Janet Jackson talks her battle with depression: ‘The struggle was intense’

Janet Jackson is speaking out.

The 52-year-old pop icon pens a letter to her fans in the new issue of Essence magazine, which was shared on Wednesday’s Good Morning America.

“I struggled with depression. The struggle was intense,” Jackson 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.”

One of the ways Jackson worked through her pain was with the love of her 1-year-old son, Eissa Al Mana.  

“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 writes of her little boy. “When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere.”

Also in the Essence letter, Jackson writes about the #MeToo movement and female empowerment. “We are living at a time in history when women all over the world are refusing to be controlled, manipulated, exploited or abused,” she declares. “We have found our strength, and we will not relent.”

Though Jackson doesn't touch on her ongoing custody battle with her ex, Wissam Al Mana, in the letter, a source opened up to ET about the situation earlier this month.

"Janet lived a life where she felt controlled at every moment. She doesn't want her son growing up with the same feelings,” the source said at the time.

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Billboard Music Awards 2018: Janet Jackson
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Billboard Music Awards 2018: Janet Jackson
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Honoree Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Recording artist Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Honoree Janet Jackson accepts the Icon Award onstage during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Honoree Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Honoree Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Recording artist Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Recording artist Janet Jackson perfroms onstage during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Honoree Janet Jackson accepts the Icon Award onstage during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Recording artist Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Recording artist Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Recording artist Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Honoree Janet Jackson performs onstage at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Honoree Janet Jackson performs onstage during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Recording artist Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images for dcp)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Recording artist Janet Jackson attends the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Honoree Janet Jackson performs onstage during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Honoree Janet Jackson performs onstage during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - MAY 20: Honoree Janet Jackson performs onstage during the 2018 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 20, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
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