Mental illness affects one in four people. Yet it’s still taboo to talk about.
That didn’t stop Selena Gomez from telling the world.
Gomez accepted the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist at the 2016 American Music Awards on Sunday. It was her first public appearance since cancelling the international leg of her 2016 tour to get help for depression and anxiety.
This wasn’t the first time Gomez sought help. After being diagnosed with lupus in 2014, Gomez began receiving treatment. She underwent chemotherapy to fight her lupus, but also checked into an Arizona rehab facility to “spend some time on [herself]“.
After accepting her award the singer was more direct. She gave a powerful speech about her battle with mental illness.
“Thank you guys so much. In 2014, this stage was actually the first time that I was authentically, 100 percent honest with all of you. I think it’s safe to say that most of you know a lot of my life, whether I liked it or not, and I had to stop. ‘Cause I had everything and I was absolutely broken inside. And I kept it all together enough to where I would never let you down. But I kept it too much together to where I let myself down. I don’t want to see your bodies on Instagram. I want to see what’s in here [gestures to heart]. I’m not trying to get validation, nor do I need it anymore. All I can say from the bottom of my heart is I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be able to share what I love every single day with people that I love. And I have to say thank you so much to my fans because you guys are so damn loyal, and I don’t know what I did to deserve you. But if you are broken, you do not have to stay broken. And whether you respect me or not, that’s one thing you should know about me, is I care about people. Thank you so much for this. This is for you. Thank you.”