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Selena Gomez Talks About Her ‘Confusing’ Teen Years

Selena Gomez took some time off in 2016 to seek treatment for depression related to her Lupus and is again speaking out about the importance of seeking treatment for mental health.

Gomez is the executive producer for the upcoming series 13 Reasons Why, which centres around a group of high school students who lose a friend to suicide. While promoting the series this week at a panel in New York City, Gomez spoke about her own teen experience and her recent stint in rehab for depression.

“To be frank with you, I actually was going through a really difficult time when they started production,” Gomez told the panel attendees. “I went away for 90 days, and I actually met a ton of kids in this place that were talking about issues that these characters are experiencing.”

Gomez went on to say that using her public platform is her way of helping others in similar situations. “Whether I like it or not, people have seen a lot of my mistakes and I had to use that as a good thing, because then they’re able to trust me. I want to be a part of this, because I think this is what they want, this is what they need.”

The singer cancelled her Revival World Tour in 2016 before entering treatment for depression. She returned to the spotlight at the American Music Awards in November, where she picked up the award for Favourite Pop/Rock Female and delivered a candid and emotional speech inspiring people to seek help when needed.

During the panel for 13 Reasons Why, Gomez also talked about her own teenage years, which were spent mostly in front of the camera starring on the hit Disney series Wizards of Waverly Place.

“I think that my [own] high school experience was amplified,” said Gomez, who appeared on the series between the ages of 15 to 20. “I wouldn’t say it was worse, but it made it harder… Whether it was just kids or growing up in the biggest high school in the world, which was Disney Channel, it was also adults that had the audacity to kind of tell me how I should live my life.”

Gomez added that social media now plays too big of a role in young peoples’ lives. “I can’t stand what they’re looking at and what they think is reality. There are 17 year-olds that look older than me and that freaks me out. We’re just so disconnected from people now. Teens just really want [a connection].”

In addition to the TV series, Gomez also appears to be working on new music. Fan sites began posting snippets of a possible collaboration between Gomez and Kygo earlier this week, so, fingers crossed we’ll hear new music from Gomez sometime in 2017.