*Michael Jackson’s older sister Rebbie has opened up about her daughter’s battle with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia in hopes of raising awareness of mental illness.
The former singer says coping with the problems faced by Yashi Brown – one of her three children with childhood sweetheart Nathaniel Brown – has been difficult.
“It was such a hard thing, it has all been an experience I will never ever forget and all I wanted was to find a solution or a way in which Yashi could just solve the problems,” she tells FOX411’s Pop Tarts.
Rebbie continues: “A lot of people have these disorders and they don’t know it because there are very different degrees of bipolar. So many people have this but they can’t figure out what their problem is. So you have to get to the core of the problem, expose it and accept it does exist, and then you can go about learning how to deal with it.”
Yashi, 33, is releasing a book, entitled “Black Daisy in a White Limousine: 77 Poems,” to help other sufferers.
“The poems date back to when I was in my teens to now. You can see some of the emotional changes and you get a sense of the true honest expression of all the things I’ve experienced with life, with family, love and all of that. You get a sense of what it is that we’re talking about,” Brown told Pop Tarts.
Brown’s mental illnesses went undiagnosed for several years, and it wasn’t until she was in her early twenties that the medical profession was able to pinpoint her problems. But due to the support of her family and the power of prayer, she now feels she is in a place to help other sufferers through their journey.
Brown also said coming from the famous Jackson family made it more difficult to cope with her mental health issues.
“It was harder for sure, you feel like you constantly have to hold it together so technically you’re living a double life. You’re living in this world that you totally don’t understand then you leave and go into the public where you really have to have it together,” she said. “Of course growing up in a high profile family especially will make you feel like you need to be some sort of an example or be super strong to the people around you and not be yourself. Instead of saying, ‘I have these challenges and other people have these same challenges and let’s communicate and talk about it’ as opposed to trying to act like they don’t exist or that you have it all together, which is really exacerbating it in the long run.”
Jackson is also playing her part to help others in need by returning to the stage to headline the upcoming Pick Up the Phone Suicide Prevention Tour, which kicks off in Washington DC on Feb. 25.
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