#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.

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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?’”

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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.

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