Singer Michelle Williams Left Mental Health Facility Early Over Snooping Fears - Music News
The former Destiny's Child star, 38, checked herself into a Los Angeles area medical centre in July to battle depression, and shared the news with fans days later.
However, Michelle hadn't planned on going public with her health woes at the time, and confesses she only issued the statement after reporters received a tip-off.
"The unfortunate thing about (this is) I was gonna talk about this one day, (but) I didn't wanna have to talk about it in this manner," she explained on breakfast show Good Morning America, in her first live interview since seeking treatment.
"I didn't wanna have to release a statement, but when it got kinda leaked, it hurt my heart because I'm like, that's what keeps people from getting treatment, it's because somebody might find out."
Michelle suspects members of the paparazzi had obtained secret snaps of her at the facility, and after finding herself hiding out in darkness, the Survivor hitmaker decided to end her stay a little earlier than planned.
"I had to close my curtains, I even left the treatment facility early because I was so paranoid, (thinking), 'Who was it?,'" she admitted. "And one of the ladies (staffmembers) was like, 'You might wanna close your curtains because people (paparazzi) have long (camera) lenses,' and I was like, the sunshine that I could have, I need the sunshine, I could no longer have it, because somebody just had to tell it (leak the news), and it keeps people (from seeking help)..."
The singer instead continued her therapy as an outpatient, and credits her fiance, Pastor Chad Johnson, for supporting her throughout the tough time, even though she suffered in silence until realising she really needed to seek professional help.
Michelle also gave him plenty of opportunities to leave the relationship, but he continued to stand by her side: "I actually told him when he came to visit me in the hospital, I said, 'Babe, I will understand if you leave. I can go to bed at night knowing that you left because you were praying for a wife, but not a depressed one,'" Michelle recalled. "But he showed me in sickness and in health already, before marriage, (that he will support me)."
Chad is full of praise for his "courageous" bride-to-be for using her own experiences to help others, and Michelle is glad to have emerged from the "bottom of the pit" feeling "much better".
Sharing a few words of advice for other depression sufferers, the star concludes, "The ongoing outpatient care is so important. Don't get comfortable; continue to do the work, even when you feel better."
Michelle now has a few new projects to focus on - she and her fiance will debut their new U.S. reality show, Chad Loves Michelle, on Saturday (03Nov18), while the singer is also returning to Broadway at the end of November (18) to star in the Tony Award-winning revival of the musical Once On This Island.