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Michelle Williams once had difficulty just getting out of bed.

“I’ve dealt with depression,” says the 32-year-old singer and actress, who shot to fame as a member of the group Destiny’s Child. Williams also said that in the past few months, she has emerged from years of suffering, crediting exercise, therapy and positive thinking to her success.

“I had to choose to get out of bed and do whatever I needed to do to be happy,” she said during a break in rehearsals for her starring role in new touring production of “Fela!” that kicks off later in January 2013. Williams also has a new single on the, and is currently working on a solo album.

Michelle WilliamsWilliams says she suffered her first bout of depression at 15 or 16 and has managed to avoid medication. She is speaking out for the first time about her battle to encourage others to seek help.

“We’re taught, ‘Just go to church and pray about it. The Lord is going to heal you.’ Well, in the meantime, I believe God-gifted people, physicians, doctors, therapists — that’s your healing. Take advantage of it,” she said. “Go see a professional so that they can assess you. It’s OK if you’re going through something. Depression is not OK, but it is OK to go get help.”

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