Missy Elliott Opens Up About Her Struggles With Anxiety And Graves' Disease
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Missy Elliott Opens Up About Her Struggles With Anxiety And Graves' Disease

When it comes to her flow and genre-defining hits, rapper Missy Elliott has established herself as a musical powerhouse. Still, behind the fame and legendary rap status, the Virginia native is opening up about the quiet struggles with her mental and physical health.

During an interview with Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, the 52-year-old femcee discussed her anxiety and revealed her 2008 diagnosis of Graves' disease.

Amid the discussion, the “Work It” performer spoke candidly about experiencing anxiety, particularly during a surprise appearance at Katy Perry's Super Bowl XLIX performance in 2016.

Missy Elliott talks historic induction to Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Missy says that her “anxiety kicked in” after grasping the magnitude of the event, which ultimately landed her in the emergency room shortly before hitting the stage. “I didn’t know how humongous… how many people watched the Super Bowl, so when I did it, I ended up in the emergency room,” she told the news anchor.

Still, the recording artist is grateful for the current social climate that has allowed for more open conversations to take place around anxiety and depression. “It feels good to be at a time now where you can talk about it,” she says. “Because you realize, it’s a lot of people that suffer from anxiety.”

She went on to address her diagnosis of Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease affecting the thyroid, that she says "broke down my whole nervous system."

Missy recalls a vulnerable moment when her friend and R&B singer, Monica, came to her aid during a flare-up, assisting in her songwriting process. "I couldn't even hold a pencil," Missy shared. "She wrote the lyrics out for me… I felt helpless."

“It starts messing with you mentally… you have all those different side effects you have to deal with,” she added. “Life is never gonna be just full of roses… those tests become your testimony.”

At the 38th annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Missy Elliott made history by becoming the first female rapper to receive the honor.

The Grammy-winning artist always knew she’d be a “superstar” and her advice to her younger self confirms it. "There is a bright future for you, and keep going,” she imparts. “That girl knew too, that she had something that was different and unique."

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Featured image by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

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