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Jada Pinkett Smith revealed that she struggled with depression at a time when she was finding success in the early days of her career. The actor admitted that she would cope with being “severely depressed” by turning to drugs and alcohol, believing she “was on a course to addiction” at the time.

Jada Pinkett Smith poses in the press room during 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2017
Jada Pinkett Smith | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about being ‘severely depressed’

During a 2018 Red Table Talk episode that focused on mental health, Pinkett Smith shared how she suffered an “emotional collapse” that left her feeling “out of control.”

“I had an emotional breakdown that definitely I feel like affected my mental stability,” the actor explained. “I had gotten to L.A. and gotten a certain amount of success and realized that that wasn’t the answer. That that wasn’t what was gonna make everything OK.”

She continued, “It actually made things worse and I became extremely suicidal and I had a complete emotional collapse.”

“When you just don’t have control over your emotions, your thoughts, you feel completely and utterly out of control,” she added.

“I was severely depressed, severely. And that was something that I battled with for years,” she shared. “Waking up in the morning was like the worst part of the day.”

Jada Pinkett Smith felt like she was on a path to addiction

Pinkett Smith welcomed musician Kid Cudi to the table and the two discussed the late rapper Mac Miller. The actor said she could relate to him because she turned to drinking and drugs to cope with her depression, something she identified as being on “a course to addiction.”

“I knew, I was like, that could have been me — easily,” Pinkett Smith said of Miller’s death from an accidental overdose. “Because I was the same way. In my depression, using ecstasy, drinking a whole lot, you know, and smoking a bunch of weed, and trying to just find some peace in my mind.” 

“I was doing ecstasy because I wanted to party,” she said. “I was doing ecstasy, weed, and a bottle of Courvoisier because I wanted to get lit. I wasn’t making the connection.”

“I knew I was on a course to addiction,” Pinkett Smith admitted.

“Maybe we just all in a whole lotta pain,” she added, “and it’s just like … and this makes us feel good, period.”


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She said she went on a ‘long journey’ with her mental health

Pinkett Smith shared that she tried therapy and medication for her depression but didn’t find either to be a good fit for her.

“Once I got off the Prozac, I went on a long, long, long journey,” she explained. “I learned how to manage it to a certain degree, but it was a struggle.”

She continued, “I just had to find my path, which is why it probably took as long as it did. Now, thankfully, I don’t get depressed. I also think that I had to uproot some false beliefs. I had to just let go and just come to terms with just what life is.”