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Selena Gomez to Take Time Off Due to Anxiety, Depression Caused by Lupus

Selena Gomez lupus break
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Selena Gomez announced today (August 30) that she’ll be taking some time away from the spotlight to focus on her health and well being.

Gomez revealed that she’s been suffering from anxiety, panic attacks and depression as a result of the autoimmune disease, lupus, and she’s decided to make her health her main priority.

“As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways,” she told PEOPLE in a statement. “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,” she continued. “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.”

A source close to the “Hands to Myself” singer insists her sudden break is “absolutely not related to alcohol or substance abuse” and instead stems from Gomez feeling out of sorts for the past few months.

“She decided to clear her calendar for the year in order to have this be her priority for future happiness and didn’t want to leave any promoters at bay,” the source revealed to PEOPLE. “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.”

While rumors concerning Gomez’s health began circulating in 2013, after she took a break in the middle of her Stars Dance Tour, it wasn’t until last year that the “Same Old Love” singer publicly confirmed she has lupus.

“I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy,” Gomez told Billboard. “That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke.”

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