REVIEW: ‘My Mind & Me’ documentary teaches how to help with mental health


Photo courtesy of Apple TV+

Growing up, all the other girls were obsessed with Taylor Swift and her journey. I, on the other hand, loved Selena Gomez.

“My Mind & Me,” the documentary and song, was released on Nov. 4 at promptly 5:30 a.m., and let me just say, my alarm was set. The documentary took the audience through her life. Showing childhood videos, her everyday life, moments on tour and even her trip to Africa.

The documentary explained her life through her eyes and not the public’s. It shows Gomez being interviewed, but just the surface is brushed. Nobody wanted to learn about the real her, just to pick up speculations about her dating life or non-important questions. So, she decided to show everyone the true Selena Gomez.

I grew up with Gomez, watching Barney. She booked the show when she was seven years old. In the documentary, Gomez said this was her escape. Working in “Barneyland” released her from her reality.

Gomez showed the audience that reality, her hometown Grand Prairie, Texas. She explained how she grew up poor and her mother worked numerous jobs to provide for her family. One of Gomez’s memories was not being allowed to go outside to play because of the area she lived in. Gomez and her cousin Priscilla often looked through the window to watch their neighbor’s drug deals.

Although her family was poor, Gomez showed the positives of her past. She took a trip down memory lane to visit neighbors, friends, family and her former school Danny Jones Middle School. That middle school would be the last school she would attend before becoming a Disney Channel star.

Part of the reason Gomez began her career in Disney, was to continue to build that escape. Gomez was active on Disney Channel beginning in around 2007 with Wizards of Waverly Place. On the side, she acted in various Disney original movies including Princess Protection Program and Another Cinderella Story. She also produced songs and albums.

This escape became overwhelming to Gomez, and she felt lonely as she hid in her work.

“It hurts when I think about my past,” Gomez said in her monologue.

After Disney, Gomez began writing songs full-time. In 2016, Gomez went on her Revival Tour, two years after her lupus diagnosis.

In 2014, Gomez took a break to focus on her health. She became so overwhelmed with the return of her tour, she had numerous anxiety attacks. She was scared of disappointing others. Before her first performance, Gomez freaked out about her outfit and the way she sounded.

Gomez cried to John Janick, chairman and CEO of Interscope Geffen A&M Records. She doesn’t want to be known as a Disney kid her whole life. Janick gave Gomez reassurance and informed her this is her show and they can change whatever she wants so she will be happy.

Being known as a Disney kid is part of the pain she carries, even though she is grateful for her career.

At the start of the tour, it appeared that Gomez was on a high. She was young, happy and partied. Headlines came out and Gomez began to lose her confidence and identity. She was mentally drained, so after 55 performances the tour was canceled.

“She smiles when everyone is looking but cries when she is alone,” Gomez said. “She hides because she is terrified to show herself.”

Theresa Marie Mingus, Gomez’s former assistant, explained there was nothing in Gomez’s eyes. No emotions, she was just empty.

“I wish you could feel what it feels like to be in my head,” Gomez told her longtime friend Raquelle Stevens.

Depression is a terrifying disease. According to NIMH, 8.4% of American adults battle with depression.

Gomez was treated in a mental institution where she was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

“I want to know how to breathe again,” Gomez said of her mental health journey.

Throughout her diagnoses, Gomez focused on what made her happy including her family, friends and relationship with God. Her mom has always strived to give Gomez a better life. Gomez said her mother is her light.

“Why am I here?” Gomez asked. “Clearly for something.”

The documentary “My Mind & Me” left me crying and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. The documentary not only shows people with depression, “Hey, I have this too, so keep fighting,” but it also helps to explain to others how to help people who suffer from depression.

At the end of the documentary, it showed how Gomez created the Rare Impact Fund to raise $100 million for free mental health resources. She met with President Biden this year to use her platform to create a mental health curriculum for the nation’s schools.

Our society is awful at communicating and talking about our feelings. Many of us are taught to hold our emotions in because that is normal, but it is not. We need to feel and to learn how to feel. Gomez is making groundbreaking work on how to help the next generation and future generations to come.

To close, Selena plays her new single “My Mind & Me” and makes a groundbreaking statement on her mental health journey.

“I’m a work in progress, I am enough, I am Selena.”