January 25, 2019
Photo by Andrew Eccles/CBS via Getty Images
On a recent episode of The Talk Sheryl Underwood revealed that she has multiple personality disorder. The co-host explained that she developed the mental illness after going through several accounts of sexual assault. Watch below:
“Sometimes certain disorders protect you,” she said. “I will tell you when I was younger, the things that were happening to me, I would separate. So there were two of us. Because I wanted to survive. So one was the fighter. One was, something was happening to me. So I hope that this helps people, and I hope that it helps people understand that the human brain will do whatever is necessary to survive.”
This isn’t the 55-year-old’s first time opening up about her past on the show. Last year, she shared she experienced her parents in domestic abuse situations from a young age: “I saw my mother stab my father, and I suppressed it for years…What I learned is maybe there was a mental illness or something,” she said. “When you witness something, you fight two battles.”
In 2017, the comedian disclosed another traumatic experience she went through in college, in a now taken down video clip. “I remember having a ‘this is it’ moment when I was raped. I just kept thinking, ‘This ain’t it. I am not going to die today. I refuse to die today. It’s not going down like this.’ So the only thing I thought was: What do I do to survive? What do I do to survive?”
She also admitted to negotiating with her rapists for her life: “And I start talking to the guy and I said, ‘Don’t do this, this way. Whatever you’re going to do, finish what you’re doing — don’t kill me. And don’t take my ID. They’ll find you.'”
Not only has Underwood been open about these difficult times in her life, but she’s also spoken about learning to forgive those who’ve hurt her, especially her multiple sexual attackers since childhood, and her own mother. “I didn’t have the best life with my mother, but I had no other choice but to forgive her and forgive those that took advantage of me sexually, that abused me when I was too innocent to make certain decisions for myself,” she said. “Because if I didn’t forgive them, that darkness in them would come inside of me and I didn’t want it. I could not survive with that type of hatred in my heart.” Watch below:
The actress is one of many celebrities who has opened up about having a mental illness and also experiencing sexual abuse. In 2017, Jenifer Lewis revealed that she found out she had bipolar disorder and sex addiction while on Broadway.
TELL US: Do you think more people should open up about the effect of sexual abuse on their mental state?