Britney Spears allegedly wrote a suicide note just days before her recent public meltdown.

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The troubled singer – who was hospitalised last week following a stand-off with police after she refused to hand her two young sons back to ex-husband Kevin Federline – claimed she would be better off dead as she struggles to live up to the high expectations placed on her.

A source is quoted by the Sun as saying: “The letter was very sad. Britney talked about loneliness, how unfair life is and not being able to trust people. She wrote about how she will never be what people want her to be. She said, ‘Perhaps it would be better if I was dead.'”

The note was found in the star’s bathroom at her Los Angeles home by a friend. Sources claim Britney – who lost all visitation rights to two-year-old Sean Preston and 16-month-old Jayden James after the police stand-off – is suffering from manic depression, which causes her erratic behaviour.

One said: “Sometimes she misses drugs she takes for her problems. Sometimes she takes too many. Combined with her drinking, it makes her difficult to control. Earlier this week, Britney allegedly threatened to commit suicide if she is forced into psychiatric care.

The Gimme More singer insisted she would rather die than be put into hospital by her parents, Jamie and Lynne.

During a car ride round Los Angeles, where she was pursued by the paparazzi, she reportedly shrieked down the phone to a friend: “They’re not sending me to the nut house! No one can make me go – and I’m not going.

“I’ll kill myself before I let them lock me up again. So tell Mama and Daddy I said so. Oh my God, it’s over for me.”