The new documentary “My Mind

Trigger warning: The article addresses, among other things, suicidal thoughts, depression and bipolar disorder. If you are in an acute crisis, please contact your treating doctor or psychotherapist, the nearest psychiatric clinic or the emergency doctor at 112. You can also reach the telephone counseling service around the clock and free of charge at 0800-111 0 111 or 0800- 111 0 222.

Watch now: The documentary “My Mind

In 2016, Gomez received a kidney transplant due to the autoimmune disease lupus, which probably saved her life. Her kidneys were so damaged that she had to rely on a donor kidney. Recordings in the documentary now show how much she is still struggling with the disease in 2020.

In one scene she lies in bed crying, a lupus attack: “It just hurts. When I wake up in the morning, I immediately start crying because everything hurts.” She calls her doctor, who recommends intravenous treatment with rituximab. Rituximab is a cancer drug that removes certain immune cells (B cells) in the body. In autoimmune diseases, they produce antibodies that attack the body. Gomez is on a drip for five hours.

Measuring blood pressure is also part of the routine. You can see Gomez sitting in the make-up just before a performance, the measuring device on his arm. “Perfect,” she judges after a professional look at the display. And then explains quite factually: “If my blood pressure is too high, it’s around 150, 145 to 100 – and that means I can have a stroke.”

Basically, she has her illness under control. “I take medication every day, but so far I’m fine,” says the 30-year-old in the documentary.

Information for sick people, relatives and carers

Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus, SLE for short) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease. When you get sick, your immune system attacks your own body. In Germany, almost one in 1,000 women and one in 10,000 men is affected. The University Hospital Zurich lists the most common symptoms:

“Most SLE patients today have a normal life expectancy,” writes the Rheuma-Liga. “Only a few patients die when the disease flares up or from the actual disease.” In addition to infections, heart and vascular diseases are the most common complications. The frequency of heart and vascular diseases is caused by accelerated vascular calcification (arteriosclerosis).

The psychological problems that Gomez is struggling with are even more present in the Apple TV documentary than her lupus disease. She suffers from panic attacks, depression and anxiety. This is also noticeable again and again in the film.

For example, during a trip to Kenya, when she says: “The truth is, I’ve never felt good enough. Even when I’m on stage and in front of a crowd. I always find the one person who doesn’t like me and I believe him.” Or about Justin Bieber: “When will I finally be alone enough?”

In 2016 she had to cancel her tour. She suffers a psychosis and a nervous breakdown and is treated in a psychiatric facility for several months. In a recent interview, she said she had been to four treatment centers for her mental health problems. Her assistant recalls in the documentary: “There was a moment where she said, ‘I don’t want to be alive right now. I don’t want to live.’” Gomez himself also reports something similar at one point during the course of the film.

Gomez also talks about the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in the film. At first she thought her life was “over”. But she “didn’t want to be trapped in my head, in my thoughts.” Speaking at McLean Hospital’s Annual Dinner in 2019, she explains how important it was for her to get professional help. “When I received the diagnosis, I finally had clarity as to why I had suffered from depression and anxiety for so many years.” She had begun to face her condition. “I’m happier, I’m healthier and I have more control over my emotions than ever before,” she says.

People with bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive, suffer from extreme, episodic swings in mood and drive that are unmanageable.

In Germany, more than one in 100 people is affected by a bipolar disorder, writes the German Society for Bipolar Disorders (DGBS) on its website. However: “Only a few of those affected know about their illness and find their way to a trained doctor or psychologist. Timely diagnosis and targeted treatment could significantly improve the course of the disease.” Those affected should pay attention to the following symptoms:

Typical symptoms in mania

Typical symptoms of depression

Bipolar disorder is treatable. The DGBS explains that if psychiatric and psychotherapeutic treatment is initiated at an early stage, a largely normal life is now possible.

Gomez is also a fighter who wants to encourage others: “If you have mental health problems, the most important thing is to know what you are dealing with and to acknowledge it,” she says in the documentary.

Entries from her diary are read again and again: “It’s something I’m not ashamed of. But I had to relearn things from scratch, like, ‘You’re not a bad person. You are not a weird person. You are not crazy. You’re none of that, but you have to deal with it.’ I know it’s a lot, but it’s the reality. I’m in a relationship with Bipolar now because it’s going to stay there. I make it my friend And I think I had to go through it to be who I am today.”

And at the end: “I’m happy. I rest within myself. I am angry. I’m sad. I am confident. I am full of doubts I’m just developing. I’m enough.”

The original of this article “Selena Gomez tearfully talks about illness – that’s behind lupus” comes from