Britney Spears on Overcoming Crippling Anxiety: ‘I Was So Under Scrutiny’

Britney Spears attends the 2016 MTV Music Video Awards.
Britney Spears attends the 2016 MTV Music Video Awards. John Shearer/Getty Images for MTV.com

Stronger than yesterday! Britney Spears opened up about her crippling anxiety in a new interview and revealed how she finally overcame it.

Chatting with Marie Claire UK for its October 2016 cover story, the Princess of Pop, 34, candidly spoke about how she used to live in a constant state of disquietude.

"I moved to Los Angeles when I was very young. I was so under scrutiny," Spears — whose appearance and personal life have served as tabloid fodder for the majority of her nearly 20-year career — told the magazine. "If a hair was out of place, I’d be so anxious. I would get very anxious about so many things."

The Grammy winner, who rose to superstardom at age 17 with the release of her first single, "…Baby One More Time," and its iconic music video, went on to say that she became more confident in herself as she grew older.

Though she hit a breaking point in 2007 when she suffered a head-shaving meltdown — reportedly fueled by substance abuse and an undisclosed mental illness amid a painful custody battle with then-husband Kevin Federline — Spears believes that spending time with her sons Sean Preston, 10, and Jayden James, 9, has helped her nerves subside.

"Becoming a mother and being with my boys has made me so much more accepting of myself. I’m their mom, whatever," the mother of two explained. "That has been a really big thing for me over these last few years."

Britney Spears for Marie Claire
Britney Spears for Marie Claire Marie Claire

As previously reported, Spears lost primary custody of her boys in 2007 in the midst of her personal struggles, but regained visitation rights in 2008, months before she triumphantly revitalized her career with the release of her sixth studio album, Circus, which shot straight to No. 1. The Las Vegas headliner currently splits 50/50 custody with former backup dancer Federline, 38.

The "Make Me…" singer and her children are now closer than ever. During an August 30 interview with 92.3 AMP Radio cohosts Shoboy and Nina, she said that her older son, Sean Preston, gave her tons of feedback when it came to her ninth studio album, Glory, which dropped last Friday.

"He was in the process of me recording. Anything I'd bring home, he'd be like, 'Oh, Mom, that's cool.' [Or] 'No, Mom, that's really bad. I don't like that. I don't like that at all,'" Spears shared. "He actually didn't like 'Make Me…' in the beginning."

The chart-topping diva proudly added: "He's the one who named my album. He was like, 'Mom, I think you should call your album Glory.' It's cool though because he's young and he knows. As I teach them, they teach me as well."

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