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Selena Gomez: Therapy and medication have changed me for the better

Selena Gomez attends the 2019 American Music Awards

Selena Gomez attends the 2019 American Music Awards on Nov. 24 in Los Angeles. Credit: Getty Images / Rich Fury

Singer-actress Selena Gomez says that despite recent difficult years that included a kidney transplant and high-profile emotional issues, she has found that therapy and medication have changed her for the better.

"I feel like I was supposed to go through everything I've gone through," the star, 27, told The Wall Street Journal's magazine, WSJ., in an interview published Wednesday. "I had low self-esteem, and that's something I work on continuously. But I feel so empowered because I've gained so much knowledge about what was going on mentally."

Gomez — who on Friday drops "Rare," her first album since 2015 — explained that in six years of therapy, "I found out I do suffer from mental health issues. And, honestly, that was such a relief," she said. "I realized that there was a way to get help and to find people that you trust. I got on the right medication, and my life has been completely changed." She added elsewhere in the interview, "My highs were really high, and my lows would take me out for weeks at a time."

Suffering from the chronic autoimmune disease lupus, Gomez revealed in September 2017 that her longtime friend, actress Francia Raisa, had given her a kidney. A little over a year later, amid related health issues, Gomez suffered a breakdown, said TMZ.com, and was admitted to a psychiatric facility to receive dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a type of talk therapy she had previously undergone. People magazine and E! News each said they had independently confirmed TMZ's account. By that December, Gomez appeared to have completed treatment.

She told WSJ. her hew album — her third solo, her sixth counting her early releases as Selena Gomez & the Scene — marked a return to her old self before physical and mental-health issues overwhelmed her. She said pop star Taylor Swift, another longtime friend, had told her "when I played her some of the new songs, 'I feel like I'm seeing who you were before this.' "

In the interim between her previous two No. 1 albums, "Stars Dance" (2013) and "Revival" (2015), Gomez has continued issuing singles, including November's chart-topper "Lose You to Love Me.” Gomez additionally appeared last year opposite Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny in writer-director Jim Jarmusch's film "The Dead Don't Die."

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