Stephanie Hallett
August 30, 2016 3:36 pm

Selena Gomez is the definition of brave.

About a year after revealing that she has lupus—a chronic autoimmune disease—Gomez told People in a statement this week that she is taking some time off over the next year to deal with the depression, anxiety and panic attacks she’s been experiencing lately, all symptoms of the condition.

“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.”

Gomez, who has been on her Revival Tour since May, revealed the diagnosis in October 2015. She talked to Billboard about why she’d taken time off the year before: “I’ve been through chemotherapy,” she said. “That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke.”

Since then, she’s been open about her health challenges. In a Twitter chat last year she answered fans’ questions about her condition, telling one user who asked how she deals with the pain, “Pick yourself up and move forward. It sucks.”

Lupus most commonly affects women and strikes between ages 15 and 44, and women of color are two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with lupus than Caucasians; the symptoms can vary widely.

We’ll be thinking of you while you heal, Selena! We’re proud of you.

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