Selena Gomez Taking Time Off To Deal With Depression And Anxiety Associated With Lupus

After travelling the world for her “Revival Tour”, Selena Gomez is putting her wellbeing first and taking time off from the spotlight.

“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 star tells 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. 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 added.

The change of pace, a source reveals, comes after the singer “hadn’t felt like herself” and is “absolutely not related to alcohol or substance abuse.”

“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 continued. “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.”

As the co-CEO and co-president of the Lupus Research Alliance notes, Kenneth M. Farber notes, “it is not commonly known that depression, anxiety and panic attacks can be side effects of lupus.”

The Alliance stood by Gomez’s decision and shared its show of support via Twitter on Tuesday: “Sending our very best to @selenagomez. Thank you for being such a strong voice for the #lupus community,” the organisation tweeted.

Gomez, who was slated to perform in Atlantic Canada this weekend, has cancelled her appearance at Atlanticfest 2016.

In a statement released by David Carver Music, Gomez has pulled out of her scheduled concerts in Paradise and Moncton, citing health concerns. “David Carver Music firstly extends our thoughts and well wishes to Ms Gomez. David Carver Music and Atlantic Canadian music fans stand with her on the decision to put her health first,” the promoter said in a statement shared on their Twitter account.

As the CBC’s Rod Etheridge reports, preparations for the concert had already begun at the time of Gomez’s announcement.

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