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Taraji P. Henson Opens Up To Variety About Struggle With Mental Illness

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Taraji P. Henson, a black American actress, has grown over the years as a strong prowess. She is popular for many film appearances, and among them is her Oscar-nominated role as “Cookie” in HBO’s Empire.




She was recently profiled on Variety’s 2019 #PowerOfWomen: New York issue. They did this in celebration of her work on Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which she founded in 2018 in her late father’s memory. Her goal is to eradicate the stigma around mental health in the African-American community.


Speaking up

In the interview with Variety, she says about her goal:

“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. 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. People are killing themselves. People are numbing out on drugs. Not everything is fixed with a pill.”



Mental struggle

Also, Taraji P. Henson opened up about her own mental health issues and how she deals with it. She says:

“I talk to someone. I have a therapist that I speak to. That’s the only way I can get through it. 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.”


She also talks about how her lack of privacy makes her depressed and anxious sometimes. She expresses how she feels herself changing even though she doesn’t want to.

“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.”



Read the full interview here.

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