Ashley Reid Opens Up About Healing From Depression In The Spotlight: “You Have To Be Brave Enough To Talk About It”

Ashley Reid A3C conference 2016

Ashley Reid/Photo: Chris Clayborn for A3C Media Services

Ashley Reid is no stranger to photoshoots and music video sets. The Oakland born and Atlanta raised fine artist, photographer and teacher is the daughter of legendary music moguls Perri “Pebbles” Reid and Antonio “L.A.” Reid. In the midst of discovering her own artistic passion and talent while growing up in the industry, Reid often struggled behind the flashing lights.

MUST READ: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting: 20 Signs of Depression caught up with Reid over the weekend at the A3C Hip-Hop Festival and Conference, where she spoke on a panel about mental health in the entertainment industry and her personal relationship to it. Our conversation shed light on her struggles with depression, suicidal thoughts, the road to recovery and her amazing art exhibition “White Power.” When did you first start noticing your mental health challenges ?

Ashley Reid: I noticed when I was young, but I didn’t know that I was coping in a way that was unhealthy. I had these feelings of being alone. I would have these moments where I’m in my closet trying to hang myself, or standing  in the mirror with a knife to my chest. I would just put it down and keep going. Now that I’m older I see the reality of that kind of coping thought process that I had. I see now that those were early signs of me not knowing how to cope with my emotions. I’m an empathetic and passionate person which equates to my sadness being big, my anger is big, my joy is big. They call it emotional disregulation, that just means I feel everything a lot. So when I was younger, to me that was just how I coped. Now that I’m older I see that those were the signs of a problem.

MUST READ: Co-Creator of #YouGoodMan Speaks On Sparking a Long Overdue Conversation On Black Men & Mental Health What were the triggers for you?

Ashley Reid: For me it was two things. Its hard to explain. Feeling alone and like feeling like God didn’t even love me. I don’t know if thats a weird way to put it. I felt like this person doesn’t love me, that person doesn’t love me. Overall just feeling alone and feeling lost. When I would get to a place of feeling like I wasn’t even good enough to be loved by God I would go to some other place.