The living legend himself, and ordained minister, Richard Smallwood talked to CBN about dealing with depression, and why sometimes his music came from a place of pain.
With all the acclaim and success, Smallwood, an ordained minister, stunned fans last year when he revealed that his signature sound often came from a place of pain.
“It got to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed, I wouldn’t get in the shower,” Smallwood told CBN News. “The only time I would sort of go out is if we had somewhere to sing.”
Smallwood told CBN that he started dealing with depression when he was around 30 years old.
The feeling of being overwhelmed increased after a series of tragedies that landed him in what he described as a “deep, dark well.” Those included the deaths of several close friends and learning in his adult years that the man he called “dad” from childhood, was not his biological father.
“All of that was going on at the same time, and I just had to talk to somebody,” he explained.
He approached a minister from his church, who was also a licensed clinical psychologist.
“After seeing me a while she said, ‘Richard, you’re 100 percent clinically depressed,'” Smallwood recalled.
The talks helped, but he remained in the dark hole.
“I had to get on medication, which was a major decision for me because I was afraid,” he said. “I heard so many horror stories. But it wasn’t getting any better.”
After completing a compilation project entitled “Anthology” last year, Smallwood has turned his attention to writing his autobiography, in which he plans to discuss depression in detail.
He says several friends and fans have already thanked him for his transparency, which, in turn, opened the door for some of them to address their own struggles with mental illness.
“I had no idea just sharing my story would encourage others,” he said.