Taraji P. Henson isn’t afraid to get real about life — including her battle with depression and anxiety.
“I suffer from depression,” she told Variety. “My anxiety is kicking up even more every day, and I’ve never really dealt with anxiety like that. It’s something new.”
In order to handle it all, Henson, 48, sought the help of a therapist.
“That’s the only way I can get through it,” said Henson, who also started a foundation to change the stigma surrounding mental health issues in communities of color. “You can talk to your friends, but you need a professional who can give you exercises … If I’m going to change for the better, I need honesty, and sometimes your friends and family don’t have it in them to be brutally honest.”
Henson, who stars on “Empire” as Cookie Lyon, says she goes to therapy regularly and had to go through professionals in order to find the right fit.
“You’ve got to keep going until you find the right one,” she added. “It’s like a relationship. I’ve got to feel comfortable because that’s the only way I’m going to keep coming back to you. To keep dealing with this ugly stuff, I have to feel totally safe.”
The Oscar-nominated actress also expressed that the lack of privacy in her life contributed to her depression and anxiety.
“It wears on me,” Henson explained. “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.”
She said there was once a time in her life when she could be totally free.
“I feel myself changing, 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.”