Britney Spears' insights into her anxiety make her early custody woes so much more tragic

Britney SpearsBritney Spears at the 2016 VMAsEvan Agostini/Invision/AP

Britney Spears has been in the spotlight for nearly two decades. As a result, all of the ups and downs of her personal life have played out in the public arena, which the singer says left her suffering from anxiety.

The superstar, now 34, opened up about her struggle with anxiety in a new interview with Marie Claire UK. Spears revealed that being under constant scrutiny for most of her life left her terribly insecure. That is, until she became a mother.

"Becoming a mother and being with my boys [Jayden, 9, Sean Preston, 10] has made me so much more accepting of myself. I'm their mom, whatever. That has been a really big thing for me over these last few years," Spears told Marie Claire.

It's clear that the singer has become more comfortable in her own skin. Yet, the revelation about the powerful effect motherhood has had on her makes Spears' past custody issues all the more heartbreaking.

Britney Spears sonsBritney Spears with her two sonsJohn Shearer/Invision/AP)

In 2007, Spears was embroiled in a tense custody fight with her ex-husband, Kevin Federline. A judge found that she engaged in "habitual, frequent, and continuous use of controlled substances and alcohol," and the singer temporarily lost custody of her two boys.

Shortly afterwards, Spears suffered a very public meltdown, which entailed days of odd behavior, including reckless driving, shaving her own head, and attacking paparazzi with an umbrella. In January 2008, she was admitted to UCLA Medical Center's psychiatric hospital.

Her father was then granted legal conservatorship over her personal life and finances, and in July 2008, she won visitation rights to her kids. Spears now has shared custody of her sons with Federline.

But, after all her hardships, the singer seems to be back on top. She spent the past three years performing in Las Vegas, and now, her new album, "Glory," is at the top of the charts.

Read more of Spears' Marie Claire UK cover story here.

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