No one is immune to a bad mental health day. Not even Only Murders in the Building star Selena Gomez, who recently shared one of the self-care strategies she relies on to care for her health when overwhelming bipolar disorder symptoms strike.
During a candid conversation at the Music and Health Summit in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Gomez talked about what it’s like to struggle with her mental health in the public eye. One notable revelation: The bedroom—which many people consider a safe space to get some R&R—brings the “Single Soon” singer back to some of her toughest days.
“The bedroom is a real trigger for me [from] when I was going through psychosis,” Gomez said. “Going through that whole period of my life, it was my bed that I was stuck to.” Being able to recognize the circumstances that lead to a manic or depressive episode can be a lifeline for people with bipolar disorder since those triggers are often harder to identify than the symptoms themselves, psychiatrist Ludmilla De Faria, MD, recently told SELF.
This isn’t the Rare Beauty founder’s first time opening up about this dark time in her life. Her highs and lows would last “weeks or months at a time,” Gomez told Rolling Stone in 2022. “It would start with depression, then it would go into isolation. Then, it was me not being able to move from my bed,” she recalled. “Sometimes, it was weeks I’d be in bed, to where even walking downstairs would get me out of breath.”
Though Gomez has said that going to therapy—as well as treatment centers at her lowest points—has certainly improved her mental health, being aware of the things that set off her mood swings also helps her cope on her own. Leaving her bedroom and surrounding herself with others, for example, is one way she now takes care of herself. “Even just with one person, and they could be washing the dishes or doing nothing and just being in their presence would really help me,” she told the Music and Health Summit crowd.
Although Gomez was officially diagnosed five years ago, the actor admitted at the event that coping with her condition is still an ebb-and-flow process. “You can be in a room full of people and still feel terribly alone, and I know that feeling isn’t the best but working through that…has been helping me,” she said.
However, understanding her triggers and symptoms, and learning how to respond to them, has been an important step toward embracing bipolar disorder. In Gomez’s own words: “I just have to understand and make it my friend. I’m always going to have what I’m diagnosed with, so it’s just about living with it freely.”