In a new profile for Rolling Stone, Selena Gomez opens up about how her bipolar diagnosis may inhibit her ability to carry her own children in the future. After visiting with a friend who is trying to get pregnant, Gomez said she broke down in tears: Due to the two medications she takes to treat her bipolar disorder, she says she “likely” won’t be able to carry children of her own, writes Rolling Stone’s Alex Morris.
“That’s a very big, big, present thing in my life,” Gomez says. While being unable to carry her own children is a significant loss, the 30-year-old has not completely given up on the idea of motherhood. “However I’m meant to have [kids], I will,” she adds. And there are options, like surrogacy or adoption, that she can choose if/when she decides to become a mother.
Motherhood and mental illness are a complicated duo. Making the decision to pursue pregnancy while living with a mental disorder is a very personal and complex decision, one best made with an OBGYN and mental health professional. However, there is also more information than ever available regarding potential side-effects of mental illness medication on fetuses, even if it’s not all conclusive. Obviously, risk varies medication to medication.
As Hillary Kelly wrote for Glamour in 2017, the decision to stay on her antidepressants (SSRIs) during her pregnancy came down to a cost-benefit analysis. Ultimately, she decided to continue taking them: “My OB and psychiatrist both repeatedly reminded me that I was unlikely to make the best decisions for my baby if those panic attacks swallowed up and dismantled my inner life.”
Kelly also worried that she would be judged for taking her SSRIs during pregnancy—that she would be viewed as a negligent parent before her daughter was even born. Eliminating stigmas around mental health—including the idea that treating your illness in certain ways is “selfish”—is one of Gomez’s goals with the release of her new documentary, Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me.
Also in the profile, Selena Gomez discusses confronting the expectations she had set for herself when she was still an aspiring young actor living in Texas. By 25, she said, she had expected to be married. However, when she found herself still single when she turned 30 earlier this year, “I threw myself a wedding,” she says.