selena gomez introduced the world to the complexities of her mind and mental health through her new, aptly titled AppleTV+ documentary, My mind & mewhich premiered at the AFI Festival in Los Angeles, California on Wednesday night (November 2).
“I had to release this documentary several times and it never felt right,” the star said Billboard on the red carpet at the event. “Then the pandemic hit and a lot of people started having conversations about mental health, isolation, people feeling depressed or anxious – never felt those feelings before but now have. I just hope this leads to something as a conversation that people will use to help later.”
The theme of connection and starting a conversation rang true throughout the film as Gomez sought healing from her bipolar disorder and lupus diagnoses, as well as her 2017 kidney transplant, through spending time with others—whether it was her best friend Raquelle Stevens, her childhood neighbors in Grand Prairie, Texas, or the children of Kenya during a philanthropic visit in 2019.
The Alek Keshishian-directed film is a raw look at mental health that pulls back the curtain of fame to reveal a young woman actively working on her complicated relationship with loving and accepting herself. It’s rare to see a high-profile star show the more uncomfortable versions of herself to a global audience, allowing a camera crew to film her crying about her insecurities, undergoing medical IV treatment for lupus and talking at length about how it is. having a mental disorder.
At one point in the documentary, Gomez compares learning about her bipolar disorder to reading about thunder and lightning as a child to help ease her fear of storms — a lesson she shared Billboard she still uses it to this day. “Knowledge eliminates fear in my opinion because then you start having a relationship with your mental health, so I would suggest learning as much as you can,” she shared as her advice to those going through similar struggles as her has gone through.
At an onstage Q&A after the premiere, Gomez elaborated on the same thought. “It’s OK to feel like you’re not good enough and to feel like you’re complicated and complex. It’s just about having a healthy relationship with how you talk to yourself, how you seek help, how you talk to other people, ” she said of what she hopes people will take away from the film. “I hope this starts a chain reaction of people saying, ‘Hey, I want to say something about my mental health. I want to talk about it and seek help’. That’s one of the bravest things anyone can do. Even if only one person is affected by this film, I would consider myself the luckiest girl.”
selena gomez: My mind & me is out on Apple TV+ starting Friday (Nov. 4).