Tough Stuff

Selena Gomez talking about her bipolar disorder normalizes an important mental health convo

Mental health has proven to be a struggle for many during the COVID-19 outbreak. Stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders have kept everyone indoors with the exception of essential needs, and boredom is not the only thing lurking behind the scenes for many of us.

Fortunately, some celebs are finding ways to help fans see the light during a dark time. To the delight of many fans, Selena Gomez took to Instagram in a live video with Miley Cyrus on April 3 as part of Miley's Bright Minded series on the platform.

What began as two friends chatting quickly turned into an important conversation about mental health as Selena discussed her bipolar diagnosis with Miley and all the devoted fans watching the stream. 

First of all, what is bipolar disorder?

The National Institute of Mental Health describes it as "a mental disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, concentration, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks." While Sel may not be experiencing all of those symptoms, they are commonly found in individuals who are diagnosed with the disorder.

Selena is not alone. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 2.8% of all adults in the United States cope with bipolar disorder each year. And, while the average age of onset or diagnosis is 25, the disorder can also be found in teens.

There is a harmful stigma that has been created around mental illness and, more specifically, bipolar disorder, which is exactly why Selena's statements were so powerful. Since she spoke on the IG live, Sel's fans have joined the conversation to discuss their stories.

“Even though I don't know Selena personally, it was really a comforting feeling to learn that she deals with bipolar disorder as well," says Olivia, a 20-year-old who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016, to Teen Vogue. "Hearing that we have walked similar paths, it feels like we have a connection.”

And many, many others have found Selena's experience relatable. In other words: You are not alone in your mental health journey, regardless of whether or not you have a diagnosis.

Whether you take solace in Selena's words or you have a confidante in your personal life, make mental health a priority and start normalizing the conversation in your own community!

Has a celeb inspired you to take action in your own life? Let us know in the comments!

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by Logan Potter | 4/8/2020