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Selena Gomez Says She Was 'Terrified And Relieved' After Being Diagnosed With Depression And Anxiety

'It was one of the scariest moments of my life'

Selena Gomez is so much happier and healthier now than she was just a year ago — and it shows. The "I Can't Get Enough" singer attended a dinner on September 13 at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, where she accepted the 2019 McLean Award for Mental Health Advocacy. In her acceptance speech, Gomez opened up about her own personal mental health journey, making it clear just how far she's come in a year's time.

"I think that we are better when we tell the truth," Gomez began. "And so, this is my truth. Last year, I was suffering mentally and emotionally, and I wasn't able to stay all buttoned up and together. I wasn't able to hold a smile or to keep things looking normal." According to Gomez, the unbearable feelings of pain and anxiety came on "all at once." "It was once of the scariest moments of my life," she said.

Gomez knew she needed help, and once she was officially diagnosed with depression and anxiety, she was able to take the necessary steps to get her mental health back on track. "I sought support and the doctors were able to give me a clear diagnosis," she said. "The moment that I had received that information I had actually felt equal parts terrified and relieved. Terrified, obviously, because the veil was lifted, but relieved that I finally had the knowledge of why I had suffered for so many years with depression and anxiety."

Gomez's experience certainly isn't an uncommon one; many people suffer from mental health conditions for years without knowing. "I've never had full answers, awareness, or anything about this condition," she said. "So I began to face it head-on, as my mother taught me to face my fears and challenges when I was younger. I sought out help. I actually sought out to get the help that I needed."

In hindsight, Gomez is so glad that she reached out for help when she did. Not only is she in a much better headspace now than she was a year ago, but her diagnosis also led her to discover her passion for mental health advocacy. "I got educated. I talked to a lot of people who were suffering from the same things. I read a lot about it, and it was something that kind of took over and I became very passionate about it," she said.

Gomez closed out her speech by expressing gratitude for all of the mental health professionals that helped her on her journey. With their guidance, she's happier now that ever before. "Although this does not mean that it has all gone away," she said, "I can say that after a year of a lot of intense work that I am happier, I am healthier, and I'm in control of my emotions and thoughts more than I've ever been before, so I'm very happy about that."