Michelle Williams opens up about decades-long battle with depression

When Destiny’s Child broke up in 2005, Williams didn’t know where she would go next. She opens up about seeking treatment and hopes her story can help others.
7:04 | 05/28/21

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Transcript for Michelle Williams opens up about decades-long battle with depression
Reporter: Many people would look at you and just think, you had it all. How is it possible you could have dealt with depression and emotional issues? You were a major star. The music industry did not cause my depression. Being in destiny's child did not cause my depression. It was something lingering that followed me from the seventh grade. Without a diagnosis until I was in my 30s. Reporter: Michelle Williams for the first time sharing the darkest details of her battle with depression. Were you really at the point of having suicidal thoughts? Deborah, I was not only at the point of having suicidal thoughts, there was an attempt. So you really went to a dark place. Yes. Yes. Reporter: A stunningly brave confession from a woman who once basked in the thrill of success. Rocketing to stardom in the early 2000s, alongside Beyonce and Kelly Rowland, in destiny's child. Michelle, this way! Reporter: The trio becoming a cultural phenomenon. releasing chart-topping hits like "Survivor." "Lose my breath." and "Booty licious." Selling more than 60 million records globally. But for Michelle, behind the fame, fabulousness, was dark reality. Moments where I just wanted to stay in bed. I chalked it up to weird work and I'm just tired. But it was more than that. And I hate I didn't say anything to the girls specifically. Did Beyonce and Kelly have any clue, do you think, the depths of your depression? I masked so good. There might have been an inkling, but it really wasn't until the past five or six years that I've been sharing bits and pieces with them, more so now than ever, the real deal, the real truth. Reporter: That truth laid bare in Michelle's new memoir, "Checking in: How getting real about depression saved my life and can save yours." Showing her fans in a recent Instagram post how she checks in with her destiny's child sisters. Y'all, Kelly's making soup. Okay what kind of soup you making? Chicken and rice soup. Yeah? She's cutting up celery and carrots. So proud of you, Mimi. I know! Thank you! Reporter: Denitra Michelle Williams was born in Rockford, Illinois, into a religious home, the third of four children. Affection wasot popular in our household, because they're dealing with their own things, probably with their own traumas. Reporter: She was haunted by feelings of abandonment even at the height of her fame with destiny's child. I remember telling our manager at the time as well, hey, I think I'm dealing with some depression. And he wanted me to see the brighter side of things. No, y'all are about to go on tour, y'all got Barbie dolls, what are you talking about? Y'all just signed a crazy big deal with Columbia. I believed see myself in a pit, trying to get out. Just feeling so heavy that when I would make one step, the weight would just pull me back down. And the weight just felt more comfortable than healing. Reporter: Instead of dealing with the pain, she doubled down on work. Reporter: Then in 2005, a world-shattering moment. Destiny's child announcing they would go their separate ways. It's a loss. And maybe I didn't know how to grieve that loss properly. And maybe I carried a lot of that pain and trauma with me for a number of years. I was like, obvious oh, are you going to have to go to auto zone and sell windshield Weiner fluid now? Reporter: She was devastated. But soon found her own path. In 2017, Michelle fell for and later became engaged to Chad Johnson, a young, charismatic pastor. Despite her reservations, they signed on to a TV gig. Michelle, will you marry me? Yes! Reporter: A reality show "Chad loves Michelle." Yes! Yes? Yes, I will! Reporter: Soon enough, the show's public glare left her feeling vulnerable. Leading to dangerous, even suicidal thoughts. I was not feeling safe with myself. I called my therapist and said -- I think we better look into some help. I got in the truck and drove somewhere that we suggested that I should go. I had no clothes, not a toothbrush, nothing. It was a real break, wasn't it? It was. It was. And I had to sit there, and during the intake, answer all these questions -- thinking, is someone going to know who I am? But I was so desperate that I didn't care. What did you learn about yourself in treatment? There's resilience. The bravery. That I'm brave. Guess what? I'm here today in 2021. I'm alive to tell the story. Because it could have went another way. Reporter: Today, Michelle remains steadfast in her daily road to healing. It's been taking the weekly therapy sessions, working out, eating good, surrounding myself with loving people. Reporter: She hopes her honesty can be a guiding light for others. I'm thinking about my journey, but I'm also thinking the safety of this interview and how many people don't have that. Because a lot of people are exploited or taken advantage of. And they don't have a safe place to talk about their process and their journey. You're clearly feeling a certain amount of freedom now, you're moving on. What's next for Michelle Williams? I feel even more cemented in my purpose, and I'm on a mission to help as many people as I can. Our thanks to Deborah. If you or someone you know might be struggling with thoughts of self-harm, you are not alone. The national suicide prevention lifeline is always open. 800-273-8255. For confidential assistance. Up next, celebrating aapi

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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