Paris Jackson Opens Up On Drug Abuse, Mental Health Struggles

By McCarton Ackerman 01/26/17

“It was just self-hatred, low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn’t do anything right, not thinking that I was worthy of living anymore.”

Paris Jackson
Photo via YouTube

Paris Jackson recently sat down for a bombshell interview in which the teenager revealed her history with drug abuse and mental health issues.

In the feature from Rolling Stone, the 18-year-old daughter of the late music icon Michael Jackson said she was “actually crazy” while dealing with a myriad of issues including depression and the death of her father. She said her problems began after entering a private school in the seventh grade. She felt like she didn't fit in, so she acted out.

“I was doing a lot of things that 13, 14, 15-year-olds shouldn’t do,” said Jackson. She admitted hanging out with “a lot of older people doing a lot of crazy things,” and said she “tried to grow up too fast, and I wasn't really that nice of a person.”

Jackson also revealed that she was sexually assaulted by a “complete stranger” at age 14, which she hid from friends and loved ones. She made headlines for a suicide attempt at age 15, but said it was just one of many attempts to end her life. Jackson also admitted she had been cutting herself at the time.

“It was just self-hatred, low self-esteem, thinking that I couldn't do anything right, not thinking I was worthy of living anymore,” she said. “I was going through a lot of teen angst. And I was also dealing with my depression and my anxiety without any help.”

Jackson was eventually placed in a therapeutic boarding school in Utah, which she says changed her life. She has stayed sober since leaving the school and is also off all psychiatric medication. Now, many of her tattoos cover up track marks from her former drug use and scars from self-harm.

The teenager has developed a passion for modeling and made her debut in the front row—and in front of the camera—at Paris Fashion Week this month. She hopes that having a creative outlet will serve her well in dealing with her mental health.

"Plenty of people think I'm ugly, and plenty of people don't," said Jackson. "But there's a moment when I'm modeling where I forget about my self-esteem issues and focus on what the photographer's telling me – and I feel pretty. And in that sense, it's selfish."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.