Janet Jackson is crediting her baby boy with helping her break out of the cycle of depression she’s battled her entire life.
The That’s the Way Love Goes superstar has detailed her fight to overcome her mental health issues in a candid open letter to fans for Essence magazine, in which she explains some of her lowest lows occurred when she was in her 30s.
“I struggled with depression. The struggle was intense…,” she writes. “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. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way through it”.
The music icon, now 52, reveals becoming a first-time mother to her one-year-old son Eissa, with her estranged husband Wissam Al Mana, has helped her experience joy like never before.
“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,” she gushes. “When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere”.
Janet split from the Qatari businessman last year (2017) after tying the knot in 2012. She was also previously married to James DeBarge and Rene Elizondo, Jr.
Elsewhere in her open letter, the singer reiterates her support for female empowerment amidst the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements against sexual misconduct, after backing the cause during her 2018 Billboard Icon Award acceptance speech in May.
“We are living at a time in history when women all over the world are refusing to be controlled, manipulated, exploited or abused,” she adds. “We have found our strength, and we will not relent”.