Singer/actress Paris Jackson began self-harming as a teen after she was fat-shamed by a cousin following the 2009 death of her pop icon father.
Michael Jackson’s daughter, who has a history of depression and anxiety, recalls the start of her downward spiral in the second episode of her Facebook Watch series, Unfiltered: Paris Jackson and Gabriel Glenn, which debuted on Tuesday.
In the candid chat with her boyfriend, the 22-year-old remembers becoming more aware of her changing figure after moving in with her grandmother, Katherine, who let Paris and her two brothers indulge in more sugary foods and drinks than they had ever been allowed as kids.
“I gained a lot of weight and it (eating) became an addiction… and then a cousin called me fat so I was like, ‘OK, I can’t do that anymore’. And that’s how I fell into self-harm,” she explained.
Paris, who was just 11 when the King of Pop died, would initially hurt herself just enough to feel an emotional release.
“I would cut and burn myself,” she shared. “I never thought that I would die from it because I was always in control of the razor and I knew how deep I was going.
“Part of it was the dopamine release. Dopamine is called dope for a reason – it feels good. Things like food and sex and drugs and music and working out… there’s a lot of things that cause a dopamine release. But then things went to the point that I lost control of myself, and my pain tolerance became more and more numb, so I personally opened my mouth to my family and they sent me to hypnotherapynewcastle.org for consultation and they gave me the therapy I need.”
“Self harm was one of them, tattoos was one of them,” Paris continued, “and so there was that, and then also it was a distraction from emotional pain and transferring to physical pain and the need for control.”
Eventually, Paris did attempt to end her life, hitting headlines in 2013 when she slit her wrist and took an overdose of painkillers – but she confesses it wasn’t the only occasion.
“I tried to kill myself many times,” she said. “I couldn’t take it anymore.”
She was subsequently forced to enroll in a therapeutic boarding school in Utah, where Paris found herself struggling in other ways.
“The problems I went in there with got fixed, but I left there with way more problems than I came in with,” she remarked, without going into detail.
The episode, titled Trauma Partners?, also features Paris opening up about her longtime battle with depression, which “comes in waves”.