Arielle Tschinkel
Updated Jan 09, 2020 @ 1:40 pm

As 2019 came to a close, Justin Bieber revealed that he’d be returning to the spotlight in 2020, with a new album, documentary, and a tour in the works—his first big projects since the release of his 2015 album, Purpose. But Bieber also revealed that he’d been privately battling health issues. In an Instagram post on January 8th, the singer shared a TMZ article and revealed his struggle with Lyme disease and chronic mononucleosis, which he says has affected his “skin, brain function, energy, and overall health.”

“While a lot of people kept saying justin Bieber looks like shit, on meth etc. they failed to realize I’ve been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono,” Bieber posted.

He explained that he will share more about his diagnoses with fans in his upcoming YouTube docuseries, which debuts on January 27th. Seeming optimistic about his current path to health, he added, “It’s been a rough couple years, but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease, and I will be back and better than ever.”

Shortly after Justin Bieber’s public reveal, his wife, Hailey, took to Twitter to support him from people online who doubted his Lyme diagnosis.

She thanked fellow Lyme disease advocates Avril Lavigne, Yolanda Hadid, Bella Hadid, and Gigi Hadid, for their work in recent years to spread awareness about the tick-borne illness. Both Bella and Yolanda have been open about their struggles with Lyme, which can be complicated to both diagnose and treat, if not caught quickly.

While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that approximately 300,000 cases of Lyme are reported each year, it also says the disease is vastly under-reported and estimates that up to 10 times as many Americans may be battling the infection than previously thought.

Bieber himself didn’t reveal much about the specific symptoms he’s faced, but both Lyme and mono can come with myriad symptoms, including but not limited to fever, headache, fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, heart palpitations, mood changes/depression, anxiety, brain fog, and more.

In fact, Lyme disease is often called the great imitator because it can be similar to other conditions, like Lupus, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and mood disorders, which can get more severe if not treated quickly. Lyme disease tests are often inconclusive, so patients can go years and even decades without a proper diagnosis.

We’re sending all our love to Justin and are proud of him for sharing his experiences. You never know what a person might be going through behind the scenes, and minimizing someone’s health struggles just isn’t a kind thing to do.