Michelle Williams Shares She Suffered Nervous Breakdown, Talks Mental Health Recovery


Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams was in the midst of promoting her OWN reality television show, Chad Love Michelle, when she and her fiancé, pastor Chad Johnson, called off their engagement. Since that announcement last December, Michelle admitted that she was in such a dark place that she didn’t know if she would make it out. Last July she checked herself into a mental health facility because of her depression, and in an interview with Essence, the singer shared that last December she suffered a nervous breakdown.

“I thought I can do everything at once,” she said. “Well, I got so overwhelmed in that season that by the time I got to rehearsals for Once on This Island, I was already depleted and exhausted. But we were taught that you’d better get on that stage even when you’re sick. People paid their money to see you. That was a thing from Destiny’s Child. I think I’ve only missed one show ever in my nearly 20-year career. You just want to push, push, push until you push yourself to exhaustion. Then you have a nervous breakdown, and you can’t do anything.”

Michelle says that she’s surrounded herself with people who support her, but it’s taken over six months to get to this place. “In December it was a whole ’nother story, sis. I was weak, very depressed and thinking it was the end of my life. If someone had asked me where I would be today, I didn’t think I would be alive, because I was so broken. It felt as though I had failed publicly and privately too, and that was just not like me. And I was like, God, there’s got to be more. I am in a better place now. I am not perfect. I’m not preaching. I’m just telling you what I’m doing right now—I’m sticking to my routine.”

She also gave advice to anyone who may be experiencing mental health struggles. “Allow yourself to feel the pain of what you’re feeling, okay? But then tell yourself you’ve got to get up,” she stated. “Because some people won’t tell you to get up or know what to say. I pray you find that inner strength to say, Okay, I’ve been down. I’ve been in this bed too long. I’ve got to get up. That’s what I did. You have to have it in you to tell yourself to get up. The days do get better. They really, really do. I’m a living testament of it. You have to do the work. And I strongly suggest finding a therapist to talk to.”