Selena Gomez to take career break after panic attacks

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Singer Selena Gomez performs during We Day California in Inglewood, California, April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

NEW YORK: Pop singer Selena Gomez said on Tuesday she was taking time out to deal with panic attacks and depression thought to be a side effect of her lupus disease.

Singer Selena Gomez performs during We Day California in Inglewood, California, April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo

Gomez, 24, issued the statement in the midst of her Revival world tour, and about a year after revealing that she had been diagnosed with lupus.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body and affects some 1.5 million Americans, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

It was not immediately clear when she would start her break or what would happen with the rest of her tour, mostly in Europe and South America, through the end of 2016.

“I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges,” she said.

“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 . . . I need to face this head on to ensure I am doing everything possible to be my best,” the former Disney Channel star said.