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Britney Spears just checked into a mental health facility. Here's what we know about her life right now.

There is no pop figure who defines noughties nostalgia quite like Britney Spears.

But now, just three months after announcing a hiatus from music to care for her sick father, Jamie, the 38-year-old has checked herself into a mental health facility. 

Posting to her Instagram on Wednesday, the pop musician wrote “‘We all need to take time for a little ‘me time.’ :)” sharing a photo of the quote “Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit.”

 

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We all need to take time for a little “me time.” :)

A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on

A source then told People that the mother-of-two has checked into a “all-encompassing wellness treatment” and another added that she “just needed to focus on herself” in the wake of her father’s life-threatening illness.

“Her dad being sick has taken a toll on her,” the source told People. “He nearly died and actually had another surgery a few weeks ago. He’s not doing well. They’re so close and it has been a lot. There is nothing dramatic going on with her — she just realised she needs to make sure to take time to care for herself.”

Britney Spears is well-known for her public breakdown that unravelled during the final years of the noughties, but more than a decade later, her self admission to a facility for some “me time” is proof not only of her improved wellness, but is reflective of the huge shift towards a public understanding of mental illness.

The response to her announcement has been warm and supportive, and Britney’s choice is a testament to the singer’s growth in the past decade.

Ten years ago, Britney Spears’ breakdown shattered her public image.

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She had been the woman standing in double denim, and the woman behind the iconic kiss with Madonna at the 2003 VMA’s.

britney spears 2018
Iconic. Image: Getty.
Britney Spears Justin Timberlake double denim
Who could forget this iconic 2001 American Music Awards outfit? Image: Getty.

She was also the iconic woman who stood on stage at the 2001 VMAs, with a live snake around her neck, singing with temporary body tattoos on her chest.

Britney Spears 2019
She defined the decade. Image: Getty.
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Then the public turned on her.

In 2004, things began to unravel for Britney Spears. In January that year, Spears married her childhood friend, Jason Alexander in Las Vegas. The ill-advised union lasted just 55 hours, with a petition to the court stating that Spears "lacked understanding of her actions".

Later that year, she began dating backup dancer Kevin Federline. They too married quickly - after just a few months of dating - and had two children together, Sean Preston and Jayden James.

britney spears 2019
Britney Spears and Kevin Federline. Image: Getty.

But by November 2006, Spears had filed for divorce. Jayden was just two months old.

Weeks later, she was photographed on a alcohol-fuelled binge with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. It was splashed across headlines as a "bimbo summit", with no empathy for the seeds of a mental breakdown that in hindsight seemed obvious. She was admitted to rehab, but after leaving early, had her mother and K-Fed refuse her access to her children.

Months later, she got on the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards and declared "It's Britney, bitch", catapulting the phrase into a meme culture that didn't even exist yet.

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Spears was then photographed driving her young children around California, which was problematic given not only did the singer have a disqualified driving licence at the time, but she was also facing a hit-and-run charge.

These photographs prompted an emergency custody hearing, one that demanded Sean Preston, then two, and Jayden James, 13 months, be handed over indefinitely to estranged husband Federline within 48 hours.

She reportedly spent the following night sleeping in a car park.

It was the early stages of a psychiatric breakdown that we should have seen coming, and that in hindsight should have been treated with bucket loads more empathy than it was.

She continued to spiral.

In February 2007, Spears famously shaved her head in full view of paparazzi. She also attacked one of their vehicles with an umbrella.

In January the following year Spears had what was described as 'a psychiatric breakdown that lasted 72 hours.'

She was photographed being moved into an ambulance from her apartment, reportedly on the back of undisclosed mental illness and substance abuse.

She had all her assets handed over to her father, Jamie Spears, and her aptly named lawyer, Andrew Wallet.

The pop star could not so much as buy a coffee without the purchase being recorded, and 11 years on, she still can't.

She is bound by their permission, and is also unable to get married or have another baby without their consent.

These two men still control her finances. And with Britney at a point where she can identify when she needs to step back, why doesn't she have her freedom back?

According to sources in the New York Times, she likes the arrangement, feeling as though it provides a "protective bubble" allowing her to focus on the important things in life.

According to Elaine Renoire, the president of the National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse, "there is little incentive to end it,” she told the New York Times.

"Usually, the conservatorship just keeps going unless the conservatee makes a fuss or the family does," she added.

In 2019, Britney Spears is miles from the woman we saw being wheeled into an ambulance more than a decade ago.

She has resurrected her career and enjoys a wholesome personal life.

After a rocky few years between 2008 and 2012, where she went on tour and appeared on How I Met Your Mother, Spears settled into a role as a judge on The X-Factor. 

britney spears 2018
Image: How I Met Your Mother.
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britney spears 2018
Image: X-Factor.

She continued to make music, releasing her eighth album, Britney Jean, and in 2013 began a two year residency in Las Vegas titled Britney: Piece of Me at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

In early 2016, the singer released a game called Britney Spears: American Dream, which allows the player to write hit songs and climb the charts.

In the same year, she also met her now boyfriend, Sam Asghari, on the set of her Slumber Party music video. Five months after filming, she found his number in her handbag, and decided to give him a call. The pair have now been together for over two years.

 

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???????????? @samasghari

A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on

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By 2017 Britney had well and truly cleaned up at the People's Choice Awards, where she won all four awards she was nominated for, and by the end of the year, Forbes announced Britney Spears as the 8th highest earning female musician, earning $34 million throughout year.

In 2018, she released a perfume with Elizabeth Arden called Sunset Fantasy, and travelled North America and Europe with her Piece of Me Tour.

But it was in January 2019 that Britney Spears proved she is among the most wholesome celebrities in Hollywood now, when the 37-year-old delayed an upcoming Vegas residency to take care of her father, whose colon "spontaneously ruptured", forcing him into emergency surgery and a month in hospital.

Announcing the delay on Twitter, Britney explained that family comes first.

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A post shared by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on

The 38-year-old's life has taken a turn for the better, and her ability to recognise when she needs help in the wake of her father's illness is proof enough of that.

She has narrowed her focus onto the things that matter, and values family and self-care above all.

While Kevin Federline still has full custody of her sons who are now aged 13 and 12, Spears regularly spends time with them and posts photos to Instagram.

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