AceShowbiz - Taraji P. Henson wants to break down the stigma surrounding mental health issues in the African-American community.
The "Empire" actress has spoken openly about her struggles with anxiety and depression in the past, and told Self magazine in a new interview she hopes speaking out about her battle will influence people to be more open on their mental health.
"In the African-American community, we don't talk about mental health. It's a stigma surrounding it," she explained. "We're just not allowed to be vulnerable, we have to be strong all the time. This is 400 years of damage, 400 years of trauma, that we have not dealt with."
Recognising her own symptoms as, "mood swings... feeling really awkward in my skin, feeling out of sorts," the star insisted she never felt ashamed as she came to terms with what was happening.
"For me, there was no shame when I started to recognise it," she said. "It was like, I have to get some help because I'm the life of the party and when I go dark I go dark. I don't want to leave the house and my friends started to notice me pulling back."
In fact, the 49-year-old added she "felt such a relief" when she made the decision to speak out publicly about her depression, reflecting, "I was drowning, and once I spoke my truth, I started to float back."