You may know Taraji P. Henson from her starring movie roles and philanthropic efforts, but you may not know that she has a long history of battling depression. In a recent interview with Variety, Taraji P. Henson opened up about her battle with depression and how it affects her everyday life. Taraji P. Henson told Variety that her anxiety has been increasing day by day which is something new to her. In order to do her part to advance understanding and support, Henson started the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation back in 2018 dedicated to mental health assistance in the black community.
Henson, 48, told Variety that being stripped of privacy due to living a high profile public life has contributed to her depression. “It wears on me,” she told the magazine. “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.” Henson on also made reference to social media as a contributing factor to her current funk.
Taraji is advising others to get the necessary help from a mental health professional, as she has. She told Variety, “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. It’s a professional — someone who studies the human mind and someone who has no stakes involved.”
Celebrities and Depression
Tarji sits alongside millions of Americans living with depression, with many of them suffering in silence. Although the illness is not selective and knows no boundaries, public figures often seem to struggle with it more frequently, only because they live their lives in front of the world. Historically, celebrities in the spotlight develop severe depression for many of the same reasons Taraji described. Fame comes with its thorns and the constant public scrutiny and pressure for perfection are at the root of a deterioration in self-confidence that can lead to mental health struggles.
Taking Steps Toward Healing
Depression is predicted to become one of the leading causes of disability worldwide. If left untreated, depression can lead to more serious issues, even death by suicide. When handled by the proper professional, the disease can be successfully treated. Depression statistics have continued to rise which is why it is important that it be properly recognized as an actual “medical” illness in an effort to remove the negative stigma that still surrounds it. Henson reveals that she is currently seeing a therapist regularly and is committed to taking the time it will take to feel better.
Taraji’s life experience and tribulations have all contributed to the actress we know and love today, with her recent confessions of dealing with depression, she is once again showing the world how humble and relatable she is and why we adore her so.