Gabrielle Union opens up about PTSD and what recently made her feel truly powerful

The "LA's Finest" star and co-executive producer explains how recent events have triggered the PTSD she’s been grappling with over the last 25 years.
7:55 | 09/16/20

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Transcript for Gabrielle Union opens up about PTSD and what recently made her feel truly powerful
Gabrielle union is back as executive producer and star of the series "L.a.'s finest" where she plays a detective who has to be prepared for absolutely anything. Take a look. Okay. Here we go. What the hell is that? It's a freaking furry party. What's a furry party? You've got Google. Don't make me the pervert has to explain everything. Please welcome Gabrielle union. Hey, girl. Welcome back. Hey. Good morning, ladies. Hi. Good morning. Hi, Gabrielle. Sun? Good morning. I'm so glad to see you, and I love this. You and Dwyane watched the Gladys knight and Patti Labelle battle on Sunday night, as did I and you posted this video of your moms dancing to the music which was amazing. How much fun was that? Because they have moves. Yeah. Oh my gosh. Look at that. The funny thing is -- mama wade -- mama wade -- she danced the entire 2 1/2 hours. You can see my mom kind of in her seat kind of jamming and so she went over there and gassed her up and was hyping her up and got her up and dancing and my mom said, you know, me moving, it just made me feel better, and that verzuz with miss Gladys and miss Patti, that's what the country needed. Absolutely. Gabrielle, you were on the latest cover of the "Women's health" and you said this was the first time you felt truly powerful and truly like what did you mean by that? The way I wake up and way I see myself every day, you know, isn't with wigs and weaves and clips and, you know, it's just me. I never felt like I was enough or I was worthy enough to be on anybody's cover with my own natural hair. I always felt like in order to be seen as beautiful or worthy of a cover, worthy of press, I had to look a certain way and I had to try to mimic, and with this cover, it was the first time I was ever shot by a black woman. I wanted to be my full, most authentic self, and I was and I felt amazing and powerful, and I just wanted to send a message to all women and especially young girls that you, as you wake up, who you are when you wake up is good and perfect and worthy and valuable. I had to lead by example. Amen. You looked stunning. Thank you. Thank you. I like you just the way you are. Thank you, joy. Said Mr. Rogers, right? I like you just the way you are. So you recently talked about mental health and how your PTSD has been triggered over the last few months. Well, you know, I can certainly agree with that, but I'd like to know what triggered your PTSD? Have you heard from other people also? We're all in this together, and it's very, very difficult. So talk to me about that. Yeah. I have been dealing with PTSD for over 25 years. It was a by-product of my rape. So from the time I was 19, PTSD has just been apart of my life, and I have had various, you know, coping mechanisms, a lot of therapy, group therapy, you know, talking to other survivors of PTSD, and, you know, more often than not, I have it pretty much under control, but there was something about this global pandemic. There's so much fear and uncertainty about this virus, the daily barrage of images of brutalization of black and brown bodies and this racial reckoning that's happening was just a trigger for me and so many people, and it literally feels like terror coursing through my veins and it can be paralyzing at times. It can lead to depressive episodes at times which kind of manifests as a numbness where the day is floating by when you're, like, what is happening? I don't feel connected to my body if that makes any sense, and I've heard from all kinds of friends, family, people that I know and know me, but also a lot of my, you know, friends I've never met have reached out, and it's just, like, how are you surviving? What are you doing? I will tell anybody that asks, therapy. Therapy, therapy, therapy, and more therapy, and I have no shame in asking for help, and I also ask for grace. That's right. But give me a chance, man. Give me an opportunity to heal and to move through this as best I can, and I'm just doing the best I can, and the biggest and best gift that we can offer people is grace. That's all I can ask for. Well, speaking of this racial reckoning that's going on in our country, ABC news has launched a month-long initiative called "Turning point" which is looking at the reckoning sweeping the country right now. We have been talking a lot about race and the NFL actually. Mm-hmm. Last week, players frothe Kansas City chiefs and Houston Texans kicked off the 2020 NFL season, and when they linked arms in a moment of unity against racism, the crowd booed them. I know when I saw it, I thought, I guess there's no way to protest racism that's acceptable to people. How do you react when you saw this? First of all, it's heartbreaking. How do you boo unity? Like, they're literally linking arms. Nobody was kneeling. It was not during the anthem. It wasn't about the flag. It wasn't any disrespect to our troops. It was actual unity, and you're booing. So as heartbreaking as it was, it's not shocking and I was actually grateful that they revealed themselves to be real clear that these protests have never been about disrespecting our flag or our country or the anthem or our troops. It was always about being resistant to change, and those people want to stand in the way of progress and equality. Who has a problem with equality? If you have a problem with equality, you've revealed yourself. So now that we really know what it is, can we get into, let's give Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid back their jobs? Because what we're doing is punishing those who led the movement. So now that you are seeing, you know, guys all over the NFL kneeling and showing different signs of resistance to brutality and inequality and the NFL is okay with that, how about we give the men who led the movement their jobs back? Because I'm looking at the scores and some of these NFL scores look like NBA scores. So they can absolutely use the defense especially for Eric Reid and you look at some of the scores and they could use a good quarterback. There's a long list of initiatives and giving back. You can also in addition to, give these men a back their jobs and show that real leadership can be rewarded. What a good idea.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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