Britney Spears has come a long way since 2007, when she made headlines for her stints in rehab and for shaving her head. And while she has mostly stayed mum about those challenging years, the singer recently spoke out about the mental health issues she struggled with in that eventful year.
In an interview with Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot in advance of her first ever performance in the country, Britney referred to her twenties as "awful," adding: "My thirties are much better for me. I've learned to get to know myself better." She says that she felt overwhelmed and not in control of her own life.
As a refresher, Britney had just divorced Kevin Federline in 2007 and was gripped in a nasty custody battle with him over their children. According to Us Weekly, she spent time in rehab when she was photographed shaving off all her hair, then attacking a paparazzo's car with an umbrella a few days later. She fled the scene of a car accident and was charged with two counts of hit and run, and was eventually hospitalised under a 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold in early 2008.
"My life was controlled by too many people and that doesn’t really let you be yourself," Britney said, according to Harper's Bazaar (the interview was published in Hebrew). "I wrote back then, that I was lost and didn’t know what to do with myself." She added, "There are moments where I look back and think: 'What the hell was I thinking?'"
Even though she went through a lot, Britney denied that her mental issues were the biggest crisis in her life.
"Crisis is a strong word," she said. “Each and every one of us that starts at a young age needs to take into 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."
Thankfully, Britney is back on top and feeling healthy and happy. The now-35-year-old regained custody of her boys, recently released her ninth album, and is currently performing in her wildly successful Las Vegas residency Britney: Piece of Me.
Britney is far from the only young star to struggle with mental illness and speak out about her treatment and recovery. Demi Lovato has been open with her fans about dealing with bipolar disorder and disordered eating. And former child star Amanda Bynes recently broke her silence after her struggles with substance abuse and bipolar disorder. Both women are on the mend, reporting that they are sober and feeling healthy. Britney reports that 10 years after her mental breakdown, she is doing great too.
"Today I'm at a better place in my life," she told Yediot Ahronot . "My kids shaped my personality and filled me. They made me not worry about what was happening to me."
This article originally appeared on Womenshealthmag.com.