Haley Williams gave up her career as lead vocalist and primary songwriter for indie rock band Paramore in 2015 because of debilitating depression, which affects 16 million U.S. adults. “For the first time in my life, there wasn’t a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel,” she says in a new interview.
Williams, 28, says she finally sought the help of a therapist to deal with her personal turmoil after she started having dark thoughts about death.
“I thought, ‘I just wish everything would stop.’ It wasn’t in the sense of, I’m going to take my life. It was just hopelessness. Like, ‘What’s the point?’ I don’t think I understood how dangerous hopelessness is. Everything hurts,” she told Fader magazine.
Clinical depression or “depressive disorder” affects how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, from sleeping and eating to working, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
A diagnosis is made, if symptoms are present most of the day, nearly every day for at least 2 weeks, the health institute says.
Williams says she was “feeling exhausted” and “rationalizing every aspect of her music career” when she decided to temporarily quit the band in the summer of 2015.
“I just was done. I thought, ‘There’s gotta be something else that I’m good at in my life,” she says. “Maybe it’s time for me to go find that.”
Despite her feelings, Williams contributed songs to the band’s upcoming album After Laughter It was released last month.
Hayley confessed she’s still not completely resolved the issues that surrounded the new record, like doubts about the future of drummer Zac Farro.
“I’m still going through a lot of those things. Like, I’m not really … over this album,” she says
Williams says she was conflicted about making the band’s fifth studio album.
“I didn’t even know if we were going to make another record …There was a moment when I didn’t even want it to happen. Then it was like, I want it to happen, but I don’t know how we’re going to do it.”
Hayley signed with Atlantic Records as lead singer and lyricist for Paramore when she was just 15. Paramore released its debut album, All We Know Is Falling, a year later.