Janet Jackson Speaks On Her Battle With Depression

Contributed by BreAnna Bell

In her open letter for Essence Magazine‘s Happiness Issue, Janet Jackson recalls her battle with depression and how she has been able to continue finding happiness through the years.

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The singer/actress revealed she dealt with depression and issues with her mental health well throughout her thirties.

“I struggled with depression. The struggle was intense,” Jackson writes. “Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority. It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And of course there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way through it.”

The Essence Festival Headliner remained candid with her audience as she taught them to place happiness within themselves and not their relationships to tangible things. She claimed her forties were racked with critics discussing her beauty and worth in publications and outlets.

“When it comes to happiness, I’m no expert,” Jackson writes. “I have only my life experience as a guide. I’ve known great happiness and great sadness. But I guess the key question is,What do I really know about happiness?”

The global superstar now says, she places her happiness in God, the inspirational people she surrounds herself with and her 2-year-old son with billionaire ex-husband, Eissa.

“The height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness,” Jackson shares. “When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God. Happiness is saying, ‘Thank you, God, for my life, my energy and my capacity to grow in love.’ ”

WHUR Contributor

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