The other side of #PoorMichelle: Michelle Williams opens up about depression and treatment in ‘The Talk’ interview
“So many people are walking around acting like they’ve got it all together and they are suffering,” pop and gospel star Michelle Williams told the hosts of the The Talk last week. Williams shared that she unknowingly struggled with depression in her early teenage years and throughout adulthood, experienced unresolved trauma as a child, and even considered death by suicide.
These struggles persisted despite refrains from various people including then-manager Mathew Knowles, the father of her Destiny’s Child groupmate Beyoncé, that her deep sadness might flow from ungratefulness instead of mental illness. Adding that she meant nothing negative toward him, Williams claimed Knowles wrestled with understanding how a person who was one-third of a globally celebrated group that signed multi-million dollar deals could be anything but endlessly happy.
“I just thought it was growing pains,” Williams said. She stated that knowing that the word “depression” applied to her at age 25, instead of realizing it in her 30s, would have been immensely helpful.
Williams, whose career beyond Destiny’s Child includes several Broadway stints and diversified solo albums, also expressed a misconception in some Black churches. In certain communities, people believe mental illness is merely prayed away. Without ruling out that possibility for every conceivable human being, Williams used her platform, and longtime church roots, to encourage broader medical help.
Williams and Talk co-host Sheryl Underwood shared synergy during the interview, when they described an “and”-based faith proposition, rather than an “either/or” faith-based proposition: People should lean on God and doctors when facing depression and suicidal ideation, not just God.
“In the church … you take everything to God but if you’re taking it to God, you’re also taking it to the physician, the doctor that God put on this earth, and getting the medication God gave the doctor to bring,” Underwood said. Williams emphatically agreed.
Watch the clip below.