The Canadian singer took to Instagram to address his health issues, calling out those who’ve criticized him for not looking his best.
“While a lot of people kept saying Justin Bieber looks like s–t, on meth etc. they failed to realize I’ve been recently diagnosed with Lyme disease, not only that but had a serious case of chronic mono which affected my skin, brain function, energy and overall health,” he wrote in the caption.
“These things will be explained further in a docuseries I’m putting on YouTube shortly, you can learn all that I’ve been battling and overcoming.
“It’s been a rough couple years but getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease and I will be back and better than ever.”
The lengthy caption was accompanied by a photo of Bieber on TMZ with the headline: “Justin Bieber battling Lyme disease and winning.”
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The 25-year-old is not the only Canadian singer who’s suffered from Lyme disease. Avril Lavigne and Shania Twain have also been vocal about their own struggles.
Lavigne, 35, returned after a five-year hiatus with a song Head Above Water that reflected, in part, on her battle.
Lavigne said in a statement that the idea for the song, which she co-wrote, stemmed from a very personal and emotional moment in her life.
“I thought I was dying, and I had accepted that I was going to die. My mom laid with me in bed and held me,” she said in a statement. “I felt like I was drowning. Under my breath, I prayed ‘God, please help to keep my head above the water.’”
“In that moment, the song writing of this album began. It was like I tapped into something. It was a very spiritual experience. Lyrics flooded through me from that point on.”
The condition dysphonia that left Twain unable to sing for years was caused by her own battle with Lyme disease.
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While speaking to the Los Angeles Times, the Party For Two singer said she went through extensive therapy to get her voice back before the start of her residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2012.
She said the voice-strengthening exercises and intense vocal warm-ups helped her learn more about her own vocal cords and herself.
“I learned a lot about myself, and my voice, both because I’d been having a lot of problems with my voice prior, and because this was a real plunge into the unknown,” Twain said.
Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium, which is spread by ticks.
The affliction was once relatively rare in Canada, but black-legged ticks have been moving across large parts of the country as of late, bringing with them the threat of Lyme disease.
They’re moving fast — between 35 and 55 kilometres per year, according to Nick Ogden, director of the public health risk sciences division at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory.
“The ticks started to expand in the U.S. in the 1960s, 1970s and continue to do so,” he previously told Global News. They then got picked up by migratory birds and other animals and carried northward.
At first, he said, the ticks didn’t stay. It was too cold.
“By and large, Canada has been climatically unsuitable for the ticks but in recent decades Southern Canada has warmed, making it a much better place for ticks to set up home once they’re dropped in by migratory birds.”
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