Paramore's Hayley Williams Opens Up About the Hopelessness of Depression

Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams has been a punk rock idol for over a decade. Off the release of her band’s latest album “After Laughter,” Williams opened up in an intimate interview with The FADER, where she discusses the intensity of her mental health issues and the painfulness of a symptom far too many have experienced: hopelessness.

While Williams, now 28, would relate to and write songs about teenage angst in Paramore’s early years, “After Laughter” tackles darker issues like depression and marital problems. Williams told FADER, “I don’t feel as hopeful as I did as a teenager.”

The singer went on to reveal she’s been living with depression for the past several years. The dark feelings and fixations on death got so intense, she began seeing a therapist:

For the first time in my life, there wasn’t a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel. I thought, I just wish everything would stop. It wasn’t in the sense of, I’m going to take my life. It was just hopelessness. Like, What’s the point? I don’t think I understood how dangerous hopelessness is. Everything hurts.

Williams also said she briefly quit the band in 2015 but was drawn back in when her songwriting partner, Taylor York — who also has a history with depression — started sending her unfinished tracks she would riff off. Still, when “After Laughter” was released in May, Williams said she was overcome with sadness and struggled to keep positive at a fan meet-and-greet. “It was a heavy day because we were letting go of this thing that we felt kept us alive,” she told FADER. “And I do think it kept me alive.”

Williams still maintains friendliness and warmth toward everyone she meets, even strangers. When asked about it, she told FADER:

Man, I was just taught to be nice. I’m going to be gone one day, and I have to accept that tomorrow isn’t promised. Am I OK with how I’m living today? It’s the only thing I can help. If I didn’t have another one, what have I done with all my todays? Am I doing a good job?

Fans on Twitter were quick to offer Williams love and support:

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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