Taraji P. Henson seems to have it all — a wonderful career, a great family, amazing success — but that doesn’t mean the gorgeous actress doesn’t have her hard days like the rest of us.
In fact, the Empire star recently revealed in an interview with Variety that she suffers from depression and anxiety. The good news, however, is she takes steps to work through her mental health issues every day.
“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. I have a therapist that I speak to. That’s the only way I can get through it.
“You can talk to your friends, but you need a professional who can give you exercises. 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,” she shared.
One of the things she does to combat her anxiety is to stay off social media, which allows her to not compare herself to other people. She explained why this was a necessary step for her.
“Even if life is good for you, you can still get on there and become depressed because people are filtering pictures and living these false lives, and it makes you second guess yourself — not intentionally, it just does. It makes you compare yourself.”
She continued, “If you just stay in your lane and mind your business … that’s why I put that away. It was affecting my mood. I’d wake up in a good mood and I’d see something on there. I can control that — just don’t look at it! Because that thing can depress you. It can knock you off your game.”
The mother of one also revealed how landing the role of Cookie Lyon in Empire has changed her life completely. After all — there isn’t anyone like her right now on TV and the recognition she gets for her amazing lines on the show is off the charts.
“There was just something about Cookie that propelled me to superstardom. It just took me from one level to the next. But look, you have to take the good with the bad. This is what I wanted. This is what I worked my ass off for my entire career. I’m not complaining, but things are just different now. I wouldn’t change a thing.”