Taraji P. Henson Opens Up About Struggles With Mental Health

Taraji P. Henson - Acrimony

Taraji P. Henson opened up about her history with mental illness. The Empire actress confessed that she has a history with both anxiety and depression. And Henson claims her anxiety gets worse with each passing day. As she explained it:

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.

As it was reported by Variety, Taraji P. Henson started an organization called The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, which is named after her late father. With this newly-instated organization, Henson wants to provide the steps to end the stigma surrounding that she claims is found within the black community. The cause is obviously a deeply personal one for the celebrity. And in the spirit of opening up the conversation and providing a personal point-of-view about this matter, she talked about her own battles with mental illness. Specifically, the Emmy-nominated actress' ongoing troubles with anxiety and depression, which persist to this day.

Taraji P. Henson claims that even though she is wealthy and famous — particularly today — that doesn't eradicate the symptoms that persistently come with anxiety and depression. Despite her fame, fortune and many successes, both personally and professionally, Henson says she suffers — perhaps more so now. She believes it's important to share her story, and to reveal how mental illness can affect anyone.

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.

While Taraji P. Henson is currently on the promotional tour for her latest movie, this weekend's biopic The Best of Enemies, the actress is working hard to promote and campaign this organization, which she believes can be a vehicle for good for men and women who've struggled with their own demons with little help over the years. Specifically, Henson wants to "break the cycle" which has gone on for way too long.

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.

When it comes to her continued battles with depression and anxiety, Taraji P. Henson battles these struggles by seeing a therapist and spending less time on social media. One of Henson's missions is to get more therapists into schools. While it will remain an uphill battle, she is confident that she can make a change. And Taraji P. Henson believes the first step is to open up about herself and the pains she feels, even today. By being open, she hopes other people will be too.

Will Ashton

Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.