If you’ve ever experienced serious anxiety or depression, you’ll know how difficult it can be just to get through the day – let alone make it into work.
And Selena Gomez has shown that, whether your job involves an office or a stage, mental health issues can make life difficult for anyone.
Gomez has announced that she is to take time out from her work schedule after experiencing anxiety, panic attacks and depression. In a statement to People magazine, the 24-year-old singer said that her mental health struggles were a side-effect of lupus, an autoimmune disease for which she underwent chemotherapy in 2013.
“As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways,” she said.
“I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.”
Gomez said that she wanted to be proactive about caring for her happiness, and that “the best way forward is to take some time off”.
“I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best,” she concluded. “I know I am not alone by sharing this, I hope others will be encouraged to address their own issues.”
Living with lupus can have a profound effect on a person’s mental and emotional wellbeing. In part, this can be because the pain and exhaustion caused by the disease can make it difficult to work and socialise, leading to a sense of isolation and uncertainty. While the disease comes and goes and often shows no outward symptoms, it can also manifest itself in a facial rash or weight gain, which can affect self-esteem.
The co-president of the Lupus Research Association said that it is not commonly known that people with lupus can see their mental health suffer as a side-effect. “We are so proud of Selena for taking care of herself and bringing awareness to this very misunderstood illness,” Kenneth M. Farber said.
Images: Rex Features