Did Will Smith have mental health issues? (+5 Expert opinions)

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Page last updated: 12/11/2022

This detailed article will be explaining if Will Smith had mental health issues. We will also be discussing in detail the various opinions that mental health experts and other professionals had on Will Smith’s slap at the 94th Academy Awards.

Did Will Smith have mental health issues?

Yes, Will Smith had mental health issues. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star had mentioned many times in his Youtube Original series, Will Smith: The Best Shape Of My Life, that he had struggled many times with his mental health in the past.

In the docu-series, the actor has also mentioned that he even considered suicide at a certain point in his life. He felt that he was getting in the best physical shape of his life, but was not even close when it came to his mental health.

According to many mental health experts, it has been discussed widely online that these are the signs of Impostor Syndrome. In this syndrome or phenomenon, the person may strongly undermine their skills and their accomplishments even if they have really been successful.

In one of the episodes of the series, Will Smith reads an excerpt from his autobiography where he mentioned that his whole persona on screen is just a construction. He also mentions that he voluntarily created this appearance to hide himself from the world.

Mental health experts on Will Smith’s slap

In the 94th Academy Awards which took place on March 27, Will Smith shocked the entire world when he marched up to the stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock. Chris Rock was a presenter at the award show and made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife.

The joke referenced Jada Pinkett Smith comparing her with G.I. Jane and it was particularly touchy since the actress has many times in the past spoken out about her experiences with alopecia.

Will Smith could then be seen walking up to the stage, slapping Chris Rock and yelling out expletives at the comedian. The incident immediately went viral with different celebrities taking different sides.

While some applauded Will Smith for standing up for his wife and defending her, still many others spoke out against the unnecessary use of violence, especially in such a large public setting.

At the same time, many mental health professionals also weighed in on the matter and gave their perspectives as to why Will Smith would do such a thing and what implications or impressions the incident will have on society at large. Some of these perspectives are:

Impact on society

Several mental health professionals pointed out the fact that taking up violent means to address such an issue can encourage others to do the same, especially those who are young in age and more impressionable

Poor decision-making

Still other mental health experts felt that Will Smith could have taken a second or two to clearly think about the consequences of his actions. Taking some time to think about his actions could have avoided the many ill-consequences that the slap brought up.

Against feminism

Some feminists also felt that Will Smith should not have felt the need to stand up for his wife since she could have done it on her own. Many others also doubted if Jada had asked her husband in the first place to defend her in a public setting such as this.

Halo effect on celebrities

Most mental health experts and even laymen pointed out to the halo effect that the public often crowns celebrities with. They also mentioned how if the same thing was done by a common person, the incident would have been brushed off as something usual.

Public projection of trauma

Lastly, many mental health experts also spoke about why the incident went viral in the first place, highlighting the fact that people often project their own traumas and feelings onto the ones experienced by their favorite celebrities.

Conclusion

This detailed article has explained if Will Smith had mental health issues. We have also discussed in detail the various opinions that mental health experts and other professionals had on Will Smith’s slap at the 94th Academy Awards.

If you like this article, please post your comments and questions in the space below.

Citations

https://www.science.org/doi/abs/10.1126/science.1070765
https://bpspsychub.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1348/0007126042369794
https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40596-020-01200-5
https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/will-smith-on-getting-in-the-best-shape-of-your-life/
https://medium.com/fytworx/will-smiths-best-shape-of-my-life-is-exactly-why-so-many-people-fail-on-their-health-journey-c2558b5c6821
https://www.ndtv.com/entertainment/the-best-shape-of-my-life-trailer-will-smiths-journey-is-as-real-as-it-gets-2594622
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impostor_syndrome#
https://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2013/11/fraud
https://hbr.org/2008/05/overcoming-imposter-syndrome