But life in public was fraught with challenges. “For a while I felt like an object,” Gomez recalls the magazine. “It felt gross for a long time.”

For example, she will never forget the rumors that spread after seeking treatment for her mental health in 2014.

“I don’t even know what they really believed – drugs, alcohol, walking around, partying,” said the artist. “The story was so nasty.”

So she decided to talk about her struggles with anxiety and depression. And last year, Gomez announced that she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

“When I found out, I felt a great burden being lifted from me,” she said to Elle. “I could take a deep breath and say, ‘Okay, that explains so much.'”

In 2015, Gomez shared her diagnosis of lupus and over the years she continued to talk about her health path, including when she received her kidney transplant in 2017.