Jada Pinkett Smith is opening up about her own struggle with mental health.
On Monday, the 46-year-old actress shared an emotional Instagram post reflecting on the recent deaths of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both from apparent suicide. Pinkett Smith said she too has dealt with suicidal thoughts and has spent years “healing.”
“One thing I’ve learned in my life over the years is that mental health is something we should practice daily, not just when issues arise,” she wrote. “We should take care of our mind and spirit in the same way we do our body. With the suicides of Kate and Anthony it brought up feelings of when I was in such despair and had considered the same demise…often. In the years I spent towards my healing, many moons ago, I realized the mind and heart can be extremely delicate without the foundation of a formidable spirit. What I eat, what I watch on TV, what music I listen to, how I care for my body, my spiritual practice, what people I surround myself with, the amount of stress I allow and so on… either contribute to or deteriorate my mental health.”
“Mental health is a daily practice for me,” she continued. “It’s a practice of deep self-love. May Kate and Anthony Rest In Peace. Many may not understand… but I do, and this morning I have the deepest gratitude that I pulled through.”
Pinkett Smith has talked about her difficult childhood before. Last July, she made an appearance at the 2017 Essence Festival and revealed the advice she would give her 15-year-old self. The “Girls Trip” star said she’d “basically tell myself that it’s OK.”
“At 15 years old it was rough, and I brought a lot of pain out of my childhood into my adulthood that I’m just now dissolving,” she said. “That pain held me back and I wish I had known then that pain is just a part of your journey and it’s not because you’ve done something wrong or because you’re cursed or you’re a bad person, we’re all going through it. We all have pain, we all have a story. And, so, all we need to do is support each other through it and I wish I had know that, Jada, it’s just a part of it, baby. It’s going to be OK.”
In a recent episode of her Facebook Watch series, “Red Table Talk,” she also discussed the differences between how she grew up, and the privileged upbringings of her 17-year-old daughter, Willow, and her 19-year-old son, Jaden. The actress said she grew up in a violent neighborhood and also used to sell drugs.
“When you become a parent, you have these huge ideals, even for yourself, because we all are coming into parenting with our own childhood traumas,” she told Willow and Jaden, as well as her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, while fighting back tears. “And you’re hoping you can fix all that through your own rearing of your children, and you can’t. Your kids are gonna have their burdens. And even though I see how it might have hurt you, it’s what I knew.”