Gabrielle Union Opens Up About Her Mental Health During a Pandemic and "Racial Reckoning"

In a new interview with Women’s Health, Gabrielle Union admitted that her PTSD has been sent into “overdrive” partly because of the current events.

By Mike Vulpo Sep 02, 2020 8:46 PMTags
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Gabrielle Union is trying her best to cope with the world around her. 

Like so many Americans can relate to, the coronavirus pandemic and other current events have had an impact on the actress' mental health.

And in a new interview with Women's Health, the 47-year-old admitted that her PTSD has been "on 10" for the past several months.

"The combination of the pandemic and this racial reckoning, alongside being inundated with [images of] the brutalization of Black bodies, has sent my PTSD into overdrive," Gabrielle shared in the October issue. "There's just terror in my body."

For many years, Gabrielle has spoken openly about her battle to overcome PTSD. In a May 2018 video for The Child Mind Institute's #MyYoungerSelf campaign, the designer revealed she was diagnosed at 19. 

"Asking for help, needing help doesn't make you weak or less worthy of love or support or success," she shared while working on the project. "You can literally be anything you want to be. PTSD isn't a death sentence."

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Today, Gabrielle continues to rely on coping mechanism to keep her mind healthy.


"I break out my emotional fix-me toolkit, and I try to run through all the situations," she explained to Women's Health. "I call it my ‘what's the likelihood of X happening?' method."

"If I'm fearful about going into a store because I'm anxious about being robbed, I'll make myself feel better by going to one where there will be witnesses to cut down those chances," Gabrielle continued. "It's been this way since '92. It's just something I do; second nature."

The former America's Got Talent judge also credits therapy for helping her cope with such unpredictable times. "I feel different in my body," she explained. "I feel freer."

She also remains hopeful that better and more equal opportunities are coming for her peers in the Black community. At the same time, Gabrielle isn't sold that enough change has been done.

"I'm not going to factor in change I have yet to see," she explained. "For the most part, across all industries, you see the same power structure that existed before George Floyd. All of these initiatives that people are so excited about—if the people at the top haven't changed, and they're not interested in creating more space up here, how far are these people that we're bringing in going?"

Gabrielle's October issue of Women's Health magazine is on-stands Sept. 15.

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