Taraji P. Henson Opens Up About Mental Health Struggles

Contributed by Taylor Ardrey

Empire star, Taraji P. Henson opened up to Variety about her struggling with depression and anxiety.

“I suffer from depression. My anxiety is kicking up even more every day, and I’ve never really dealt with anxiety like that. It’s something new.”

Henson hopes to remove the stigma of talking openly about mental health in the black community. She founded the organization,the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which is named after her late father who returned from the Vietnam War with mental health issues.

Henson opens up about how going to a therapist helps her cope with her anxiety and depression.

“I talk to someone regularly. It has to be regularly, and that’s what I learned. It gets frustrating because you’re waiting for them to fix you, but it’s not that easy. I had to go through several therapists that I felt comfortable talking to, or that I felt was moving me forward and that I was making some progress with, and that takes time.”

The actress reveals that the lack of privacy she receives since becoming a bigger star has taken a toll on her.

“It wears on me. It does. 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— you want to say and that’s what it is. But I can’t do that. 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.’

When asked about her feelings after the Jussie Smollett situation, Henson responded:

“We’ll never be the same. No one will ever be the same. Forever changed. And it’s sad.”

Taraji P. Henson is set to be honored at Variety’s Power of Women ceremony.