As we watch Summer Walker wave the red flag about her struggle with anxiety, another Black woman is struggling right before our eyes. The reality is, Moniece Slaughter is battling depression and not only needs help, deserves it and the peace that comes along with it.
I may not be a fan of Moniece, I cringed when she had to find out at the skating rink that her baby’s daddy Fizz was dating his former bandmate Omarion’s baby’s mother Apryl Jones. They laughed in her face and I was disgusted by their sheer lack of compassion. It’s like Moniece can’t seem to escape embarrassment. (And yes, I think Fizz owed her the decency of telling her who he was dating, especially because it is a close colleague).
That aside, Moniece does herself no favors and may need to step away from the cameras and social media all together. She has to let go of her crutch — playing the victim role (because no woman has ever thrived there), take accountability for herself and put in the work to get better.
“Over the last couple of weeks, my emotional and mental well-being has been extremely shaky,” she revealed during a confessional on Monday night’s episode of Love & Hip Hop Hollywood. “Uncontrollable sobbing at random times throughout the day. Why? I don’t know. Not being able to sleep, not being able to eat; it’s just been an absolute mess.”
In another scene, Moniece revealed she was suffering a depressive episode when she called Fizz to ask for help. “I’m in tears and I’m like I don’t know what’s up but I do need your help this week because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to get through the week with Kamron.” Fizz brushed her off and hung up. Then a moment no mother wants to experience occurred. Kamron, who was close by, expressed resentment towards Moniece. “I just don’t understand why I can’t have a normal mom,” he said. After the episode aired, Moniece took to social media to clarify the situation.
In her defense, motherhood is not easy and depression is real. Much of Moniece’s storyline has been centered around her mothering skills and a sex tape that threatened to expose her in the most of vulnerable acts. Anything that comes in an inch of doubting one’s mother skills is emotional devastating. It can definitely lead to anxiety and depression.
She’s not alone. Taraji P. Henson recently opened up about her struggle with mental health.
“Sometimes, the weight is just too much and to put on that facade like you are strong all the time is exactly what it is, a facade; that’s whack,” she said during an interview for SELF Magazine. “I would get so low, really, really low, beaten, like never before,” she added. “You may have those days [when] you’re like, ‘Oh, I just don’t feel like getting out of bed. I just want to sleep in,’ but you don’t feel heavy. I was just starting to feel heavy a lot, [like] suffocating. … It just came out of nowhere.”
The symptoms sound very similar to Moniece, who was candid about dropping 13 pounds this season. She continues to subject herself to unnecessary harsh criticism. When it isn’t vitriolic opinions from strangers who watch the show, it can be fake concern cloaked in pity. Neither of which will help her get better.
“All season long. They begged me to have this conversation,” Moniece claimed on Instagram. “I’d gone through the season totally depressed and alone. I explained to them that I wasn’t willing to sit and have the conversation about the effects my depression had on my son with anyone on the cast because while I did have genuine friends on the show. I was paranoid and didn’t want to talk about it. I was paranoid that the edit would create a different narrative that wasn’t true as is always the case when it comes to my storyline. They promised me that when it came to my son and this very sensitive topic of emotional and mental health, the edit would be accurate & the narrative would be handled with care.”
During last night’s episode Moniece revealed she intends on getting professional help and in-patient treatment, but finds working on her music to be therapeutic. At some point, Moniece has to stop leaving her narrative and legacy up to editors who are more concerned with what’s good for TV and pull herself out of a situation that seems to only exacerbate her mental illness.
Similar to Summer Walker, Moniece has made the revelation that she suffers from these ailments, but hasn’t put in more work to help it. Until Moniece chooses to get to the root of what causes her depression and make some changes, she will remain in a revolving wheel of highs and lows. She will stay idle in constant emergency mode with no one invested in helping her because she’s been here so many times before.
Moniece deserves to live a happy life, but there’s going to be a lot of work that comes with that.