Selena Gomez is seeking treatment after suffering an emotional breakdown while in the hospital, a source confirms to PEOPLE.
The 26-year-old “Wolves” singer was hospitalized twice within the last few weeks, both times for a low white blood cell count, which can be a side effect for kidney transplant patients.
During her second visit, Gomez suffered a panic attack. “She has had a tough few weeks and the panic attack in the hospital was the tipping point,” a source tells PEOPLE.
“She realized she needed to seek additional help for her ongoing emotional issues. She’s surrounded by close family and has a lot of support. She’s doing better now and is seeking treatment on the East Coast.”
The singer is undergoing dialectical behavior therapy, a therapy method designed to help try to identify, and then change, negative thinking and behavioral patterns, the source says.
The news, which was first reported by TMZ, came a few weeks after Gomez announced that she is taking a break from social media.
“As much as I am grateful for the voice that social media gives each of us, I am equally grateful to be able to step back and live my life present to the moment I have been given. Kindness and encouragement only for a bit! Just remember — negative comments can hurt anybody’s feelings. Obvi,” Gomez added.
Around this same time last year, Gomez shocked fans by revealing that, due to lupus complications, she’d received a kidney transplant from her best friend Francia Raisa over the summer.
Gomez and Raisa, 30, opened up about the process during an interview with Today in October 2017. “My kidneys were just done,” Gomez told Savannah Guthrie. “That was it, and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life.”
“The thought of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me. She volunteered and did it. And let alone someone wanting to volunteer, it is incredibly difficult to find a match. The fact that she was a match, I mean that’s unbelievable. That’s not real,” Gomez continued.
Raisa was sharing a house with Gomez when she realized how weak her friend was becoming.
“One day she came home and she was emotional. I hadn’t asked anything. I knew she hadn’t been feeling well,” the Grown-ish actress said. “She couldn’t open a water bottle one day. She chucked it and she started crying. And I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ and that’s when she told me. And she goes, ‘I don’t know what to do. The list is seven to 10 years long.’”
Raisa continued, “It just vomited out of me: I was like, ‘Of course I’ll get tested.’”
Raisa explained that because they were in an “emergency situation,” she completed her testing in a day — a process that usually takes about six months.
The recovery process was tough. The women were unable to do anything, from putting on underwear to taking a shower, without assistance. Gomez also said that they were on bed rest and only allowed to walk for an hour each day.
Raisa said the experience brought them even closer. “I am beyond grateful that God would trust me with something that not only saved a life, but changed mine in the process,” she said.
Gomez has been open about her battle with lupus for several years, and first revealed in 2015 that she’d undergone chemotherapy to treat the disease. Lupus causes the immune system to attack its own organs and tissues and can affect the whole body.
According to the Lupus Foundation of America, about half of all cases of systemic lupus affect a major organ such as the heart, lung, kidneys or brain. In some cases, it can take years for the disease to be diagnosed and properly treated.
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