Photo: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
  /  09.08.2020

In modern times, it’s not uncommon to come across disturbing images or graphic visuals of Black people at the receiving end of police brutality and senseless killings induced by racial inequality.

While some have become desensitized, Gabrielle Union admits that videos like that of George Floyd’s death and Jacob Blake’s recent shooting send her post-traumatic stress disorder “into overdrive.”

“The combination of a pandemic and this racial reckoning, alongside being inundated with [images of] the brutalization of Black bodies, has sent my PTSD into overdrive,” the actress said in her cover interview with Women’s Health. “There’s just terror in my body.”

Union has suffered from PTSD since being raped at 19 years old. Her years of going to therapy have served her well as she’s found certain practices to help manage the mental disorder.

“I break out my emotional fix-me toolkit, and I try to run through all the situations. I call it my ‘what’s the likelihood of X happening?’ method,” she explained. “It looks something like this. 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. It’s been this way since ’92. It’s just something I do second nature.”

Union has previously supported industries and organizations like the NBA who have taken a stance againt racial injustices, but in the interview, she questioned whether the industries speaking up after these sickening tragedies can help to make an actual change.

“For the most part, across all industries, you see the same power structure that existed before George Floyd,” she said. “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?” she asked.


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