Selena Gomez announced that she is taking some time off after dealing with “anxiety, panic attacks and depression.” The Hands to Myself singer revealed to PEOPLE that she needs to take a break to focus on her physical and mental health due to her ongoing battle with lupus.
“As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways,” said Gomez. “I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.”
She continued, “I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off. Thank you to all my fans for your support. You know how special you are to me, but I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best.”
The 24-year-old opened about her struggle with lupus to Billboard last year. In 2013, Gomez had taken time off and went to rehab for chemotherapy treatment.
“We are so proud of Selena for taking care of herself and bringing awareness to this sometimes very misunderstood illness,” said Kenneth M. Farber, the co-CEO and co-president of the Lupus Research Alliance.