Taraji P. Henson has revealed that despite her success, she continues to suffer from depression and anxiety.
“My anxiety is kicking up even more every day, and I’ve never really dealt with anxiety like that,” she tells Variety. “It’s something new.”
The Empire stars says she sees a therapist regularly, and realizes that social media can heighten her depression.
“Even if life is good for you, you can still get on there and become depressed because people are filtering pictures and living these false lives,” the 48-year-old actress says. “It makes you second-guess yourself — not intentionally, it just does.”
Henson also says that her fame and being under a microscope negatively affects her mental health.
“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,” she says.
“I have anxiety sometimes when I just want to go outside, and I can’t. Somebody’s got to go with me.”
Taraji has since launched her own non-profit organization to help others fights depression.
“The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation is named after my father who has passed away. He suffered from his own mental issues being a Vietnam vet,” she says. “We launched this foundation to eradicate the stigma surrounding mental illness in the African-American community. “
Henson says blacks often find the subject of mental health taboo.
“I find it very interesting that we can talk about things like breast cancer or tumors or thyroid but…in the black community, we never mention mental health.”
Henson stars in The Best of Enemies, a true story about a civil rights activist Ann Atwater, which opens in theaters Friday.
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