Selena Gomez opens up about kidney transplant complications: 'I'm just so happy to be alive'

Selena Gomez has been open about the health struggles she’s faced over the last few years of being in and out of the public eye. But while gearing up to release her latest album on Friday — her first in five years — the 27-year-old was her most candid to date about the severity of what she’s been dealing with.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Magazine, the singer and actress talked about the struggles that she’s faced with mental health beginning in her early 20s, when she started dealing with anxiety and depression.

Selena Gomez opens up about complications during kidney transplant that led to an additional seven hour surgery. (Photo: WSJ Magazine)
In a new interview, Selena Gomez opens up about complications during a kidney transplant that led to an additional seven-hour surgery. (Photo: WSJ Magazine)

“My highs were really high, and my lows would take me out for weeks at a time,” she recalled. “I found out I do suffer from mental health issues. … And, honestly, that was such a relief.”

Even after identifying those issues and finding the right medication, which Gomez said “completely changed” her life, more health challenges were yet to come: In 2015, she revealed that she was battling lupus, which interrupted two of her world tours. Then, in the summer of 2017, she wound up having a kidney transplant.

“The lupus was a huge thing that happened to me, then the kidney thing happened, and that was the scariest because, yeah, you could actually die,” Gomez told WSJ Magazine.

She then explained, for the first time, that she faced some major complications with what was supposed to be a two-hour surgery.

“The moment I came out I remember starting to shake and my mom screaming and then being put back under,” she said, explaining that she went back into surgery for another seven hours. “That’s what makes you go, ‘You know what, I’m just so happy to be alive.’”

In the two-plus years since that surgery, Gomez has taken time to be with family and her closest friends — including longtime BFF Taylor Swift. She credited her girlfriends for keeping her grounded by ensuring that she doesn’t spend too much time on social media or otherwise fueling her public persona.

“They know I have an addictive personality, and it can be unhealthy,” she said, referring to Instagram in particular. “I’d rather stay away from anything that’s going to make me feel like s***.”

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