knowing what they’re saying. ”
However, in 2016, around two years later, Selena voluntarily spent time in rehab to deal with the mental health issues that were associated with her lupus diagnosis as well as with the intense pressure she was under while on tour.
“As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus. I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges,” she explained in a public statement.
Gomez also described how becoming the most followed person on Instagram, a popular social media platform, negatively impacted her mental health.
“I sort of freaked out. 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,” she said. Gomez’s mom, Mandy Teefey, also suffered a very public miscarriage, one of many negative events adding to the stress on the singer.
However, Gomez found that her time in rehab was ultimately helpful and worthwhile.
“You have no idea how incredible it felt to just be with six girls,” Gomez said later about the experience.
“It was one of the hardest things I’ve done, but it was the best thing I’ve done.”
In 2017, Gomez spent more time in the hospital, this time for a kidney transplant at Cedars Sinai Medical Center to treat kidney failure caused by her autoimmune disease, her best friend Francia Raisa being the donor. Then, in January 2018, Gomez spent two weeks in another rehab center for mental health reasons, which she describes as a precaution to protect her earlier progress.
“Anyone who knows me knows I will always start with my health and my well-being,” Gomez said.
“I’ve had a lot of issues with depression and anxiety, and I’ve been very vocal about it, but it’s not something I feel I’ll ever overcome. There won’t be a day when I’m like, ‘Here I am in a pretty dress — I won!’ I think it’s a battle I’m gonna have to face for the rest of my life, and I’m OK with that because I know that I’m choosing myself over anything else.”
Later that year, in October 2018, Selena Gomez once again entered a rehab facility after having an emotional breakdown over a low white blood cell count, an alarming sign that her physical heath was deteriorating due to the intense stress she was under. After this panic attack, Selena checked herself in for another two week stay at an Arizona rehab facility, where she reportedly underwent dialectical behavior therapy.
Some have also speculated that the engagement of her former boyfriend Justin Bieber to the model than known as Hailey Baldwin (now known as Hailey Bieber) shortly after Justin Bieber broke up with Selena Gomez for the last time may have helped push her over the tipping point.
Social media also seems to have played a role in Selena’s deteriorating mental health, as Selena took a break from Instagram in September of 2018 which lasted a full four months until January of 2019.
In her last Instagram post before this break, Gomez wrote that while she is “grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us,” she also felt “equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given…Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember- negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi.”
But that wasn’t the only twist left for Selena Gomez. In 2019, the singer revealed that she had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the east coast psychiatric facility Mclean Hospital.
“I actually felt equal parts of terrified and relieved — terrified, obviously, because the veil was lifted, but relieved I finally had the knowledge of why I had suffered for so many years from depression and anxiety. I’ve never had full answers, awareness or anything about this condition. So I began to face it head on.”
Later, In January of 2020, Gomez reflected:
“I found out I do suffer from mental health issues, and honestly, that was such a relief. I realized that there was a way to get help and to find people that you trust. I got on the right medication, and my life has been completely changed.”
Since then, Selena has been making an effort to reclaim her own narrative.
“I realized I can’t be quiet anymore. I have to just address what needs to be addressed, and that’s me reclaiming my story, which is, ‘OK, yeah, I was definitely going through a hard time, and this is why, and this is what I deal with,” she said in October 2021.
She’s also been making an effort to pay her experiences forward, launching an initiative called Mental Health 101 to help schools educate students about the subject.
“I know first hand how scary and lonely it can feel to face anxiety and depression by yourself at a young age…If I had learned about my mental health earlier on—been taught about my condition in school the way I was taught about other subjects — my journey could have looked very different,” Gomez commented.
One form of therapy that Selena Gomez underwent in her mental health journey was dialectical behavioral therapy, which can be used for a variety of mental health issues, including substance use disorders. One of the many therapy programs offered at Reco Intensive, this relatively new but increasingly popular form of mental health treatment centers on teaching its clients mindfulness and emotional regulation skills.
By making an effort to live in the moment and to pay attention to what they are feeling, they will be able to avoid falling into automatic negative thought or behavioral patterns, as well as to better tolerate stressful situations when they do inevitably arise during the course of everyday life.
Dialectical behavioral therapy also helps patients like Selena Gomez to be more interpersonally effective, which means capable of building better relationships. Therapists educate patients in conversational strategies like being gentle, showing interest, validating others, and having an easygoing attitude, which helps them to maintain open and healthy communication with their loved ones.
While Selena Gomez did not struggle with substance abuse, her story shows that someone should never be afraid to enter rehab or to be open about their own mental health journey. If even a person as successful and accomplished as Selena Gomez can be open about suffering from low self esteem, the rest of us have no reason to be ashamed of our own struggles, even if they include struggles with addiction.
If you or someone you love is currently struggling with addiction, know that there is help out there. Reco Intensive is a Delray Beach treatment center specializing in all forms of substance abuse, as well as in addressing comorbid conditions and other underlying issues. To learn more about our comprehensive treatment program, feel free to call us anytime at 844.955.3042 or contact us online here. Let’s get back to a brighter future.
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