We know that Taraji P. Henson has been a mental health advocate. She opened an entire foundation The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, with the purpose of encouraging people of color to prioritize their mental well being. And in a recent interview with Variety, she shared her own struggles with depression and anxiety.
“I suffer from depression,” Henson said. “My anxiety is kicking up even more every day, and I’ve never really dealt with anxiety like that. It’s something new.”
Henson, who said she’s seeing a therapist for her growing anxiety, said that the lack of privacy she experiences as a public figure has exacerbated the problem.
“It wears on me. 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.”
In the midst of sharing her own story, Henson stressed the importance of seeing a qualified professional.
“You can talk to your friends, but you need a professional who can give you exercises,” she told Variety. “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.”
A part of me wonders if this comment has anything to do with the backlash Henson faced when she compared the Mute R. Kelly movement to “Mute Harvey Weinstein.” Henson tried to suggest that because Weinstein is White, he didn’t receive the same type of outrage and momentum that R. Kelly did. But Henson neglected to mention the fact that Weinstein’s crimes and indiscretions spawned the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. And Weinstein is currently in court being tried for his crimes.
Still, I don’t forsee us cancelling Henson for anything unless she completely jumps off the deep end.
And I can understand how this could be a lot, weighing every word before you share it because you know it has the potential to travel. And with Henson’s star continuing to rise, the pressure will only increase–and cancel culture is real.