#MentalHealthMonth: Willow Smith Shares Early Success Drove Her To Cutting Herself

Singer and Artist Willow Smith reveals the lowest point she felt during the highest point of career.


During an episode of Red Table Talk on Facebook, the 17-year-old reveals a moment during the height of her career when the frenzy surrounding her 2010 hit single “Whip My Hair” caused her to ultimately turned to self-harm. Smith was only 9-years-old.“I would have to say … honestly, I feel like I lost my sanity at one point,” the youngest Smith said. “It was after that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing and I just had stopped doing singing lessons and I was kind of like, just in this gray area of, ‘Who am I? Do I have a purpose? Is there anything, like I can do besides this?’”


I was just like, no, I’m not going to do that,” Willow admitted during the“Red Table Talk” discussion with her mother Jada Pinkett-Smith and grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, that streamed on Monday. “After all of that settled down and it was a kind of lull, I was just listening to a lot of dark music and it was so crazy and I was just plunged into this black hole and I was like cutting myself.”

Pinkett-Smith who looked visibly shocked said she had “no idea” her daughter was suffering in silence. “When were you cutting yourself? I didn’t see that part,” she asked her daughter. “Cutting yourself where?” In which Willow answered, “On my wrist. You can’t really see it, but there’s still a little something there. I honestly felt like I was experiencing so much emotional pain but my physical circumstances weren’t reflecting that.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, Cutting is “typically not meant as a suicide attempt” but rather “an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger, and frustration.” 1 in 5 teens suffers from a mental health illness, but only 4% of the total health care budget is spent on mental health, according to TeenMentalHealth.org. Brave celebrities like Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Emma Stone, Demi Lovato and Oprah, to name a few, have recently come forward with struggles with PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

It is important to look for signs of youth and adults who may be fighting a silent battle of depression and resulting to self-injuring themselves. Here are some signs to look out for if you suspect someone you love is harming themselves.

Signs and symptoms of self-injury may include:

  • Scars
  • Fresh cuts, scratches, bruises or other wounds
  • Excessive rubbing of an area to create a burn
  • Keeping sharp objects on hand
  • Wearing long sleeves or long pants, even in hot weather
  • Difficulties in interpersonal relationships
  • Persistent questions about personal identity, such as “Who am I?” “What am I doing here?”
  • Behavioral and emotional instability, impulsivity and unpredictability
  • Statements of helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness


If you or someone you know feels the urge to hurt themselves, call this 1-800-950-NAMI (6264) hotline, or visit sites such as the National Alliance on Mental Health.