No amount of money, fame or success can shield you from the demons inside. We’ve seen it time and time again – and now Janet Jackson has added herself to the list of celebrities who have battled depression.


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Jackson revealed that from a very young age when she was growing up as the youngest in the world-famous Jackson family, she has “struggled with depression.”

“The struggle was intense,” she wrote in an open letter for Essence magazine (via CNN). “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.”

Jackson said she’s been heavily impacted by societal pressure to look a certain way.
“I wasn’t happy with the way I looked. For most of my life, that lack of happiness followed me,” she wrote. “I wish someone had said, ‘You look fine. You look healthy. Being a little chubby is the least important thing in the world. Enjoy your childhood. Enjoy running and laughing and playing. Stop looking in the mirror and comparing yourself to others.”
The depression has followed her throughout her life and into her forties.
“In my forties: Like millions of women in the world, I still heard voices inside my head berating me, voices questioning my value,” Jackson wrote. “Happiness was elusive. A reunion with old friends might make me happy. A call from a colleague might make me happy. But because sometimes I saw my failed relationships as my fault, I easily fell into despair.”

Jackson admits, “When it comes to happiness, I’m no expert.” But she’s finally found it in her one-year-old son, Eissa Al Mana.

“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,” Jackson wrote. “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.’”

I’m not crying, you’re crying.