Millions of people around the world have struggled with their mental health amid the coronavirus pandemic, and Taraji P. Henson recently revealed that she considered taking her own life during a "dark moment." The Empire star opened up about her suicidal ideation during her Facebook Watch series, Peace of Mind with Taraji, speaking with her co-host Tracie Jade and licensed psychologist Dr. LaShonda Green.
"For a couple of days, I couldn't get out of the bed, I didn't care. That's not me," she said. "Then, I started having thoughts about ending it. It happened two nights in a row." Henson told Jade and Green that she had recently purchased a gun and at one point thought to herself, "I could go in there right now and just end it all, 'cause I want it to be over." She added that while thinking of how her death would affect her 26-year-old son, Marcell Johnson, she thought, "He's grown, he'll get over it."
The actress shared that she was eventually able to reach out to her friends and discuss how she was feeling. "I felt myself withdrawing. People were calling me, I wasn't responding. I just 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 recalled. "Because a part of me was ashamed. I was like, 'I don't want them to think I'm crazy. I don't want them to obsess over me or think they gotta come and sit on me.'"
"So one day I just blurted it out, to my girlfriend," Henson continued. "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.'"
The 50-year-old created Peace of Mind with Taraji to focus on mental health amid the pandemic, and she explained that not speaking her suicidal thoughts out loud caused them to become stronger. "I'm no professional, but I felt like, if I don't say it, it becomes a plan," she said. "And what scared me, is that I did it two nights in a row. And the thoughts kept coming. Now I started to think about how. At first, it was like, I don't want to be here. And then I started thinking about going and getting the gun. 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."
If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.