Being isolated during the coronavirus pandemic has been hard on everyone, celebrities included. Taraji P. Henson revealed recently that she went to such a “dark place” during lockdown that she actually considered killing herself.
On Wednesday, December 23, the actress tackled the difficult subject on her Facebook Watch health-oriented show Peace of Mind With Taraji, where she discussed her frightening mental breakdown with clinical psychologist Dr. LaShonda Green.
“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,” Henson related to Green. “For a couple of days, I couldn’t get out of bed, I didn’t care.”
Henson was quick to recognize that this wasn’t her normal state of mind: “That’s not me.” The unusual apathy swirled into a dangerous state at that point. “Then, I started having thoughts about ending it.”
When the thoughts continued for a second night in a row, Henson began to ponder exactly how she’d take her own life. “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 end it all, because I want it to be over,’” she related.
She considered her 26-year-old son, Marcell Johnson, but that wasn’t enough of a deterrent to chase away the suicidal imagery. “I thought about my son, he’s grown, he’ll get over it. I didn’t care,” she said. “I felt myself withdrawing. People were calling me, I wasn’t responding, I didn’t care.”
Eventually, Henson “blurted it out” to a girlfriend that she was having these frightening thoughts. “She called me in the morning, and I was like ‘I thought about killing myself last night,’” Henson related.
After telling her friend, Henson found she felt immensely relieved. ”[I thought] ‘Oh my God, I feel so much better, I’m not going to do it now,’” she related. “For me, I’m no professional, but I felt like, if I don’t say it, then it becomes a plan.”
As for Dr. Green, she assured Henson that it is “very normal to feel lonely, to not want to do it anymore” during times of unprecedented stress such as a pandemic. “You don’t have to believe every thought you have,” she added.
Henson, who has suffered from depression and anxiety in the past, is known for being outspoken when it comes to mental health. She testified in Congress about the urgent need for better mental health services earlier this year.