More than a decade after overcoming postpartum depression, Britney Spears is feeling stronger.
The pop superstar reflected on her past mental health struggles in her highly anticipated memoir The Woman in Me, recalling how the incessant paparazzi attention on her two then-infant sons Sean Preston and Jayden James with ex-husband Kevin Federline only exacerbated the disorder in the mid 2000s.
"Unfortunately, there wasn't the same conversation about mental health back then that there is now," she wrote, according to an excerpt published by CBS News. "I hope any new mothers reading this who are having a hard time will get help early."
She added, "Because I now know that I was displaying just about every symptom of perinatal depression: sadness, anxiety, fatigue."
Elsewhere in the book, out Oct. 24, the 41-year-old shared how her infamous 2007 head-shaving was linked to her mental health struggles. Recalling how she was "out of my mind with grief" at the time, Britney wrote, per the New York Times, "I am willing to admit that in the throes of severe postpartum depression, abandonment by my husband, the torture of being separated from my two babies, the death of my adored aunt Sandra, and the constant drumbeat of pressure from paparazzi, I'd begin to think in some ways like a child."
"With my head shaved, everyone was scared of me, even my mom," she confessed. "Flailing those weeks without my children, I lost it, over and over again. I didn't even really know how to take care of myself."
Ultimately, the "Toxic" singer was placed in a court-ordered conservatorship in 2008, with dad Jamie Spears and his associates overseeing her personal and financial affairs. Looking back, Britney—whose conservatorship was terminated in November 2021 after 13 years—said she initially "went along" with it for "one very good reason."
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"I did it for my kids," she wrote in another excerpt published by CBS News. "Because I played by the rules, I was reunited with my boys."
Last month, the boys both celebrated important milestones, with Jayden ringing in his 17th birthday on Sept. 12 and his older brother Sean turning 18 two days later. After spending their younger years in the spotlight, the two are now living quieter lives in Hawaii with their dad Kevin and his wife of 10 years Victoria Prince.
"It's so crazy how time flies...My boys are so big now!" Britney wrote in a March 2021 Instagram post, adding at the time that they're "at the age where they want to express their own identities and I totally get it."
As for Britney, keep reading for a deep dive into her post-conservatorship life.