In October 2017, Williams participated as a co-host on The Talk where she shared her personal journey with depression. She recalls suffering from an unknown illness at the ages of 13 and 15. Due to the fact that depression was not always discussed it was difficult for Williams to find a solution or seek help. “I didn’t know until I was in my 30s what was going on,” she told her co-hosts on the The Talk. She often mistook her depression symptoms as “growing pains” or “becoming a woman.”
I didn’t know until I was in my 30s what was going on.
Women experience depression at twice the rate of men according to the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance. Williams recalls mentioning it to her managers and relatives however, they were unable to sympathize since Destiny’s Child experienced tremendous success.
Williams depression led to suicidal thoughts. The severity of the issue made her seek professional help. “I was to that place where it got so dark and heavy, because sometimes you feel like, I’m the provider, I take care of people, I’m not supposed to be feeling this way,” she said on the The Talk.
On July 2018, Williams was spotted leaving a treatment facility in Los Angeles. She was not planning on disclosing her mental health incident but recognized she could use her platform for mental health awareness.
She posted an image of herself with her hand on her head, face free of makeup while sitting in a bathrobe. She expressed on her post how she was reflecting on the past two weeks, “So many people are suffering, hurting, hopeless, lost and don’t see a way out but there is. Depression sucks, but my faith in God and my commitment to doing the work to stay well is my way out! You have to do the work even when you’re tired and feel the heaviness. Take one step at a time!”
She encourages those suffering with depression that even the small steps like showering and brushing your teeth are a step forward. “For people dealing with depression, that is a HUGE step! Now don’t be depressed AND stinky…..pick a struggle!” she wrote on Instagram.
Williams received support from her fans as well as fellow peers. “I want to lift our sis up in prayer because there are so many people battling this & many trying to deal with it alone. Please no jokes this is REAL & as human beings let’s keep the ones who are openly dealing with it uplifted & be encouraging to them!” Missy Elliot tweeted.
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