Selena Gomez Taking Time Off for Lupus-Caused ‘Anxiety, Panic Attacks and Depression’

BY, Marsha Derek MD.

Selena Gomez is taking some time off to address her health, she announced Tuesday (Aug. 30), dealing with “anxiety, panic attacks and depression” as side effects to her battle with lupus.

Selena Gomez Apologizes on Snapchat: ‘What I Said Was Selfish’

“As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways,” the 24-year-old singer and actor told People. “I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.”

“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. I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues,” she continued.

Last year, Gomez revealed her struggle with lupus to Billboard. The illness put her in rehab with chemotherapy treatment and caused her to cancel the end of her her Stars Dance Tour in 2013. As rumors arose speculating drug use, she said, “I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy.

You’re assholes,’ But I was angry I even felt the need to say that. It’s awful walking into a restaurant and having the whole room look at you, knowing what they’re saying. I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”

Gomez has tour dates planned for the remainder of the year. Billboard has reached out to her rep for comment, but did not hear back at time of publishing.

“I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy. That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke,” Gomez tells the magazine of her time spent away last year, which caused a flurry of speculation as to what caused her decision to stay MIA.

“I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re assholes.’ I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again,” she recalled.

Kenneth M. Farber, the co-CEO and co-president of the Lupus Research Alliance, tells People, “it is not commonly known that depression, anxiety and panic attacks can be side effects of lupus. We are so proud of Selena for taking care of herself and bringing awareness to this sometimes very misunderstood illness.”

Furthermore, a source tells the mag that Gomez’s time off has nothing to do with “alcohol or substance abuse,” and explains that Selena just “hadn’t felt like herself” lately. “She feels relieved that she can now make more sense of why she was feeling the way she was and is optimistic about the future.”


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