Taraji P Henson OPENS UP about her struggle with depression and anxiety; Says she felt like a 'dark cloud'

Taraji P Henson opened up about the depth of her depression. She also spoke about her struggles with mood swings and anxiety.
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In a recent interview with the Self Magazine, Taraji P Henson opened up about the depth of her depression. Talking about her struggles, the Empire actress said that there was a point in her life, before she sought professional help for her issues, when she felt like a dark cloud. She would have evident mood swings. Taraji mentioned how one day she would be up and the very next day she would feel extremely low, reluctant to go out and interact with people. 

“I noticed the mood swings, like, you know, one day I would be up and the next day I would be down, feeling like I don’t want to go out in public, almost agoraphobic,” she said during an interview with Self Magazine. Speaking about her struggles with anxiety, the actress said that there were days when her brain would keep thinking about all the worst scenarios in the world on a loop. It was not long before she realised that she needed help. She felt no shame when she started to recognise it. Taraji mentioned, “It was like, ‘I have to get some help,’ because I’m the life of the party and when I go dark, I go dark. I don’t want to leave the house," she said.

After quietly struggling for a while, the actress reached out to a therapist, who was recommended to her by her ‘Empire’ co-star Gabourey Sidibe. And when she started seeing the therapist, it was like “the sky cracked open”. She asserted that being a black woman, it was extremely important for her to find a therapist who was a black woman, someone who could understand her struggles.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

#Repost @iamjessiemiles ・・・ @tarajiphenson got emotional while speaking in front of congress on mental health! @blhensonfoundation Photos: @gettyimages⠀ Taraji P. Henson got emotional as she testified before Congress on Friday about the need for mental health counselors and education, especially in the black community, in wake of a rise in suicides of young people. The Empire star, who has an adult son, also talked about her own battle with depression and anxiety, which she has been open about, as she spoke before the Congressional Black Caucus Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health. "I really don't know how to fix this problem, I just know that the suicide rate is rising," she said. "I just know that ages of the children that are committing suicide are getting younger and younger." A study published in JAMA Pediatrics earlier this year showed that between 2007 and 2015, annual ER visits relating to suicide by people aged 5 to 18 rose from 2.2 percent to 3.5 percent, and from 580,000 to 1.2 million. "It breaks my heart to know that 5-year-old children are contemplating life and death," Henson said. "I just...I'm sorry. That one is tough for me. So I'm here to appeal to you, because this is a national crisis. When I hear of kids going into bathrooms, cutting themselves, you're supposed to feel safe in school." "I'm here using my celebrity, using my voice, to put a face to this because I also suffer from depression and anxiety," she continued. "And if you're a human living in today's world, I don't know how you're not suffering in any way, I mean if you turn on the news, that's PTSD right there. We need each other. This is me reaching across the table, trying to lend a helping hand in the best way I can. We have to save the children." •

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Henson has been open about her struggles with mental health from the very beginning. The actress has time and again shared her experience with depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders on various public platforms. 

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