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Will Smith checks into rehab for stress and mental health treatment in Los Angeles

Clinically Reviewed by Linda Whiteside, LPCC

Medically Reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson, MD

How Will Smith Checking Into Rehab Opens Up Conversations on Mental Health

Table of Contents

The Lead Up to Will Smith Checking Into Rehab for Stress

At this year’s 94th Oscar Academy Awards ceremony, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife. Although inexcusable as he bears 100% of the responsibility for his own actions, it seemed clear to most that his violent outburst had less to do with the joke itself but instead was likely a result of the overwhelming stress in Smith’s life leading up to this moment. 

This is largely attributed to the struggles in their marriage that his wife aired publicly on her podcast and social media. It seemed to all boil-over, and, unfortunately, he made a terrible, reactionary decision that could end his decades-long career as one of the most loved Hollywood actors.

Initially, Smith seemed unable to fully grasp what he had done until eventually apologizing on Instagram, which many felt was disingenuous. He then resigned from the academy before checking himself into a rehabilitation center.

There, he hopes to both deal with the decisions that he made that night, as well as how to manage stress moving forward. It is not known how long Smith will remain at the treatment facility.

A source says that he checked himself in to do some serious soul-searching and spend time figuring out what’s next for him. Smith expressed remorse and said, “Change takes time and I am committed to working to ensure that violence never again prevails over reason.”

Why Will Smith's Apology Was Not Well Received and How He Can Fix It

Will Smith is an example to all that an apology doesn’t hold a lot of weight or feel genuine until you first forgive yourself. One needs to work through the hurt that was caused and then come back to apologize again with a deeper understanding from a place of empathy and, most of all, the clarity to never resort to violence again.

Forgiveness is one of the key components to healing past trauma, which alleviates stress, as he may discover during his time in rehab. He needs to start by forgiving himself before others can forgive him, too.

“Let your smile change the world. Don't let the world change your smile.”

Reasons Why Money and Fame Do Not Equate Happiness

There is hope for Will Smith to recover from this and get his smile back. Although difficult to admit it to ourselves, much less to a world of millions of people watching and judging, it can be empowering to finally set down our fists, push aside our ego, and say out loud, “Ok, I need some help.”

This is particularly true for men who often feel tremendous pressure to be protectors and to hide feelings that could be misjudged as weaknesses. Nothing is stronger than being vulnerable enough to speak your truth, especially when it means holding yourself accountable. 

While no longer looking for external reasons to blame our shortcomings, one can courageously confront our past so it doesn’t repeatedly show up in our future.

The old saying, “ Money can’t buy happiness ,” is true. It’s often those who seem to have everything who feel the most alone. Celebrities are expected to be happy, given their enormous amount of wealth and status, but they never know who they can truly trust once they have so much to lose.

Showing any sign of flaws, even the slightest slip up that is then drudged up and publicized decades later can cause one to find themselves “canceled” overnight. “Cancel culture” causes those affected by it to risk losing everything they have dedicated their lives to building. 

Since the public and the media expect celebrities to know better while considering them an easy target for criticism, most quickly lose sympathy when someone famous inevitably shows a lapse in judgment or makes a mistake.

Seeking rehab for mental health can help you process past trauma

Expectations to be happy often prevents us from seeking help when we need it the most.

When we’re expected to be happy, it causes many of us to avoid asking for the help that we so desperately need. Eventually, it becomes too much to hold in and we overflow our trauma onto ourselves and others. Unrealistic expectations to be happy can also lead to denial, which means we can’t even admit it to ourselves. 

As a result, we keep ourselves trapped in our own mental prison with seemingly no way out. Then, one day, we finally realize that we had the key to the door the whole time, unlock ourselves from it, and reach a hand out to find a hand reaching back and holding on in support.

Despite any past trauma or mistakes, you are never incurable, and you have intrinsic value in this world. We can all come back from the darkest places by first acknowledging that it’s ok not to be ok, and then asking for help to find our way back to our true selves again.

With therapy, self reflection, and a willingness to rethink our past to build a better mindset to cope with tomorrow, we can be healed from past trauma that has kept us locked inside ourselves. 

There is good that comes from even the worst decisions, and that can start with realizing that you’re not alone and there are people who care and want to see you truly happy.

Will Smith, just like many of us who need to take some time for therapy and possibly rehab, will soon be able to leave his past mistakes in the rearview mirror. 

He can then travel down a newly paved road to a life of true happiness that he’s defined for himself, not one that is dependent on money or fame, but on forgiveness and replacing his pride and ego with self love and acceptance.

Find your own rehab healing community at NuView Treatment Center in Los Angeles, CA

At NuView Treatment Center, we are here to help you or a loved one with mental health and addiction. There are no expectations when you call. We will listen to you without judgment, advocate for you, and always be here every step of the way.

You can lean on us when the weight of the world makes it hard for you to stand until you rediscover a life you love on your own defined path of happiness. The world may have changed your smile, but we’re here to help you get it back.

Reach out to us today to take the first steps by contacting us here, and we promise we’ll reach back and hold on through this incredible journey of self healing. 

If you know someone who may need help but you’re not sure what you can do, read our article on how to help a loved one get into treatment


After the recent Oscar drama with Chris Rock, Will Smith decided to take a break from the Hollywood scene and seek help in rehab. He reportedly had anxiety and depression issues that he felt he needed to address and get professional help for. His reps have confirmed that his stay was successful and that he is now doing well.
No, Will Smith has completed his rehab program and is no longer in any treatment. He is now focused on his new projects and getting back to work. He reportedly feels much better after completing the program and looks forward to continuing to move forward with his career.

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Written By: Linda Whiteside

Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who has been providing mental health services for over 10 years.

Medically reviewed by: Dr. Ryan Peterson

Went to medical school at The George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C.

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