As the 50th anniversary of the first American Music Awards approaches, she told us of her struggle with mental illness
Britney Spears’s public struggles with substance abuse and mental illness often overshadowed her dazzling talent and personal history. A few years ago, the 40-year-old American pop star relapsed again into addiction, a disorder of which she’d previously been clean for four years. “I’m like everyone else,” she wrote in a revealing Instagram post earlier this year. “I’m at a crossroads in my life. Just like everyone else.”
Britney Spears dishes on her mental illness and her struggle with father Read more
Spears has not always been positive about her mental health. Her most ambitious 1999 art project, in which she sliced herself and covered her body in horsehair, had many fans questioning her mental health. In 2005, she fought with her father over custody of her sons and accused him of being her “enabler”. An unfiltered video she made for her Piece of Me show in Las Vegas was leaked on the internet in 2017, showing Spears performing in character as a sultry sexpot while her two sons looked on.
And while she has come a long way, in December 2016 she was admitted to hospital after a breakdown stemming from her private life: her then boyfriend of two years, Sam Asghari, accused her of attacking him with an umbrella. Spears later tweeted: “I’m not a bad person … But I have been living in a kind of a void for a while. I’m sure you’ve noticed.”
We can only hope that Spears lives long enough to resolve the questions about her mental health that still dog her.
• This article was amended on 2 August 2019 to clarify that Britney Spears relapsed in 2017, not 2018.