Taraji P. Henson recently opened up about how she once considered suicide for a couple of days after sinking into a “dark place” during the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Henson spoke about her mental health struggles on her Facebook Watch series, “Peace of Mind with Taraji.”
The actress said, “During this pandemic, it’s been hard on all of us, and I had a moment. I had a dark moment. I was in a dark place. For a couple of days, I couldn’t get out of bed, I didn’t care. That’s not me. Then, I started having thoughts about ending it. It happened two nights in a row.”
Henson then explained how she recently bought a gun that she kept safe in the house and that she started to have thoughts about using the gun on herself to end her life. She said that she did have thoughts about her 26-year-old son, Marcell Johnson, but she thought “he’ll get over it” since he is an adult.
The actress said, “I just didn’t care. I felt myself withdrawing. People were calling me. I wasn’t responding. I didn’t care. Finally, I’m talking to one of my girlfriends and I knew I was smart enough to say ‘I have to say it.'” she added, “So one day I just blurted it out to my girlfriend. She called me in the morning and I was like, ‘you know I thought about killing myself last night. Oh my god, I feel so much better. I’m not gonna do it now.'”
During “Peace of Mind with Taraji,” the actress spoke to psychologist Dr. LaShonda Green and told her that what scared her the most was that her thoughts occurred two nights in a row.
“At first, it was like, I don’t want to be here. And then I started thinking about going and getting the gun,” Henson said. “And that’s why when I woke up the next morning, and I blurted it out. Because I felt like after a while it was going to take over me and it was going to become a plan because that’s how strong my brain is. Our thoughts … They’re that powerful.”
Dr. Green assured Henson that her thoughts were “absolutely normal,” especially during a trying time like the pandemic. The doctor said that saying it out loud to someone acts as a “cathartic moment” for the person as it takes away the shame.
Henson has been a mental health advocate for some time now, and in 2018 she founded the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation and tries to use the foundation to destigmatize mental illness. Currently, Henson is focused on mental health in regards to the black community, and once said that finding a black therapist for her son was like “looking for a unicorn.”