photo: Splash

Relatable queen Selena Gomez has announced she's taking time off from her Revival Tour to focus on her mental health. 

In a statement provided to Buzzfeed Tuesday night (August 30), she opened up about the depression and panic attacks she's experienced as a side effect of her lupus, an autoimmune disease she was diagnosed with and underwent chemotherapy treatments for last year. Taking time off, she said, is essential to maintaining her "health and happiness."


"As many of you know, around a year ago I revealed that I have lupus, an illness that can affect people in different ways. I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks, and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges," Gomez's statement says.

"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," she continued. 

Shows for the upcoming weekend in Canada have been canceled (ticket holders, though, will reportedly be refunded), and some European tour dates have been taken off the roster, too. Based off Gomez's website, she's planning to return to the tour on October 13 for her show in Oslo, Norway. Tickets for that show and her remaining European dates are still for sale. 


She also thanked her fans for their support, saying, "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."

Gomez said she hopes others "will be encouraged to address their own issues" after her raw, honest display of vulnerability.


Meanwhile, fans are sending Selena some love via the #GetWellSoonSelena hashtag on Twitter.

Alongside the hashtag, fans are tweeting their wishes for Gomez's good health and happiness. 

"We never want to lose your happiness. Your smile makes my life shine brighter everyday," tweeted one user, while another told Gomez to "stay strong" and pledged their "forever" support. 


Gomez isn't the only young star to speak openly about her depression in recent times.

In June, Zayn Malik opened up about his struggles with anxiety, which forced him to cancel a show at the Capital Summertime Ball. 

Gomez's fellow Disney Channel star/pal Demi Lovato has also used her own experiences with depression to become an outspoken advocate for mental health, and Justin Bieber has also opened up about his need to act with his mental health in mind.


The willingness of Gomez and her peers to be frank about their struggles with mental health — and the overwhelmingly positive response of their fans — speaks volumes about how these issues are losing their taboo status in society.

Approximately 20 percent of teens face depression before reaching adulthood, while only about 30 percent are being treated for it. 

For a celebrity like Gomez, who is widely viewed as a role model by her young, devoted fanbase, to be so frank about an issue faced by so many clearly sends the message that none of us need to hide or be ashamed of our own struggles with depression and anxiety. And dismantling the shame and stigma surrounding mental health is a huge step forward in the direction of more people getting the help they need.