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Taraji P. Henson Talks Anxiety & Depression

Taraji P. Henson is getting candid about her mental health struggles.

In an interview with Variety, the Empire star revealed that she struggles with depression and anxiety, especially since she’s been in the spotlight more:

“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–k 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.”

Taraji could be alluding to the recent backlash she received for speaking out. When she tried to bring more heat to Harvey Weinstein in the midst of R. Kelly sexual abuse accusations, she got dragged by the Twitter-verse.

Later, she tried to clear up her comments, but the damage was pretty much done.

“I feel myself changing,” Taraji told Variety. “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.”

Taraji said anxiety is a new thing she has to deal with along with other mental health struggles:

“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.”

Taraji says she regularly talks with a therapist to address her issues. She says it’s the only way she can deal with her issues and newfound global fame.

“I can’t go back and I can’t change it,” she said when asked if she’d give up the fame if it was possible. “These are the cards that God dealt me, and for whatever reasons, he felt like he knew I could handle it ― God is never going to give you more than you can handle. Now, it’s just trying to keep my sanity.”

Henson knows she’s not the only one struggling either. The 48-year-old started the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation in honor of her late father, and their main goal is to end the stigma of mental health issues within the Black community.

Along with talking mental health, Taraji also spilled some tiny details of what it’s like for the Empire crew after the whole Jussie Smollett fiasco.

“We’ll never be the same,” she said. “No one will ever be the same. Forever changed. And it’s sad.”

Taraji is set to be honored at Variety’s Women in Power ceremony on Friday.


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