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 Marcia Purse

Selena Gomez Jumps On the Bipolar Bandwagon - And Falls Off

By May 1, 2011

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Selena GomezI've heard of Selena Gomez only because I read about her when putting together Demi Lovato's capsule biography. All I know about her now is that she and Demi have been friends since childhood. I think. Today I saw something describing Demi as Selena's "former BFF" (that's "former Best Friend Forever," for my readers who don't speak txt).

However, now cute little Selena's made (a few) headlines with this quote: "I am sure I have some sense of bipolar-ness. I wake up happy then I turn to sadness on a dime. It's crazy but I do enjoy all of it right now."

One blogger said scathingly that apparently Selena thinks bipolar disorder is "trendy." I have to say, I find Selena's words to be just about what you'd expect from a self-absorbed teenager who wants to jump on a high-profile bandwagon. "What do you think?" blares one HollywoodNews. "Do you think Selena Gomez is dealing with bipolar symptoms?"

Uh, no - certainly not from her claim of "bipolar-ness." "Waking up happy and then turning to sadness" is no description of bipolar disorder. She doesn't appear to have a clue. I'm kicking her off this bandwagon.

Photo: Jason Merritt / Getty Images

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May 1, 2011 at 11:19 pm
(1) Ella says:

When she said that she was kidding! STOP HATING HER! Like you said you know barely anything about her so don’t talk about her like that! :( I <3 SELENA!

May 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm
(2) Will says:


Ms. Gomez is an idiot. Her comments were rude and insulting to those who suffer from a real illness. She should stop talking about a serious subject that she clearly knows “barely anything” about.

May 5, 2011 at 11:13 am
(3) Raize says:

What are you, 12? That’s not something to kid about. Do you know anything about this chick Selena? Do you even know this little girl, personally? No? Then why are YOU up in arms about it? Grow up.

What she said was a stupid childish thing to say. Stop holding people in reverence just because they’re celebrities. I don’t think this little teeny-bopper is nearly as talented a musician or performer as the attention she garners would suggest.

May 2, 2011 at 2:29 am
(4) Demz says:

seriously she can’t even say anything without being pin-pointed at now?
Ridiculous!! I’m sure each one of us has cracked a joke about one or the other mental disorder every now and then
And she doesn’t need to get one the ‘high-profile bandwagon’ as you call it because she is a real inspiration and she doesnt need support to stay on the top, shes meant to be there and she inspires a whole lot of us
I <3 Selena

May 4, 2011 at 9:00 pm
(5) Will says:


This is a serious web site devoted to a real illness. Please take your childish rants to a teenie bopper fan website and leave the serious discussions to adults.

May 5, 2011 at 11:17 am
(6) Raize says:


She is a freaking child. Who (to remind those who have forgotten which website they’re on, and how inapprorpriate these ” I LOVE SELENA LOL” ridiculous comments are. Geto ut. )

There is NOTHING this kid could have done, with all her money and undeserved privileges and naivety that could truly and productively inspire anybody over the age of 15.

That’s sad that you love a kid simply because she is more superficially beautiful and successful than you. But I really can’t take someone whose role model is a KID, very seriously. thank you and good day.

May 2, 2011 at 5:03 am
(7) meiner says:

This was not a real interview with @selenagomez, is again such a silly montage of different statements from 2009, 2010 and misreporting

May 2, 2011 at 8:52 am
(8) Jazz says:

If she did say this I am really not happy. I suffer from this and I have kids at school bully me for it. To have a celeb do the same? Really hurts.

May 2, 2011 at 9:18 am
(9) Han says:

I agree with the writer of this article. I can see that the comments that are disagreeing are just fans of Selena Gomez, which is extremely biased.
Your favourite celebrities make mistakes, just like you do. So stop supporting her with every single minor thing she does.
To the second commenter, who says, ”I’m sure we ALL joke about mental disorders”, that’s a VERY insensitive thing to say.
Why ‘joke’ about mental disorders? People suffer from them extremely as they are psychological problems that disturb you.
Sometimes, they are considered worse than physical disorders. People can learn to cope with physical disabilities but with mental ones, there is no escape whatsoever.
Selena Gomez was probably dissing Demi. That was just rude and insensitive.

May 2, 2011 at 4:35 pm
(10) Mila says:

Quit being such a PC thug. Most people, including me, hate the self-righteous thought police.

Selena Gomez certainly wasn’t jumping on any bandwagon. She’s already famous enough, she doesn’t have to try and get attention. She was making a joke. Maybe it was a thoughtless joke, but a joke none-the-less. She’s an intelligent young woman and probably thought it would be funny without realising it might be misconstrued as offensive until after she’d said it. I do the same thing all the time. It’s pretty clear she wasn’t making a tasteless joke. So why’d you have to jump down her throat? If you knew anything about her, which you’ve admitted you don’t, you’d know she’s a very kind and sensitive person who does a heck of a lot of charity work and cares a lot about her young fans. There are plenty of self-absorbed celebrities out there. Selena Gomez isn’t one of them.

May 3, 2011 at 1:51 pm
(11) Marc says:

Mila – If you are making “thoughtless joke[s]” which you think are funny “without realising [they] might be misconstrued as offensive” “all the time”, I would suggest that you reconsider what you think is humourous – even if you consider them to be jokes “none-the-less” [sic].

May 4, 2011 at 9:02 pm
(12) Will says:

Ms. Gomez’ comments prove that she is indeed a self-absorbed quasi celebrity. Her comments were hurtful and tasteless. She should know better, and so should you.

May 5, 2011 at 11:21 am
(13) Raize says:

Quit being such a PC thug, defending a foolish child on a website that is the focal point of her *rude*, *childish*, *naive* *thoughtless* comment.

“She’s an intelligent young woman and probably thought it would be funny without realising it might be misconstrued as offensive until after she’d said it. I do the same thing all the time.”

Really? “She’s really smart, so she said something stupid rude and didn’t even ^realize it was stupid and rude.”

Doesn’t sound like a blatant indicator of intelligence, emotional, logical or otherwise. You clearly contradict yourself: “She was making a joke.” ” It’s pretty clear she wasn’t making a tasteless joke.” In that respect, I guess you are a little bit like your child-star idol. sad.

May 3, 2011 at 4:34 am
(14) Michelle says:

I don’t think it’s ever okay for someone in such a high profile position to throw words around so flippantly. Teen celebrity or not, what she says matters and she shouldn’t be claiming to be something she’s not. And if she’s claiming that she IS bipolar, she should claim it fully and with pride. You can’t be a little bipolar or a little ocd, etc. Just like you can’t have a little cancer. People pay attention. Pointing out her blunder isn’t jumping down her throat or hating on her. It’s pointing out a problem that needs to be addressed.

May 3, 2011 at 6:56 am
(15) Rider3 says:

Excellent post, Michelle.

May 3, 2011 at 6:55 am
(16) Rider3 says:

She’s really young and has no clue about what she’s talking about. I hope she never has to truly deal with being bipolar. It’s a tough road, as we all know.

May 3, 2011 at 7:36 am
(17) Name says:

I’d imagine those defending Selena are 16 and under. As a celebrity you have to be careful of what you say since everything you say is under scrutiny. A lot of people will take you seriously. That being said, this her saying she’s bipolar-ish just mocks at people who are really sick. Selena doesn’t do anything worth of being an “inspiration” to anyone. Look to local heros or someone who actually improves society for inspiration. And get a grip over Selena. No one said that they didn’t like her. Just that they didn’t like what she said. Learn to tell the difference.

May 3, 2011 at 9:19 am
(18) Suzanne says:

I’ve had a little and alot of “bipolar-ness” for 45 years. I was 15-16 years old when I started having the terrible pain of the depressions alternating with some of the bewildering highs. And then one of my 3 wonderful, creative, smart kids developed schizoaffective disorder and after about 3 years took his own life as a 19year old. I am always grateful when i meet kids who do not suffer with either of those diseases, but sometimes I’m aware of opportunities to try to take advantage of “teachable moments” and use what i know by education and experience to try to do some conciousness raising. I suspect Selena Gomez has learned quite a bit about bipolar the past few days/weeks. I hope she uses that knowledge to share with others. She is a beautiful, talented young woman and I thank God that it sounds like she doesn’t suffer from a mood or thought disorder.

May 3, 2011 at 2:22 pm
(19) TLH says:

Joke or not, those comments are harmful to the stigma we try so desperately to diminish. I live with Bipolar Disorder and am utterly offended that people are making excuses for the diluted teenager. She should be ashamed as should those of you who defend this. When you live one moment in my mind, perhaps I would consider your opinion worthy.

May 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm
(20) Michele says:

TLH…I agree with you 100%! It’s not a joke for those of us who struggle daily with BP. 15 years worth of it and it’s not been easy. It’s becoming something that everyone wants to be without knowing how damaging it is to the person, their friends, their jobs and their families. We need to fight the stigma without it going “hollywood” on us.

May 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm
(21) Anonymous says:

I guess the thing that disturbs me most about Selena Gomez’s statements is that she clearly has no idea what constitutes a real bipolar episode. Unless you are experiencing ultraradian cycling, you do not wake up happy and then get sad the next minute and call yourself bipolar. Even bipolar people experiencing ultraradian cycling experience episodes over multiple days. That’s why the DSM IV (admittedly flawed) requires an episode to continue over a minimum of 4 days for hypomania and a week for mania. It would be fine if Selena’s misinformation affected her alone. However, her comments perpetuate misinformation about the nature of the illness among the lay population. The mood episodes of bipolar disorder are far more extreme and disabling that feeling happy one moment and sad the next and it does a disservice to every bipolar person to characterize our mood episodes as something everyone experiences from time to time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve discussed my experiences with bipolar only to be told, “Oh, everybody feels like that sometimes.” Um, I don’t think everyone who feels sad/happy ends up in a psychiatric hospital or unable to work because of their moods, so those types of comments are insensitive and ignorant (and they don’t make those of us with bipolar feel any better either). Finally, asking people not to make jokes at the expense of the mentally ill or to be informed about an illness before claiming it is not PC garbage or thought-police behavior, it’s just common decency.

May 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm
(22) jap1958 says:

I have had BiPolar for the last 20 years, (diagnosed). I have suffered with this disorder since I ahve been Selena’s age. She should only know how dibiltating it is to have BiPolar. I guess it is the disorder of the moment. My son suffers too and it breaks my heart to see him this way. I am insulted by those who take this lightly. A joke? I don’t get it…

May 4, 2011 at 1:58 pm
(23) Melissa says:

I was also diagnosed at the age of 16, which is now almost half my life ago. As some of the others have posted. I have recently been hospitalized after four years of not being hospitalized. Bipolar runs in my family, and I think we Bipolar people at times make jokes about our own illness in order to put up a social mask and not reveal to the world that there is something wrong. It is impossible to look at someone and know if they have bipolar or some other mental illness, and it is possible that Ms. Gomez does have a Biologically Based Mental Illness. I think that too many people trust people around them to keep their secrets and put everything they do out there for the whole world to see.

May 4, 2011 at 7:48 pm
(24) jmiles says:

“It’s crazy but I do enjoy all of it right now.” I’m trying to figure out Just what part of bipolarism she is enjoying? I haven’t found anything enjoyable about it yet. I have low tolerace for this type of ignorance. I’ve been walking through hell for the last few months and I’d gladly let her walk in my shoes for a few days. Rehabs were/are trendy, bipolar is trendy (really?), what would happen if lobotomies were trendy? I had to say it….

May 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm
(25) Will says:

Ms. Gomez has no clue what bipolar disorder is or how devastating it is to those who suffer (including family and friends). her remarks were thoughtless and she should be taken to task for joking about a very serious illness.

May 5, 2011 at 6:00 am
(26) rachel says:

being a type 1 bipolar sufferer im appalled selena has the nerve to self diagnose herself but at the end of the day, really she is just a naive self indulged young woman who needs to be careful with what she says…

May 9, 2011 at 3:32 am
(27) Amber says:

I’m really not all that offended. I’m 17. I was diagnosed when I was 13. Bipolar disorder runs in my family.
Seriously? I have so much more to worry about. I don’t care if she slips up and says something ignorant. There are many far more important things on my mind. And I have heard SO MUCH worse, and not just from a stranger, from people that I personally know and love. It’s much more hurtful to hear my boyfriend of almost four years’ family say that they don’t want us to be together, because I’m a “sick girl”, and he’ll “have to take care of me”. Yes, this is an illness. Yes, it does help to have a good support system. But the connotation that goes along with those statements is so much more offensive and hurtful than a girl about my age casually making a remark that she had expected to be breezy. Yes, that was thoughtless of her. I agree; she didn’t realize the effect that it could potentially have on many people. But guys, it’s up to all of you, whether or not you’ll let it continue to upset you.

May 9, 2011 at 3:34 am
(28) Amber says:

I won’t lose an ounce of sleep tonight over her statement. What does keep me up is my sleep phase syndrome; thoughts of my abusive mother; my little brother in a residential treatment facility, getting help to deal with PTSD from his sexual assault; my little sisters (one with epilepsy and brain damage) being mistreated; trying to find a job; trying to find a place to live; trying to continue my schooling; paying rent for my current place; getting emancipated; getting custody of my sisters so they don’t end up in foster care again; trying to lose a portion of the thirty pounds that Risperdal put on me; hoping and praying that Trileptal will continue to help; mourning the loss of my friend Tyler who died of cancer last month; mourning the loss of my grandmother who died two weeks later; hoping that my grandfather is doing okay; coping with my mom’s threats and psychosis; the list goes on. And I am 99% sure that the rest of you have more important things to worry about than some young girl making a dumb comment, too.

June 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm
(29) Robbi says:

That is a stupid comment for anyone to make. Some sense of bipolar-ness. What is that. Bipolar is a serious illness. You either have it or you don’t. If she wasn’t diagnosed then it goes in one ear and out the other. For those of us who have to live with it everyday, it’s not a joke. It’s a hard life. Miss Gomez needs to thank her lucky stars that she don’t have it.
People are very judgemental when it comes to mental illness and it’s not taken seriously.

January 17, 2012 at 6:03 pm
(30) Jasminee says:

What she said was stupid and ignorant but everyone makes thoughtless jokes.

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