Katy Perry Got Real About Clinical Depression and Feeling “Ashamed” of Taking Medication

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Katy Perry‘s new album, Smile, is “full of hopefulness and resilience and joy,” the singer revealed in an interview on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM Radio show on July 21. It’s a joy, she said, that came out of a period of deep depression. “[Smile] was made during a dark time,” Perry said. “I was clinically depressed because I had a change in my career.”

The depression, Perry explained, was brought on by the lackluster reaction to her last album, Witness. “The last record didn’t necessarily meet my expectations,” she said. In some ways, that freed her to “create and be more dimensional as an artist and also as a human being.” But it also led to depression so serious that, at one point, she was unable to get out of bed.

“It was more than I had ever faced in my life,” Perry said. “I’d had bouts of depression before, but I had been able to avoid falling into the really dark depression by making music. It’s like all these things you do to distract, you eat, you work, you get a new boyfriend, you shop.”

Perry also said she felt “so ashamed” of being on medication for depression. “I was like . . . I wrote ‘Firework.’ But it was one of those things where I’d sprained my brain a little bit.”

Smile is set to be released Aug. 14, and Perry is currently pregnant with her first child with fiancé Orlando Bloom. He “is the only one that can handle [my depression],” Perry said. “I showed him all of it – and I still test him, he still shows up, he still is not fazed by it – and that is why he is perfect for me.”

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