“Good For You” singer Selena Gomez took a break from the spotlight to treat her lupus. The former Disney star battled rumors that she was in rehab to fight addiction; meanwhile she was treating a chronic condition that causes the body’s immune system to attack its own tissues and organs.

She talked about her time away from the limelight during a candid interview with Billboard magazine for its Oct. 17 issue. “I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy,” she said. “That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke.”

Gomez, 23, wanted nothing more than to silence critics. “I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again,” she said about rehab rumors. “I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re a--holes.’”

Even though it’s the first time the celebrity has spoken about her illness, her grandmother, Mary Gomez, expressed concern for her granddaughter’s lupus in June 2014. "Selena is very stressed and concerned about her condition. I am, too," she was quoted by Female First. "She is too busy. She needs to rest. We all want her to get this under control."

It reportedly took Gomez so long to talk about her health because she was “distraught” about the illness. "She was so distraught and really freaked out when doctors told her there was no cure and she would have to live with it for the rest of her life,” a source told Female First at the time. “She's been on meds ever since."

Gomez famously had a whirlwind romance with Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber, but the couple called it quits and has not rekindled their relationship. When she was asked if her new album "Revival" was motivated by her ex’s success, she told Billboard: “No. This is my time. I’ve deserved this. … I earned it. This is all me.”

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