Michelle, who was in the band with Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland, opened up about her mental health struggles in an interview on the American TV show, ‘The Talk’ on Wednesday.
She told the panel that by speaking out about her struggles, she hoped to help “normalise this mental health discussion”.
She said: “For years, I’m in one of the top-selling female groups of all time suffering with depression.”
Michelle, who topped the charts with hits including ‘Survivor’ and Independent Women’ as part of the group, explained that she tried to talk to the band’s manager, Beyonce’s dad Mathew Knowles, about how she was feeling, but she says he didn’t understand her.
“When I disclosed it to our manager at the time, bless his heart, he was like, ‘You all just signed a multi-million dollar deal. You’re about to go on tour. What do you have to be depressed about?’” she said.
“So I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I’m just tired’.”
The singer then revealed she began to have suicidal thoughts.
“It got really really bad… to the point of I was suicidal,” she continued. “I was at 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 - what do I do?’ I wanted out.”
She added: “I think at the age of 25, had I had a name to what I was feeling at the time, I would have disclosed that ’I’ve been suffering from depression.”
Following her TV appearance, Michelle took to Twitter to urge people suffering with mental health issues to speak out.
She tweeted: “Thank you @TheTalkCBS for being a safe place to talk about #depression #mentalhealthawareness!! Don’t be afraid to reach out for help!”
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- Samaritans offers a listening service which is open 24 hours a day, on 116 123 (UK and ROI - this number is FREE to call and will not appear on your phone bill.)
- Get Connected is a free advice service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org