Selena Gomez Opened up About Her Struggles With Anxiety in Mental Health Advocacy Award Speech

“This does not make me weak. This does not make me less than. This makes me human.”

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Theo Wargo

Selena Gomez has never shied away from publicly discussing her ongoing struggle with mental health, so it’s no surprise that she was the latest recipient of the McLean Award for Mental Health Advocacy.

During a recent dinner organized by the McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. in honor of the singer, Gomez opened up about what life with anxiety and depression has been like for her. “It felt as though all of my pain, anxiety and fear washed over me all at once, and it was one of the scariest times of my life,” she said, according to Billboard.

Gomez explained why it “feels right” to to talk about her mental health issues, and said that she has always feared the judgement of others. “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,” she said. “But this doesn’t make me faulty. This does not make me weak. This does not make me less than. This makes me human. We need help, and we need each other.”

One way Gomez has coped with her mental health issues has been therapy, which she elaborated on in a recent episode of Coach‘s podcast series Dream It Real “[Therapy is] amazing. It’s just hard,” she said. “One of my friends asked, you know, I want to start going to therapy, [and I said,] ‘It’s good, just tell me how your first experience goes.’ And she’s like, ‘I don’t really know, and I just didn’t really like it.’ And I said to her, ‘You have to just give it a month because you can’t go in and do that, and it’s hard for people to open up,'” Gomez continued, adding, “But I think that it’s just one of the most important things to get to know yourself. Not saying everyone in the world has to do it…but I do think that it’s helped me understand myself and my childhood a lot better.

Related: Selena Gomez Is Working to “Better Herself Every Day” as She Recovers From Her Hospitalization