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Selena Gomez taking a break to treat anxiety, depression caused by lupus

The 24-year-old singer said she needed time away from the limelight to focus on her health and happiness.
/ Source: TODAY

Selena Gomez is taking much-needed time off.

The singer-actress has announced she's stepping away from the limelight to deal with the anxiety, panic attacks and depression caused by her lupus diagnosis, reports People magazine.

"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, 24, 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."

The "Good For You" singer, who just finished touring the globe on her Revival World Tour, said she needed to put her health first.

"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," Gomez said in her statement.

RELATED: Selena Gomez' condition is relatively rare, more common in women

When Gomez revealed her diagnosis in 2015, she brought attention to lupus, a relatively rare disease that affects 1.5 million people in the U.S, striking women far more often than men. An autoimmune disease, lupus can attack any part of the body including the joints, skin, kidneys and lungs.

The singer told Billboard magazine she'd undergone chemotherapy to treat the disease in 2014.

Gomez concluded her statement to People by thanking her fans for their support.

"You know how special you are to me," she wrote, "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."