Jennifer Holliday

Grammy Award-winning singer Jennifer Holliday at the California Theater of Permorming Arts in San Bernardino.

Following her performance at the California Theater with the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, Nov. 16, we had a chance to sit down and chat with Grammy Award-winning singer Jennifer Holliday.

During her performance, Holliday briefly talked about her fight with clinical depression her entire adult life. She said some of it had to do with the “pressure of being a star” in the entertainment industry at such an early age back in 1979.

Holliday says during the 80s and 90s it was all about “image,” her record label at the time told her that she was not attractive enough to be in music videos, which at were starting to become popular in the American music scene, and that “they (the record label) wouldn’t be investing” in her to make videos because they would not sell.

She says soon after the record company dropped her label is when her life started going downhill with not being able to find work and losing her home.

On her 30th birthday she “took an overdose of pills and decided to end it all.”

She says even after she lost 200 pounds she had problems “loving my self,” which she said made her go see a clinical social worker. She says, “The main thing is to go get help,” if you are dealing with a mental health issue.

After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1999, Holliday had to choose to either treat the mental health or MS as the MS medication caused depression. She became a constant seeker of her health and “a fighter for her life.” She also says that God helped heal her and that He is a big part of her life.

Holliday believes people should be more open with their feelings and that they should go talk to someone if they have a mental health issue. She also thinks “social media has added to the depression, because people think their lives are not great,” and “that it’s worse for young people as they are on the computer all the time and think their life is not relevant.” Holliday says to those who think that way, “You’re not an accident,” “that you are meant to be here,” and to “cut back on the social media and start talking to people.”

If you have a mental health issue or know someone who does please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1(800) 784-2433.

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