Janet Jackson Opens Up About Her Battle with Depression in Her 30s & 40s

Janet Jackson is the latest star to cover the July/August issue of ESSENCE magazine.  The pop star discusses her struggles with depression. In a heartfelt letter, Janet tells her fans that her thirties were her most difficult years.

“I struggled with depression. The struggle was intense. I could analyze the source of my depression forever. 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 way through it…..”

Her forties were also intense, she writes.

“In my forties: Like millions of women in the world, I still heard voices inside my head berating me voices questioning my value. Happiness was elusive. A reunion with old friends might make me happy A call from my colleague might make me happy. But because sometimes I saw my failed relationships as my fault, I easily fell into despair.”

Janet reveals that she is no expert when it comes to happiness; however she has her life experiences as a guide. She also posed this question, “What do I really know about happiness?”

These days Janet finds solace and peace by surrounding herself with inspirational people, her relationship with God and in the presence of her baby boy 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.”

She adds, “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.’ ”

ESSENCE’s July/August issue hits the stands June 22.

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