Britney Spears‘ decision to seek treatment at a wellness facility came amid a difficult time in her life. Not only was she dealing with the stress of her father Jamie’s recent life-threatening medical issues, but also with adjustments to medications long prescribed to aid her mental health.
The medicine Spears was previously taking had lost some efficacy over time, PEOPLE has learned. As doctors weaned her off the old medicine cocktail and created a new, tweaked regimen, the adjustment period was challenging.
Deeply upsetting to Spears was the failing health of her father Jamie, who was hospitalized in November 2018 after his colon spontaneously ruptured. In January, as Spears was gearing up for a return to the Las Vegas strip with her show Domination, the star announced that she was taking an indefinite break from work to support her father.
Spears, 37, then checked into a facility for “all-encompassing wellness treatment” earlier this month.
“She recognized she needed to focus on her own health and sought treatment,” the source close to the situation continues. “No one forced her to go.”
Over the last decade, the singer has “received treatment, seen a psychiatrist and other doctors,” a family source previously told PEOPLE, adding that Spears has been on board with her treatment plan. “This is something she wants to do.”
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But some have questioned the circumstances surrounding the pop star’s decision to seek treatment. On Monday night, a crowd of fans, believing that Spears is being held against her will, gathered in protest outside West Hollywood City Hall. There they demanded her release, according to a YouTube live stream of the event.
Sister Jamie Lynn Spears appeared to fire back at critics on social media early Tuesday. Though she didn’t mention the protest directly, she shared a throwback Instagram video featuring Spears being hounded by paparazzi as the two walked together.
“10 years ago, who was there?? I have been here long before anyone else, and I’ll be here long after,” the 28-year-old Zoey 101 alum captioned the post. “I love my sister with everything I have. So, an