In an exclusive sneak peek at Monday’s new episode of Taraji P. Henson‘s Facebook Watch series Peace of Mind with Taraji, the actress and her best friend, Tracie Jade, speak with a young woman named Diana who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In the clip, Dianna talks about her experience with mental illness, starting way before she was even aware that anything was going on with her. She shares that her mother struggled with schizophrenia and that living with her through such battles was an incredibly difficult experience as Dianna had to be the “adult” in the house.
She told Taraji and Tracie that after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder a decade ago, she knows “the signs when it happens. I can feel for it. I can understand when it’s coming.”
When asked if the disorder ran in her family, she opened up about watching her mother deal with schizophrenia.
“I knew about mental illness because of my mother,” she said. “My mother had schizophrenia. The first episode she had I was 7. I woke up and the police came and took her and I just remember staying with my grandma for a long period of time. So yes, I am very, very familiar with mental illness. I was always like, ‘Here we go again. Here we go again.'”
Her mother would eventually pass and Dianna ended up having to drop out of college in order to care for her brother, who was two years old at the time. Thinking back on watching her mom’s episodes, including ones that occurred in public, she admitted that she questioned God.
“I felt angry, I felt mad, I felt upset with God,” she said. “Why my mom? Why would you give this to somebody?”
The conversation is a part of the January 18 episode entitled, “Are You Bipolar and Going Undiagnosed?” Dianna and a young man named Iman both share their stories of having bipolar disorder from a young age and the way in which it plays a role in their daily lives.
Peace of Mind premiered in December with the purpose of putting a spotlight on the mental health issues people don’t talk enough about but deal with in everyday life. Back when she was promoting the series, Henson said that Black people specifically needed to stop being afraid of opening up. It’s an experience she can identify with all too well.
“As Black people, we’re conditioned to push through and be strong and pray our problems away. And after awhile, that … wasn’t working,” she told The Washington Post. “So I found it harder for me to get out of the dark places because I had been pushing so much, and I’m pushing through my trauma instead of unpacking it and healing it. Enough was enough.”
Check out the clip from the newest episode and be sure to tune in every Monday and Wednesday at noon on Facebook Watch.