Taraji P. Henson candidly details her battle with depression and reveals fame has made her anxiety worse
Taraji P. Henson is opening up about how she still struggles with mental health.
In her cover story in Variety‘s Power Of Women New York issue, the Empire star shared personal details about her longtime battle with depression and anxiety, and how stardom has contributed to her condition.
‘[Fame] was fun at first, but the older I get, the more private I want to be,’ she revealed.
‘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.’
Getting real: Taraji P. Henson opened up about her struggles with mental health and how fame has contributed to her struggles in more recent years
The 48-year old actress added: ‘When they yell ‘cut’ and ‘that’s a wrap,’ I go home to very serious problems. I’m still a real human. 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.’
In order to help with her mental health, the Washington, DC native meets with a therapist on a regular basis to help her get through her darkest moments.
‘That’s the only way I can get through it, she confessed.
‘You can talk to your friends, but you need a professional who can give you exercises. 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.’
Revelation: ‘My anxiety is kicking up even more every day, and I’ve never really dealt with anxiety like that,’ she confessed in the cover story in Variety’s Power Of Women New York issue
In an effort to end the stigma of mental illness in the African-American community, Henson founded The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her late father, who also struggled with mental heath issues after he returned from serving his country in the Vietnam War.
‘Everyone was always asking me, ‘Do you have a charity?’ Well, dammit, this is going to be my calling, because I’m sick of this,’ she said.
‘People are killing themselves. People are numbing out on drugs. Not everything is fixed with a pill.’
Taking action! To help end the stigma of mental illness in the African-American community, Henson founded The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her late father; she is pictured in her hometown of Washington, DC in February 2019
Henson’s father died in 2006 at the age of 58 after battling liver cancer.
‘My dad fought in the Vietnam War for our country, returned broken, and received little to no physical or emotional support,’ the Empire star wrote in her 2016 memoir Around the Way Girl.
‘I stand now in his absence, committed to offering support to African Americans who face trauma daily, simply because they are black.’
Along with Henson, Variety’s Power Of Women New York issue also includes cover stories with Gigi Hadid, Kacey Musgraves, Bette Midler and Christiane Amanpour.