Selena Gomez speaks out about the 'scariest' moment of her life, how she overcame anxiety, depression

Selena Gomez is shedding some new light on the emotional road she traveled on her journey to take control of her mental health.

The 27-year-old pop star was honored by McLean Hospital in Massachusetts, presented with the 2019 McLean Award for mental health advocacy at the hospital’s annual dinner on Sept. 13.

The award honored people who have "furthered the public’s understanding of psychiatric illness and mental health," according to its website. Past recipients of the McLean Award included former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall, ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas, singer Judy Collins and actress Jane Fonda among others.


During Gomez’s acceptance speech, the actress spoke to the room about her harrowing journey.

"I think that we are better when we tell the truth and, so, this is my truth. Last year, I was suffering mentally and emotionally, and I wasn’t able to stay all that kept together. I wasn’t able to hold a smile or to keep things looking normal," she said, as seen in a fan video.

Last October, Gomez sought treatment. A source told Fox News at the time, "Selena has emotional stresses as many other people also do. She has taken it upon herself to tackle her emotional issues head-on and is seeking treatment at an East Coast facility."

"It felt like all of my pain and my anxiety washed over me all at once and it was one of the scariest moments of my life," Gomez said earlier this month. She added that after she finally received a "clear diagnosis," she started to feel "equal parts of 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," explained Gomez. "I've never had full answers, awareness or anything about this condition, so I began to face it head-on, as my mother taught me to face my fears and challenges when I was younger."

Actress Selena Gomez at the premiere of "The Dead Don't Die," at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City this past June. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Actress Selena Gomez at the premiere of "The Dead Don't Die," at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City this past June. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

According to the Puma collaborator, she continued with her treatments, educating herself on the mitigating factors that have contributed to some people's struggles and meeting with "some of the greatest doctors and psychiatrists." Gomez said the eye-opening experience steered her to become "very passionate" about mental health.

"Although this does not mean that it has all gone away. I can say that after a year of a lot of intense work, that I am happier, I am healthier, and I am in control of my emotions and thoughts more than I've ever been," she said. "So, I’m very happy about that."


Gomez also explained the fear she constantly felt about opening up about her mental health, adding that she ultimately made it a point to herself to help as many people through their struggles as she could, according to the hospital's website.

"It feels right to share that I have personally felt the effects of both depression and anxiety – but it isn't easy. I have feared being misunderstood and judged," she said. "I know that I have been given experiences and people and opportunities that have made my life exceptionally beautiful and sweet – and yet I struggle with my own thoughts and feelings at times."

Gomez shared an image to social media of her time at the ceremony, posing with her award.


"So humbled to have been part of the incredible McLean Hospital’s Annual Dinner and was honored to be able to share a bit of my story," Gomez wrote in the photo caption. "Thank you Dr. Rauch for inviting me and spending time speaking with me about mental health. And thank you to all the amazing staff at McLean. And a huge thank you to David O Russell for connecting me with these amazing humans."

"These are the moments where I am so grateful for the platform God has given me, ❤️" she added.