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ABC News' "Soul of a Nation"

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Taraji P. Henson opened open about her experiences with social anxiety and panic attacks in the latest episode of her Facebook Watch series, “Peace of Mind with Taraji.”

According to statistics shared by the American Psychiatric Association, around 15 million Americans suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder.

“While most of us don’t think about it, for 15 million Americans in any given year or any given day just a simple task like going to get gas at 7/11 is terrifying,” Henson said.

“They are at a much higher risk of [experiencing] substance abuse and depression because they are so isolated,” the host added.

RELATED CONTENT: “10 Things To Know About Social Anxiety Disorder”

Henson candidly explained that before she fully understood what panic attacks are and how they can affect people, she was experiencing them without even realizing what they were.

“I was telling Tracie earlier that at one point, I didn’t realize I was having panic attacks. I thought I was having a heart attack,” Henson said. “And so I went to my primary care doctor and they put a heart monitor on me and she read everything, she was like ‘You’re fine.'”

“I was like, but it made me feel crazy because I know that I — I know that I’m having heart palpitations and then boom, it hit me again. And so finally I was like, let me call my friend. And she was like, ‘Babe, that’s a panic attack,'” Henson recalled.

Along with co-host Tracie Jade, Henson chatted with beauty influencer Bretman Rock, who discussed his personal experience with social anxiety, how he’s learned to manage it and his hesitancies when it comes to seeing a therapist

Additionally, an investment broker named Dania Swails opened up about how her social anxiety has impacted her emotionally and physically within her work, dating, and personal life.

RELATED CONTENT: “My Life As An Introverted Black Woman With Social Anxiety”

Licensed therapist Minaa B. described Social Anxiety Disorder in-depth — highlighting it as “a type of anxiety that is very specifc to the fear of being judged, critqued, critcized or embarrassed.”

“It’s when a person is heavily fixated on other people’s perception of them,” the therapist added. 

Find the full episode via Facebook Watch here.

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