Singer Justin Bieber set to address his battle with Lyme disease in YouTube documentary

Pop star Justin Bieber called out critics who he said have been unfairly commenting on his looks by saying he looks like he is on drugs.
Pop star Justin Bieber called out critics who he said have been unfairly commenting on his looks by saying he looks like he is on drugs.PHOTO: REUTERS

MONTREAL (AFP) - Pop star Justin Bieber announced on Wednesday (Jan 8) that he has Lyme disease.

In a post on Instagram, he said he will address his struggle with the illness, which is contracted through a tick bite, in a YouTube documentary.

"It's been a rough couple of years getting the right treatment that will help treat this so far incurable disease, and I will be back and better than ever," the 25-year-old wrote.

He called out critics who he said had been unfairly commenting on his looks by saying he looked like he was on drugs.

"They failed to realise 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."

The photo portion of Bieber's post shows a TMZ article reporting that the YouTube documentary is set for a Jan 27 release.

"You can learn all that I've been battling and overcoming," he added.

He spent much of last year suffering but undiagnosed, TMZ reported, until doctors figured out what was wrong.

The post's photos include pictures said to be taken in September of Bieber appearing to be hooked to an IV drip.

In subsequent posts later in the day, Bieber thanked his fans for supporting his new song Yummy, released last week.

And the Canadian seemed to say he is doing better, posting a meme video of a little girl dancing with the caption: "But now this is how I'm feelin."

Bieber was discovered by talent scouts when he was a teenager posting videos of himself singing on YouTube.

After an Instagram post indicated that he would be taking time off from music to focus on "my family and health", he married model Hailey Baldwin in September 2018.

Now he has a new album and tour coming soon, according to TMZ.

In September 2019, Bieber opened up about "massive ups and downs" he experienced as he went from a teenage heartthrob to "the most ridiculed, judged and hated person in the world".

In a lengthy Instagram post, he reflected on how child stardom triggered depression and a lack of humility that led to drug abuse and his becoming "resentful, disrespectful to women, and angry".

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through infected ticks, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

Symptoms can include fever, chills, headache, fatigue and joint aches.

Most people, who are treated with antibiotics early, fully recover, according to the CDC, though the infection can become severe or prolonged in some cases.