Written by Erin Lobner. Media by Alli Haug.
Heartbreaking news for Selena Gomez fans: the singer is taking a break from music. Last year, Gomez announced in her “Billboard” cover story that she was diagnosed with lupus. Chemotherapy treatments were prescribed to prevent the disease from becoming fatal. She threw herself into her “Revival” tour, but the side effects of lupus forced her to call off upcoming concerts.
So, what is lupus? According to the Lupus Foundation of America, it is a “chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body.” Simply put, lupus causes your immune system to attack the healthy tissues in your body instead of just fighting off harmful bacteria. The disease is not contagious, but doctors still have many unanswered questions. There is no cure for lupus right now, but there are a few treatments that can lessen the side effects of the disease.
Gomez reported suffering from mental and emotional effects as a result of her diagnosis. In a statement to “People” she revealed, “I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks, and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.” She explained that taking a break from music was the best way for her to maintain her health and happiness and thanked her fans for their support.
Gomez is presenting the importance of personal wellness in a culture that praises those who never seem to take a break. She is also bringing understanding to the illness and drawing attention to how it affects those who are suffering. The Lupus Research Alliance co-president, Kenneth Farber, acknowledged her for being open about her condition. He commented, “We are so proud of Selena for taking care of herself and bringing awareness to this sometimes very misunderstood illness.”
Rumors of rehab continue to trickle through the media even though she clearly stated the reason for her hiatus. The accusations first surfaced when she took another short break and canceled parts of her “Stars Dance” tour. Since then, Gomez has addressed the rumors herself and other sources have confirmed that her current break is “absolutely not related to alcohol or substance abuse.”
It can be difficult to take a step back from such a successful career when you are a celebrity like Gomez with millions of fans. By doing so, she is setting an example that it is okay to ask for help. Maybe more people will start to follow her example and realize the importance of taking care of your mental and physical health instead of running yourself down trying to “have it all.” Her fans can only hope that this time will help her recuperate and eventually return to making music.