Empire's Taraji P Henson opens up about suicidal thoughts in lockdown

Joe Anderton
·3-min read
Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage - Getty Images

From Digital Spy

This article contains discussion of suicidal thoughts that some readers may find distressing.

Empire and Hidden Figures star Taraji P Henson has opened up about experiencing suicidal thoughts in an emotional new video.

The actress hosts a web series, Peace of Mind with Taraji on Facebook Watch, and in episode 2 she spoke frankly to clinical psychologist LaShonda Green about considering taking her own life while in lockdown following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage - Getty Images

Related: Why Empire's Cookie spin-off isn't happening

"So 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," she admitted. "For a couple of days, I couldn't get out of the bed, I didn't care. That's not me. Then I started having thoughts about ending it.

"It happened two nights in a row and I purchased a gun not too long ago, it's in a safe, and I started like, 'I could go in there right now and just end it all, because I want it to be over'.

"I thought about my son, he's grown, he'll get over it. I didn't care. I felt myself withdrawing. People were calling me, I wasn't responding, I didn't care."

Related: Taraji P Henson says she quit Person of Interest because she was "so miserable"

She went on: "One day I just blurted it out [to] a girlfriend, 'I thought about killing myself'. I felt like, if I don't say it, it becomes a plan. What scared me was I did it two nights in a row. First, it was like, 'I don't wanna be here', and then I started thinking about going to get the gun.

"And that's why when I woke up the next morning, I blurted it out, because I felt like it was going to take over me and become a plan."

In response, Green said: "It is very normal to feel lonely, to not want to do it any more. There are so many things we think are wrong that are absolutely normal.

"Especially now, where people are isolated and cut off – and you don't have to believe every thought you have."

We would encourage anyone who identifies with the topics raised in this article to reach out. Organisations who can offer support include Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org) or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to visit mentalhealth.gov or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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