Katy Perry went through a "horrible" and "intense" period after the release of ‘Teenage Dream’.
The ‘Chained to the Rhythm’ singer enjoyed great success with her third LP – which became only the second album after Michael Jackson’s ‘Bad’ to feature five number one singles – when it was released in 2010, but the surge in her popularity also heightened the scrutiny she was under.
While some parts of that time were "amazing and beautiful", Katy – who split from husband Russell Brand in late 2011 – found the attention difficult.
She said: "I was just kind of like a deer in headlights a little bit.
"I was like, does this happen to people? Like, is this normal?
"When people are just talking about ‘Teenage Dream,’ I’m like, please talk to me when you’ve done that. And lived through it. Because it was f***ing intense. And amazing and beautiful and horrible all at the same time."
The ‘I Kissed a Girl’ hitmaker – who has also previously dated the likes of John Mayer and Orlando Bloom – admits her previous saucy image stemmed from a fear of intimacy.
She explained to the New York Times newspaper: "I used to be scared of intimacy, I used to use my sexualization as attention, I used to oversexualize myself because that was the only way I knew how."
But now Katy has changed her perspective after having a "full sexual liberation" by resolving issues with her father, pastor Keith Hudson.
She explained: "The reality is that I was retriggered on the election. I was retriggered by a big male that didn’t see women as equal. And that had been, unfortunately, a common theme in my upbringing."
And the ‘Swish Swish’ singer – who quit drinking in January – has been attending group therapy with her family.
She said: "I went to that dark place that I had been avoiding, and I dug out the mold. It was not fun, but I did that — I’m still doing that."