Selena Gomez is taking an indefinite break from her world tour in order to focus on getting well while she continues to fight her lupus battle.
The Come & Get It singer was diagnosed with the autoimmune disease in 2014 and subsequently checked into a rehab facility to receive treatments and undergo chemotherapy.
Gomez didn't reveal her secret until last October (15) when she released her album Revival, and the 24 year old has been promoting the record since May (16) by performing concerts as part of her Revival Tour.
Although she just wrapped up a leg in Australia earlier this month (Aug16) and is slated to head back onstage in Canada this weekend (03Sep16), the pop star announced on Tuesday (30Aug16) she is taking time off from the concert series and other professional commitments to refocus on her health, specifically treating her anxiety, panic attacks and depression, which are all side effects of having the disease.
"As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways," Gomez 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."
Kenneth M. Farber, the co-CEO and co-president of the Alliance for Lupus Research, praised the singer for coming forward with her battle, telling the publication, "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."
When Gomez was initially fighting lupus in 2014, she cancelled a number of tour dates for what her team then cited as "personal issues", and her subsequent rehab stay prompted her representative to deny suggestions she had a substance abuse problem.
A source close to the star insists that same speculation is untrue in this case yet again, telling People magazine her break from the Revival Tour is "absolutely not related to alcohol or substance abuse" and she was prompted to take a hiatus after she "hadn't felt like herself" over the last couple of 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 insider adds. "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."
It is unclear how long Gomez will be out of the spotlight. She was originally scheduled for three dates in North America in September (16), a few stops in Europe throughout October (16) and there were even more shows planned in Asia and Latin America until right through the middle of December (16).