Jada Pinkett Smith Revealed Why She Had an ‘Emotional Breakdown’ and ‘Collapse’ That Made Her Feel ‘Utterly Out of Control’


When Jada Pinkett Smith’s career began in her 20s, she admitted in 2018 Red Table Conversation, she was having a hard time, despite being so successful. The actress shared how she suffered an “emotional breakdown” at the time and explained how she was working through her mental health struggles.

Jada Pinkett Smith at the premiere of ‘Angel Has Fallen’ at Regency Village Theater on August 20, 2019
Jada Pinkett Smith | Gregg DeGuire / FilmMagic

Jada Pinkett Smith said she had a ‘total emotional collapse’

During 2018 Red Table Conversation discussion about mental health with her mother and daughter, Willow Smith, Pinkett Smith opened up about her own journey and admitted that she suffered emotional breakdown and depression even when she was professionally successful.

“I would say, for me, I had a depression that definitely feels like it affected my stability of mind,” she explained. “I had got to LA and had some success and I realized that was not the answer. That wasn’t all there was to it. ”

She continued, “It made matters worse and I became suicidal and completely collapsed.”

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

The actress said she felt ‘guilty and ashamed’

Pinkett Smith explained how she thought that when she had success and money, her problems would go away, but that was not true. At the time, she didn’t understand what she was feeling, sharing “now I know this is what people would consider breaking down. ”

Pinkett Smith also described how she felt she needed to be watched “because every minute I was just bursting into tears and I didn’t know why.”

“I came to think that even with success it was very difficult for me to find out, meaning, as if I couldn’t take the opportunity I had,” she explained. “I still held on to poverty and loss. And getting a lot of guilt and shame that came with my success. So you have to leave so many people and that was depressing. ”

Jada Pinkett Smith will attend the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at the Staples Center on February 10, 2019
Jada Pinkett Smith | Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

Pinkett Smith tried Prozac and therapy

The women talked about using medication for depression and Pinkett Smith shared her experience with taking Prozac. When she experienced side effects that she was not happy with, however, she stopped taking it.

“I was depressed. And that was something I had been fighting with for years, ”she said. “Waking up in the morning was the worst part of the day. ”

The actress shared how she went on tour after taking Prozac, which involved seeing therapists, but said that didn’t work for her anymore. She found out how to manage depression and “let go.”

“When I left Prozac, I went on a long, long journey,” said the actor. “I learned how to manage it to some extent but it was difficult.”

“I had to find my way, which is why it took so long. Now, thankfully, I’m not depressed. I also think I need to get rid of some false beliefs, ”she said. “I had to give up and just deal with what life is all about.”