Four years ago, Selena Gomez made headlines after spending two weeks in an Arizona rehab facility for serious emotional issues. Eighteen months ago, she canceled her world tour and checked into a Tennessee treatment center for what she called “anxiety, panic attacks and depression.”
Now Selena has sought help again, this time at a New York–area facility in January. “She went back to rehab for depression and anxiety,” a source confirms to Life & Style. Friends and loved ones are deeply worried. Though they’re grateful Selena got help, they’re concerned she only spent two weeks in treatment before heading back to LA, where she jumped back into her old life with on-again boyfriend Justin Bieber.
“Those close to Selena feel that for her to truly overcome her demons, she needs to be in a more controlled environment for a longer period of time,” the source tells Life & Style. “Two weeks fly by. And despite Selena claiming she feels ‘back to her old self,’ it’s unlikely the skills she acquired while there are going to have a longterm impact in her life.”
While at rehab, Selena took advantage of all the facility had to offer. “She practiced meditating and yoga, and had one-on-one sessions with a therapist,” says the source. “She also changed her diet and switched junk food for healthy meals.” But though the pop star, 25, was considered to be in “inpatient” treatment, she was allowed to leave and to keep her cellphone with her. “That’s like having the devil in her pocket,” the source says. “Selena is constantly checking her messages and feels like she can’t live without her phone, which is part of her problem!”
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Pals are right to worry, say experts. “With depression and anxiety, it’s going to take longer [than a few weeks of treatment],” explains LA-based psychologist Yvonne Thomas, who specializes in depression and self-esteem issues and hasn’t treated the singer. “The bare minimum is 30 days, because you want to ingrain the changes so you can keep them up when you leave. You don’t want to be caught in this revolving door where you go in and out of programs because you never stay long enough.”
Her lack of a strong support system could also be a problem. Though Justin, 23, has been encouraging Selena — who had a kidney transplant last summer amid her battle with the
autoimmune disease lupus — to slow down and focus on herself, the relationship is still potentially toxic. He’s broken her heart so many times in the past, “Selena is still trying to overcome her trust issues,” says the source. “She’s haunted by the way he once treated her.”
She used to lean on her mom, Mandy Teefey, 41, in moments of crisis. But since rekindling her relationship with Justin, Selena’s become estranged from her mother. (In early January, Mandy admitted she’s “not happy” about Selena and Justin’s romance and warned that Selena “knows what is at stake with her health.”)
Now Selena is determined to handle things her own way. “She’s still seeking outpatient treatment, and she and Justin are in couples therapy,” the source says. “But friends believe that given the rough couple of years Selena has been through, two weeks in rehab just isn’t enough.”
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