Janet Jackson has opened up more about her “intense” struggle with depression for many years, also revealing that motherhood has been a life-changing experience for the best.

The 52 year old pop megastar welcomed her first child into the world in January 2017. Writing in the new edition of Essence magazine, Jackson revealed that, even in her forties, she still struggled to cope with depression and anxiety, which she believes originated in the extreme pressure of stardom in her childhood.

“I struggled with depression. The struggle was intense. Low self-esteem might be rooted in childhood feelings of inferiority,” she wrote. “It could relate to failing to meet impossibly high standards. And of course there are always the societal issues of racism and sexism. Put it all together and depression is a tenacious and scary condition. Thankfully, I found my way through it.”

Janet JacksonJanet Jackson has opened up about her "intense" battle with depression

Jackson was the youngest of ten children, all of whom were singers at the behest of their controversial and often tyrannical father Joe, who managed them. Older brother Michael formed The Jackson Five with four of his siblings.

“In my forties: Like millions of women in the world, I still heard voices inside my head berating me, voices questioning my value,” she continued. “Happiness was elusive. A reunion with old friends might make me happy. A call from a colleague might make me happy. But because sometimes I saw my failed relationships as my fault, I easily fell into despair.”

More: Janet Jackson performs relationship abuse song ‘What About’ for the first time in years

Exacerbating her depression was the recent divorce from her husband Wissam al-Mana, with whom she split shortly after the birth of their son, Eissa, 17 months ago. Her brother, Randy, had previously accused al-Mana of being controlling and verbally abusive to Janet.

However, she believes that motherhood has been her redemption, and has helped her to reach “the height of happiness”.

“The height of happiness is holding my baby son in my arms and hearing him coo, or when I look into his smiling eyes and watch him respond to my tenderness,” she effused. “When I kiss him. When I sing him softly to sleep. During those sacred times, happiness is everywhere. Happiness is in gratitude to God. Happiness is saying, ‘Thank you, God, for my life, my energy and my capacity to grow in love’.”

More: Janet Jackson ‘relaxing’ after giving birth at the age of 50