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Taraji P. Henson opens up about mental health and menopause: Sometimes, the weight is just too much


Michael SimonTaraji P. Henson, who’s on the digital cover of the December issue of SELF magazine, opens up inside about her struggles with mental health and menopause.

“Sometimes, the weight is just too much and to put on that facade like you are strong all the time is exactly what it is, a facade; that’s whack,” the actress told the magazine.

In the feature Henson, revealed that she struggles with depression and anxiety, something she realized about two years ago when she would get mood swings.

“I would get so low, really, really low, beaten, like never before,” she said. “You may have those days [when] you’re like, ‘Oh, I just don’t feel like getting out of bed. I just want to sleep in,’ but you don’t feel heavy. I was just starting to feel heavy a lot, [like] suffocating. …It just came out of nowhere.”

Henson said at first she didn’t realize that some of those mood swings could be related to menopause, but after checking in with her therapist, she learned how to cope with and manage those highs and lows.

“[That confirmation] made me feel better, but now I still have to manage it,” said Henson. “That just means talking to my therapist when I feel this way, doing things to get me out of the muck.”

Now, Henson is working to help others struggling with mental health issues, especially young children, through her nonprofit, The Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation.  Launched in 2018, it’s named after her father, who was thought to have suffered from bipolar disorder.

“I think my mental health foundation picks up where my art leaves off,” Henson said.

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