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Fans Support Kevin Smith After He Admits He Checked Himself Into Mental Health Facility In January

The 'Clerks' filmmaker says he had a 'complete break from reality' after unaddressed childhood trauma sparked an emergency.

Kevin Smith
Rodin Eckenroth/FilmMagic/Getty Images

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm and sexual assault.

Fans are pouring out their love and support for filmmaker Kevin Smith after he opened up about checking himself into a mental health facility in January.

In an exclusive Peopleprofile published on Wednesday, Smith revealed that one morning in January he awoke in a state of terror—an emergency he described as "scary" and a "complete break from reality."

Smith said:

"At that moment, I wouldn't have been averse to not being around any longer."
"I called a friend and said, 'I'm in a weird, dark place. I need to go somewhere and get help."

The next day, the Clerks filmmaker checked himself into Sierra Tucson treatment center in Arizona where he went through intensive therapy for a month, discovering how unaddressed childhood trauma created his "larger than life" veil covering and compensating for his suppressed scars and subsequently leading to his January morning terror.

Smith revealed that at only six years old, an older boy he didn't know forced him to perform sexual acts on a young girl in the neighborhood. While Smith shared he had always played down the event as "playing doctor in the alleyway," his therapist helped him to realize that was not the case.

The therapist told him:

"When a third party is instructing you to do something against your core values like that, that's sexual abuse."

The Jay and Silent Bob writer, director and actor also disclosed a disturbing interaction that occurred when he was nine.

He shared his fourth grade teacher made fun of the size of his "gut."

"I felt disgusting, like I didn't matter."
"That's when 'the other guy' started to appear. I decided to be entertaining and make people love me before they noticed I was fat."

Smith told People that "guy" was a nice distraction.

By the time he was 24, Clerks shot him into stardom and "the other guy" took over.

"I was already a self-loathing mess. 'The other guy' became my favorite piece of clothing to wear. I'd just let him take over."

Afraid of taking a break for fear of jeopardizing his rocketing career, Smith buried himself in his work, where he basically remained until checking into the center.

Smith linked his story on Twitter with the caption:

"Having been a creature of the Internet for 28 years now, I fully expect to get trolled for this."
"But if it can help some folks, it'll be worth it."

But people did not troll.

Instead, fans flooded Smith with words of encouragement and support, thanking him for opening up about his struggles.

Smith shared that the early stages of therapy were tough for him.

He felt his trauma paled in comparison to those in his session, like the military veterans dealing with PTSD.

"In the beginning, it was tough to share when somebody's talking about watching their friend get killed and I'm like, 'Well, my fourth-grade teacher told me I was fat.'"

However, he soon found out "trauma is trauma."

"But I learned that there's no differentiation [between levels of trauma] to the human nervous system."
"Internally, trauma is trauma."

Smith's ultimate goal in telling his story is spreading awareness in hopes others experiencing similar feelings can get help.

"I'm terrified to see everyone's reaction to [all of this], but I know there's somebody out there who doesn't know this stuff—like I didn't—who could get something out of this."

Trauma is Trauma: A Mental Health Talk with Kevin Smith can be viewed below in its entirety.

What an inspiration ❤️


If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.

To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at


If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault, help is out there.

You can reach the RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline by calling 1-800-656-4673, use their Live Chat tool:, or visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.

In Canada, help is available through the Ending Violence Association of Canada website.

International resources can be found through the Rape Crisis Network Europewebsite.