Actress Taraji P. Henson has opened up about her depression battle in the hope her story will re-address the stigma surrounding mental illness in the black community.
The “Empire” star admits her anxiety is getting worse daily and now she thinks it’s time for everyone struggling with any form of mental illness to seek help and advice from others.
“I suffer from depression,” she tells Variety. “My anxiety is kicking up even more every day, and I’ve never really dealt with anxiety like that. It’s something new.
“We’re (all) walking around broken, wounded and hurt, and we don’t think it’s OK to talk about it. We don’t talk about it at home. It’s shunned. It’s something that makes you look weak. We’re told to pray it away.”
And Taraji is making it her job to raise the issue and push those in distress towards help: “Everyone was always asking me, ‘Do you have a charity?’ Well, this is going to be my calling, because I’m sick of this.
“People are killing themselves. People are numbing out on drugs. Not everything is fixed with a pill.”
The actress admits fame doesn’t help: “It was fun at first, but the older I get, the more private I want to be,” she explains.
“I think there’s a misconception with people in the limelight that we have it all together, and because we have money now and are living out our dreams, everything is fine. That’s not the case. When they yell, ‘Cut’, and, ‘That’s a wrap’, I go home to very serious problems. I’m still a real human.”
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For Variety's 2019 #PowerOfWomen: New York issue, Variety profiled Taraji P. Henson who told us about how she's working to eradicate mental health stigmas in black communities: “We’re walking around broken, wounded and hurt, and we don’t think it’s OK to talk about it. We don’t talk about it at home. It’s shunned. It’s something that makes you look weak. We’re told to pray it away." Taraji opens up about her own depression and anxiety, and how she handles it, at the link in bio. (📷: @cliffwatts)
She recently confessed, “I go every Saturday to therapy. Just because you see me on television doesn’t make those voices in my head go away.”