Britney Spears reflected on her struggles with mental health and that VMA snake moment

'There were many decisions that were made for me and that I didn’t make myself.’

britney spears mental health
(Image credit: Matt Baron/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock)

'There were many decisions that were made for me and that I didn’t make myself.’

Britney Spears proved that she’s stronger than yesterday, opening up about how fame has changed her and how learning to look after her mental health was a long process. While travelling for her Piece of Me tour, she spoke candidly about her struggles with celebrity back in her I'm a Slave 4 U days and how motherhood gave her life perspective.

She took a break from prepping for her first ever Tel Aviv concert to speak with Yediot Ahronot, an Israeli newspaper. Breath Heavy translated the piece from Hebrew into English, which is where the quotes stem from below.

Even though she’s a veteran in the pop world now, she revealed that she still isn’t totally comfortable with celebrity. She said, ‘All this fame is way too much for me, as it’s really hard to grasp its magnitude. When you’re young and in the beginning of your career it’s understandable that you've just stepped into this world.’

‘But when you grow up and you look at this industry you're like 'Huh? That's crazy.' I have these moments where I just want to dress up like a normal person and walk in the street. It goes through my mind quite a lot.’

britney spears mental health

(Image credit: Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock)

Britney then took a trip down memory lane, reminiscing on her days donning schoolgirl outfits and exposing the darker side of the industry. She said, ‘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.’

One such decision seems to be the now infamous VMA snake moment, when she walked onstage for a performance for I'm a Slave 4 U with a gigantic yellow Burmese python. When pressed, she reflected, 'That was pretty scary. Stupid even. I wouldn’t do that again.'

Britney’s struggles with management are no secret - she and her former manager Sam Lutfi came to a settlement agreement recently after seven long years. Her mother alleged during the case that he had ‘drugged Britney, he has cut Britney’s home phone lines and removed her cell phone chargers...He claims to control everything.’ The trial did however drag her drug and prescription pill addiction into the limelight, raising concerns about her mental health.

She explained, ‘Each and every one of us that starts at a young age needs to take account that you’ve gotta be balanced in order to stay in this industry and to manage your personal life. Sometimes that’s very challenging. I think I was very different back then, younger, not always knowing what’s good or bad, very instinctive.’

The mother of two explained that she has since come along way and it had a lot to do with her children. She said, ‘Today I’m at a better place in my life. My kids shaped my personality and filled me. They made me not worry about what was happening to me.’

Britney released her ninth album Glory last year and proved she was still the queen of pop, with her song Make Me… topping the charts worldwide. Her current Piece of Me tour has taken her across the globe to places as diverse as the Philippines and Japan and is predicted to wrap up at the end of 2017.

Megan C. Hills

Megan is a freelance journalist who covers entertainment and all things lifestyle, with a particular passion for fashion, beauty, travel and Keanu Reeves stories. She has previously worked on staff for titles including Marie Claire UK, CNN Style and The Evening Standard and has written for titles such as Bustle UK, Wallpaper*, Forbes and Hong Kong Tatler. She splits her time between London and her hometown Hong Kong, where she currently lives with the love of her life - an elderly dog named Poppy - and her husband.