Destiny's Child Singer Michelle Williams Talks Depression Battle

By Bryan Le 10/23/17

"Sometimes you feel like ‘I’m the provider, I take care of people, I’m not supposed to feel this way, what do I do?’ I wanted out."

Destiny's Child poses in a 2001 photograph.
Michelle Williams, left, poses with Destiny's Child in 2001.

Speaking on a daytime talk show, Michelle Williams revealed that she was depressed to the point of contemplating suicide back when she was with girl mega-group Destiny’s Child.

During a recent episode of The Talk, the conversation turned to Demi Lovato’s openness in discussing her struggles with eating disorders and addiction in her recent documentary Simply Complicated. Williams confessed that she had suffered from depression since she was a teenager but did not know what to call it.

“I didn’t know until my thirties what was going on. I thought it was growing pains, I just thought I was turning into a woman so I’ve been suffering since the between the age of 13 and 15,” she said. “At that age I didn't know what to call it so I applaud her for coming out and sharing her story. So many people are walking around acting like they’ve got it all together but they're suffering.”

Despite being in one of the most famous musical acts of all time, her mind was not in a good place, Williams said. Help was hard to find as people didn’t understand how she was feeling. When she told Destiny’s Child manager Matthew Knowles, also Beyoncé’s father, that she was depressed, he was surprised and believed there was no way Williams could be depressed. 

“When I disclosed it to our manager at the time, bless his heart, he was like ‘Y’all just signed a multi-million dollar deal...what do you have to be depressed about?’ So I was like…oh, maybe I’m just tired,” Williams recounted. “This is not to say anything bad about him—that’s just something normal. He’s not the only person in my life that said ‘What do you have?’ I think he was trying to be like ‘No, you’re good, you’re OK.'”

Eventually, Williams found herself in a dark place, contemplating suicide.

“It got really, really the point of, I was suicidal,” she revealed. “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 feel this way, what do I do?’ I wanted out.”

Williams said her goal in speaking out is to help "normalize" the discussion of mental health.

After the show, she tweeted to thank the show for allowing her to talk publicly about her struggles. 

“Thank you @TheTalkCBS for being a safe place to talk about #depression #mentalhealthawareness!!” she tweeted. “Don’t be afraid to reach out for help!”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter