She may play tough characters, but Taraji P. Henson also has no problem opening up and talking about her mental health issues.
“I suffer from depression,” the 48-year-old told Variety. “My anxiety is kicking up even more every day, and I’ve never really dealt with anxiety like that. It’s something new.” The actress also revealed that she has been regularly seeing a therapist. “That’s the only way I can get through it,” she admitted. “You can talk to your friends, but you need a professional who can give you exercises.”
Taraji added: “So that when you’re on the ledge, you have things to say to yourself that will get you off that ledge and past your weakest moments. It’s a professional — someone who studies the human mind, and someone who has no stakes involved.”
The Empire star continued, “Their job is to make sure you’re mentally sound, whatever that is, and telling you the truth, which might hurt. Sometimes your friends don’t want to hurt your feelings. If I’m going to change for the better, I need honesty, and sometimes your friends and family don’t have it in them to be brutally honest.”
The Oscar-nominated star also mentioned that her position in Hollywood and her celebrity status has quite the affect on her mental health. “It wears on me. It does,” she noted. “I have to be conscious about everything. Everything. Every move I make, everything that comes out of my mouth. I have to go over it. That’s not living. That’s not just being. Living is being in the moment and saying whatever the f–k you want to say and that’s what it is.”
“But I can’t do that,” Taraji said. “And once upon a time, I could. It’s depressing. I feel myself changing, and I don’t want to. It’s making me a little hard in a way. It’s making me a little agoraphobic, and I’ve never been, but I have anxiety sometimes when I just want to go outside, and I can’t. Somebody’s got to go with me.”
She concluded by making sure to remind people that she still loves what she does for a career. “I’m not complaining, but things are just different now. I wouldn’t change a thing.”
Taraji has gone the extra mile to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health issues in the African-American community by founding the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her late father.
We really think Taraji is quite brave for revealing this very personal aspect of her life!