Spice Girls member and “America’s Got Talent” judge Mel B has announced she is entering a treatment program for post-traumatic stress disorder.
In a statement to The Sun, the singer said her divorce from Stephen Belafonte, and the process of working with a writer on her book, “Brutally Honest,” brought a number of issues to the surface that she wants to work through.
Mel B, whose real name is Melanie Brown, said she’s struggled with sex addiction and alcohol abuse, but those were symptoms of problems she had in dealing with PTSD.
The 43-year-old said dealing with her divorce from Belafonte, in which she has to prove to the court that her marriage was emotionally abusive, has taken its toll.
“I’ve been in therapy since my father got diagnosed with cancer nine years ago. My therapy changed a little bit because I was in a very intense relationship, which you can all read about in my book. I do address a lot of those issues. But you know, no, I'm not an alcoholic. No, I'm not a sex addict,” she said on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
“I was with the same person (Belafonte) for 10 years and that was quite a turmoil, very intense,” she said. “That’s all I can say about it. I’d like to say a lot more, but let's just keep it PC. But yeah, I address a lot of those issues and I did kind of have to ease my pain. And I do suffer a lot from PTSD.”
The “Ellen” appearance airs Wednesday. Actress and singer Lea Michele is guest hosting.
The full statement, issued Sunday, can be read below:
“The past six months have been incredibly difficult for me. I’ve been working with a writer on my book, ‘Brutally Honest,’ and it has been unbelievably traumatic reliving an emotionally abusive relationship and confronting so many massive issues in my life from the death of my dad to my relationship with men. I’ve also been through more than a year of court battles which have left me financially battered and at the mercy of the legal system which is completely weighted against emotionally abused women because it’s very hard to prove how someone took away all your self-respect and self-worth.
“I am being very honest in my book about drinking to numb my pain but that is just a way a lot of people mask what is really going on. Sometimes it is too hard to cope with all the emotions I feel. But the problem has never been about sex or alcohol — it is underneath all that. I have recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and on August 9, after trying many different therapies I started a course of therapy called EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) which in a nutshell works on the memory to deal with some of the very painful and traumatic situations I have been through. I don’t want to jinx it, but so far it’s really helping me.
“I am fully aware I am at a crisis point. No-one knows myself better than I do. But I am dealing with it. I love my three girls more than life itself. I have also made the decision to go into a proper therapy programme in the next few weeks, but it has to be in the UK because I am very, very British and I know that will work best for me.
“I am still struggling. But if I can shine a light on the issue of pain, PTSD and the things men and women do to mask it, I will do. I am speaking about this because this is a huge issue for so many people. I’m not perfect, and I have never pretended to be. But I am working on being a better version of myself for my kids, for my family and for all the people who have supported me in my life.”