Michelle Williams got real about how serious her struggle with depression really was during the height of Destiny’s Child’s fame.
When the singer dropped by The Talk recently, the topic of mental health came up. Michelle took time to share that the subject hit close to home for her because she has been suffering with depression since about the age of 13 years old, and it took her decades to realize it.
“I think at the age of 25, had I had a name to what I was feeling at the time, I would have disclosed that ‘I’ve been suffering from depression,’” she explained during the segment. “I didn’t know until my 30s what was going on. I just thought it was growing pains.”
She continued, “For years, I’m in one of the top-selling female groups of all time suffering with depression.”
Michelle admitted that, in fact, some of the toughest days for her came while Destiny’s Child was at the peak of their success.
She recalled, “When I disclosed it to our manager [Mathew Knowles] at the time, bless his heart, he was like, ‘You all just signed a multi-million dollar deal. You’re about to go on tour. What do you have to be depressed about?’”
Taking that into perspective, Michelle dismissed her feelings, thinking that she was just tired. To be clear, Michelle doesn’t believe that Mathew was brushing off her condition. She pointed out that Mathew wasn’t the only person in her life that was baffled by her feelings. However, he didn’t realize how serious her depression really was.
“I think he wanted me to be grateful, which I was, but I was still sad,” Michelle explained. Things only got worse from there, though. She revealed that her depression was deep enough “to the point where I was suicidal.”
As Michelle explained, her depression stemmed from internalizing some things that she witnessed in her youth. Michelle shared that she didn’t have an outlet that would allow her to process them; and using prayer as her only coping mechanism wasn’t helping matters. Her depression intensified as she took on the role of supporting her family and working hard to deliver great performances for the group’s fans. She was under a lot pressure, and it all became too much.
“I wanted out,” she declared.
Although this is not the first time she has revealed her depression, Michelle didn’t want to sweep her condition under the rug because she feels speaking out can help others.
She explained, “I want to normalize this mental health discussion.”
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