Jada Pinkett Smith Recalls Severe Emotional Breakdown: 'I Was Completely Suicidal'

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Jada Pinkett Smith is getting candid about her mental health struggles.

On Monday's episode of her Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk, the 47-year-old actress discusses mental health with her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, her 18-year-old daughter, Willow, and guest Kid Cudi. Kid Cudi has been open in the past about dealing with depression and anxiety, and checked into rehab in 2016.

Pinkett Smith reveals she had her own nervous breakdown when she was 20 years old. 

"I had an emotional breakdown that definitely I feel like affected my mental stability," she says. " ... I became extremely suicidal. 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."

The mother of two says that when she moved to Los Angeles and found success in her career, it actually only worsened her depression. She was prescribed the antidepressant Prozac, but said it wasn't the solution for her. 

"They put me on Prozac, it was, like, five milligrams, but once it disrupted my sex drive I said, 'Look, that's the one thing I have in my life ...'" she says with a laugh. "That was the thing that got me off of Prozac. They put me on it just so I could get to a place where I could talk about what was happening, where I could function."

"I was severely depressed and that was something I battled for years," she continues. "Waking up in the morning was the worst part of the day."

Pinkett Smith says seeing therapists also didn't work for her, but that learning to "let go" of certain things was key to her dealing with depression. She also credits her kids from preventing her from doing anything severely self-destructive.

"I was still holding on to the idea of deprivation and loss and having a lot of guilt and shame that came with my success," she notes. " ... Once I got off the Prozac, I went on a long, long journey. I learned how to manage it to a certain degree but it was a struggle." 

Later, the group discusses the sudden death of rapper Mac Miller in September after suffering an overdose. Cudi, who knew Miller, says he was devastated by his death at only 26 years old, and Pinkett Smith says the death also hit close to home for her given her past drug use.

"I knew, I was like, that could have been me -- easily," she says of Miller's death. "Because I was the same way. In my depression, using ecstasy, drinking a whole lot, and you know, smoking a bunch of weed, and trying to just find some peace in my mind." 

Pinkett Smith acknowledges it took her a while to admit to herself that she was drinking and using drugs to deal with mental illness. 

"I was doing ecstasy because I wanted to party," she recalls. "I was doing ecstasy, weed and a bottle of Courvoisier, because I wanted to get lit. I wasn't making the connection."

However, she notes that she knew she was on "a course to addiction."

In June, Pinkett Smith revealed she's contemplated suicide often when she reflected on the shocking suicides of chef Anthony Bourdain and designer Kate Spade. 

"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 on Instagram at the time. "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 peacee. Many may not understand... but I do, and this morning I have the deepest gratitude that I pulled through."

Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk hasn't been shy about discussing deeply personal topics. Last month, the actress broke down in tears while talking about her parents' abusive relationship. Watch the emotional moment below:


Jada Pinkett Smith Recalls 'Horrendous Fight' With Her Father Prior to His Overdose

Jada Pinkett Smith Admits Her Mom Once Questioned Her Marriage to Will Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith Defends Including Her 18-Year-Old Daughter Willow in Her Domestic Violence Talk

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