Paris Jackson has opened up about mental health before. She posted an Instagram video in 2016 when she was 18 about dealing with cyberbullying and attempting suicide. Now 23, Jackson says she no longer contemplates suicide and shares some techniques that have improved her emotional life.
Jackson was a guest on Red Table Talk on June 16. In an interview with Willow Smith, Jackson opened up about her mental health journey.
Paris Jackson practices EMDR therapy
Jackson told Smith about eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, or EMDR therapy. In this process, Jackson would recall a traumatic incident while moving her eyes from side to side or tapping her hand. Jackson said EMDR has helped her cope with paparazzi harassment after the death of her father, Michael Jackson.
“I’ve just started the healing process,” Jackson told Smith. “I don’t know if you know what EMDR is. I love EMDR. It’s very intense, but it puts you in a very fragile and vulnerable state, but it is a very effective kind of therapy.”
Paris Jackson opens up about her suicide attempts
Jackson has previously discussed her attempted suicide at 14, after the death of her father. She described multiple attempts to Smith.
“There have been times where I did and times where I didn’t, where I was upset that it didn’t work,” Jackson said. “I can say several years later that I’m really glad it didn’t. Things have gotten better.”
Jackson explained that the attention she receives simply for being Michael Jackson’s daughter added stress to her childhood. She also referred to the cyberbullying she experienced.
“I think it’s everything,” Jackson said. “I think a lot of it was just not knowing who I was, being a young girl going through puberty and probably just a lot of my situation and a lot of pressure. It was really hard, and people would tell me to kill myself every day. And I was depressed.”
Furthermore, Jackson described her thought process when she decided to stop attempting suicide.
“It’s kind of morbid, the radical acceptance that it just wasn’t meant to be,” Jackson said. “Okay, I’ve tried and tried and tried. It’s really not working. Maybe it’s just not my time, and that sucks. For a while, it was just like I’ll wait it out kinda thing, which is so dark. So it was just a radical acceptance of when it’s my time, it’ll be my time, and I’ll wait it out until then. During that waiting time, I’ve just found more and more joys in life and more ways to cope and more ways to really live instead of just exist.”
Affirmations are another part of the therapy process
In addition to EMDR, Jackson said she is learning to speak affirmations to herself. She started to get the hang of it in Oct. 2020.
“It was the night of the Harvest Moon, dude, and I experienced self-love for the first time in my entire life,” Jackson said. “I was having a really rough night because some old memories came up. I was like, OK, I’m going to sit and be with myself and do a little prayer. Then I just felt the need to get up and go into the mirror and start doing these affirmations. Once I finished, I saw myself and recognized myself for the first time in 10 years. Hey, old friend. It was this really corny moment between me and myself in the mirror.”
Jackson said she struggled with practicing affirmations at first, but the feeling they unleashed was powerful.
“I don’t have words to describe it,” Jackson said. “It is so intense. It’s just a lot of gratitude. It took a really long time to get to that point. Even though it’s super uncomfortable and awkward at first. I don’t know why it’s so awkward and embarrassing to be by yourself in the mirror and be like you’re worthy. It feels uncomfortable at first when you first start getting into the hang of it.”
Source: Red Table Talk