She admits that she lived in fear of how people saw her.

By Renee Cherry
September 25, 2018
Photo: Frederick M. Brown / Stringer / Getty Images

Selena Gomez might have the largest Instagram following, but she's over social media ATM. Yesterday, Gomez posted on Instagram that she's taking a break from social media. Over the weekend, before anyone knew about her upcoming departure, she answered followers' questions over an Instagram Live. During the stream, Gomez opened up about her struggle with depression. (Related: Kristen Bell Tells Us What It's Really Like to Live with Depression and Anxiety)

"Depression was my life for five years straight," she said, according to E! News. "I think before I turned 26 there was like this weird time in my life [where] I think I was kind of on autopilot for about five years. Kinda just going through the motions and figuring out who I am and just doing the best I could, and then slowly but surely doing that." She says she felt like "every time I try to do something right; every time I try to do something good, I felt like people were picking me apart," which created a "fear of what people [were] going to say."

Gomez pointed out the criticism that comes with social media when announcing her hiatus. "Kindness and encouragement only for a bit!" she wrote in her post. "Just remember-negative comments can hurt anybody's feelings. Obvi." (Related: Selena Gomez Took to Instagram to Remind Fans That Her Life Isn't Perfect)

This isn't the first time that Gomez has gone on a social media cleanse. In 2016, she took a break when she was dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, which she explained were side effects of having lupus. She spent three months in rehab without using her phone at all. Gomez still received negative attention during the period when she was out of the public eye. "I wanted so badly to say, 'You guys have no idea. I'm in chemotherapy. You're assholes,'" she told Billboard afterward.

This time around, Gomez seems to be leaving social media for different reasons. She talks about being in a better place now. "I enjoy my life," she recently said on Good Morning America. "I don't really think about anything that causes me stress anymore, which is really nice." And to one commenter who wrote "also, so glad to see u so HAPPY recently," on her latest post, Gomez responded, "best I've ever been!"