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Katy Perry opens up to Howard Stern about depression: ‘I’m a lot’


Katy Perry’s upcoming album “Smile” was the culmination of two of the saddest years of her life, which included a bout with clinical depression.

“I’ve always had a playful thing about my music and I lost that,” the 35-year-old singer said on Tuesday’s “The Howard Stern Show.”

The album’s cover shows Perry made-up as a sad clown, which appears to be a metaphor for a period that saw her hit rock bottom psychologically. That down period included a brief split with her boyfriend Orlando Bloom, with whom she’s expecting a baby any day now.

“A smile is such an indication of mental health,” she said.

Perry told Stern that while making the album, which is out next month, her depression became debilitating for a short while.

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

The “Dark Horse” singer also found herself taking anti-depressant medication, which didn’t jibe with her cheerful image.

“I was so ashamed about being on medication because I was like... ‘I wrote ‘Firework,‘” she said. “But it was one of those things where I’d sprained my brain a little bit.”

Perry said her breakdown was a combination of working a lot, not meeting expectations with her 2017 album “Witness” and her split from Bloom, which reportedly lasted nearly a year.

“You create art and you’re excited for it to be received by the world,” she said. “When it’s not received by the world, when its kind of like ‘no thank you,' you think ‘Oh s--t, that doesn’t feel good.‘”

When Stern asked Perry if her struggle with depression drove Bloom away, she said it was quite the opposite.

“He’s the only one that could handle it and that’ why we’re in this position,” she said. “I showed him all of it and I still test him and he still shows up and he still is not phased by it and that’s why he is perfect for me — because I’m a lot!”

According to Perry, transcendental meditation and therapy have also helped bring her to a happier place.

“Now I lean on more natural tools ... whenever I feel like I’m going to have a dip I’m like, all right we’re going back in to two times meditating, we’re going back into therapy, we’re going to try hypnotherapy maybe even. We’re going to look for more ancient tools because I believe nothing is new, its just been forgotten.”

She also told Stern that having more than a million followers on Twitter and Instagram is not therapeutic.

“You should see how they treat you when you write ‘your’ in the wrong way,” she said.

According to Perry, her social media following can take on a life of its own.

“There’s like a leveling that happens where people put you on a platform and they want to make sure they still have the control and they absolutely do so they test it,” she said. “The funny thing is, living under a microscope, you’ll never live perfectly to anyone’s standards.”