I have come to appreciate every conversation with Jada Pinkett Smith at the Red Table Talk. She has covered a variety of topics over this past year, though her latest subject of discussion was focused primarily on mental health. Pinkett-Smith has addressed mental health in some of her previous Red Table Talk episodes, but her latest episode went a little deeper.
This past Monday, December 17th, 2018, Jada Pinkett Smith had Kid Cudi join the Red Table Talk to discuss his battle with cocaine addiction, mental health, depression, and going to rehab for treatment and recovery.
Cudi spoke in great details about how being in the spotlight brought on internal struggles that he didn’t know how to cope with adequately.
“That’s where most of the bad stuff came in because I have to live up to be this person and I don’t feel like that.”
His method of managing his depression manifested in drug abuse. Cudi opens up that he was suffering from depression that he didn’t realize steamed from a childhood trauma of losing his father when he was 11 years old to cancer. He attributes his mental health issues to not having a proper outlet to talk about it, as well as lacking a strong support system to ask if he was okay. But he wasn’t okay, not at all.
“I was not happy when I woke up in the morning, and it started off with something as simple as that. Just being like ‘Why don’t I feel OK?’ and not really knowing what that was.”
In reference to his drug abuse, Cudi said that he needed to go to rehab to get better. In treatment, he was able to learn the tools that he was missing. He was finally able to figure out what makes him happy and do those things, and how talking through past situations was beneficial for him and his mental health.
Jada even joined in, speaking out about her mental health struggles, stating her having suicidal thoughts in her twenties. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading reasons that are on the rise.
Both Jada Pinkett Smith and her mother Adrienne have been very transparent about their individual journeys with mental health. Adrienne has said she felt “powerless” during the period of which Jada was suicidal and did not know how to help Jada.
There have been several celebrities who lost their lives that were battling either with substance abuse or some form of depression. The most recent being Colin Kroll, the co-founder of the Vine video app and the HQ Trivia game, died on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, of an apparent drug overdose in his SoHo apartment, according to Variety.
Jada addressed the stereotype assumed by society that money and success somehow can shield you from mental illness, which is untrue. It is also important to note that there are different types of depression, such as:
• Persistent depressive disorder
• Postpartum depression.
• Psychotic depression
• Seasonal affective disorder
• Bipolar disorder
Examples of other types of depressive disorders nnewly added to the diagnostic classification of DSM-5 include disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (diagnosed in children and adolescents) and premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
This Red Table Talk topic on mental health was a perfect blend of using a celebrity such a Kid Cudi platform to bring awareness for some that may perceive it as taboo. Open discussions of issues such as depression and other mental health disorders can help educate others and hopefully individuals to seek help through counseling or rehabilitation. Reducing the stigma of mental health issues may help those struggling to form strong support systems and to avoid feelings of isolation, as well.
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression or suicidal thoughts, help is out there.
The National Suicide Hotline is available 24/7 at (800) 273-8255, and the Crisis Text Line can also be reached 24/7 by texting HOME to 741741. The quickest way to access help if you or a loved one is in immediate danger, is by calling 911, or going to your nearest emergency room.