Ariana Grande is not one to shy away from talking about her mental health. On Thursday night, April 11th, the Thank U, Next singer shared a picture of several brain scans on her Instagram Story that appeared to show she was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. She called the scans “hilarious and terrifying,” posting them alongside a diagram that illustrated what a normal, “healthy brain” would look like in comparison to what one with PTSD would look like.
The “PTSD brain” was lit up in areas, indicating signs of trauma, whereas the healthy brain was not. Grande’s scans showed a significant portion of her brain that was lit up, similar to the “PTSD brain.”
Last year, the pop star opened up to Vogue U.K. about her battle with anxiety and PTSD following the fatal bombing that killed 22 people at her concert in Manchester, U.K., in 2017.
“It’s hard to talk about because so many people have suffered such severe, tremendous loss,” Grande told Vogue U.K. for their July issue. “But, yeah, it’s a real thing. I know those families and my fans, and everyone there experienced a tremendous amount of it as well. Time is the biggest thing.”
The experience was horrifying and traumatic in itself, but for it to take place within what Grande considered her safe-haven left her all the more lost and grief-stricken.
“Music is supposed to be the safest thing in the world,” she said in the emotional interview with Time in 2018. “I think that’s why it’s still so heavy on my heart every single day. […] I wish there was more that I could fix. You think with time it’ll become easier to talk about. Or you’ll make peace with it. But every day I wait for that peace to come and it’s still very painful.”
And 2018 was a tumultuous year for Grande as well.
At Billboard’s Women in Music event last December, she called it one of the “best” years of her career and one of the “worst” of her life. However, despite the rough years, Grande remained optimistic.
“I just want to say if you’re someone out there who has no idea what this next chapter’s gonna bring, you’re not alone in that,” Grande said, fighting back tears. “[…] You’re not alone in that. I’m really looking forward to embracing whatever happens; whatever comes my way.”