Britney Spears says she has changed her outlook on life after crippling anxiety led to her highly-publicised breakdown in 2007. The Gimme More singer, who was sectioned due to her fragile mental state, said she now puts her emotional wellbeing first ahead of her career in order to manage her anxiety.
GALLERY: Celebrities who have spoken out about mental health issues
Speaking to Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, Britney explained: "From an early age I always felt that everyone was testing me. If [something] was not in place, it would have been enough to get me to this point of anxiety. I could get overwhelmed by a lot of very small, disproportionate things."
Britney Spears was only 17 when her debut album was released
The star also referred to her famous breakdown, and how the experience had changed her perspective, saying: "I think I had to give myself more breaks through my career and take responsibility for my mental health. There were many decisions that were made for me and that I didn't make myself."
It was this feeling of lack of control that led Britney to feel "less passionate" about her career, but she has now reached a stage where she is feeling much happier and healthier. "I think I was a different person then, young, and I did not always know instinctively what was good and what was wrong," she said. "I am in a much better place in my life, and the two children shaped my personality, filled me, made me less worried about what is happening to me."
The singer said she has changed her perspective and now puts her mental health first
Britney is not the only celebrity to open up about their mental health issues. Former One Direction star Zayn Malik previously revealed that anxiety led to him cancelling his solo performances – an issue that is speculated to be the reason he has now cancelled more shows in Japan. Meanwhile Selena Gomez took time out of the spotlight to focus on her anxiety issues, which she said were a side-effect of her struggle with Lupus.
Fellow pop star Ellie Goulding said she turned to fitness to deal with her own symptoms of anxiety, writing in an open letter: "I think part of what sparked my panic attacks was not feeling confident enough to believe in myself—I was scared I wasn’t as good of a singer as everyone thought I was. And as the stakes grew, I was afraid of letting everyone, including myself, down."