Updated: 22nd March 2018

Selena Gomez says panic attacks caused by lupus force career break

Pop singer, currently on her Revival world tour, announces she needs time out to deal with depression and other effects of debilitating illness

Pop singer Selena Gomez has said she is taking time out to deal with panic attacks and depression thought to be a side effect of her lupus disease.

Gomez, 24, issued the statement in the midst of her Revival world tour and about a year after revealing that she had been diagnosed with lupus.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body. It is thought to affect up to five million people worldwide, including more than a million in the US, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

It was not immediately clear when she would start her break or what would happen with the rest of her tour, mostly in Europe and South America, through the end of 2016.

Ive discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges, she said.

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 … I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best, said the former Disney Channel star.

Gomez announced her decision about two weeks after getting into a social media feud with her ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber. The Canadian pop star posted images to his Instagram page of himself and his latest girlfriend, Sofia Richie. Fans posted negative comments and Bieber made his account private in response.

Gomez, who found fame as a teenager through the 2007-12 Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place, also cancelled half of her Stars Dance tour in 2014 when she was initially diagnosed with lupus.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us