Kevin Smith Opens Up About Mental Health Treatment After Being In A Weird & Dark Place

Kevin Smith is opening up about childhood moments that led to him seeking mental health treatment.

In an interview with People magazine, the Clerks director said he sought out treatment at Arizona’s Sierra Tucson center in January 2022.

“It was scary,” 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.’”

Smith said he had created a “larger than life” personality which he called “the other guy” to help him cope. In the interview, Smith mentioned that when he was six years old he was forced by an older boy to perform sexual acts on a girl, something he told himself was “just playing doctor in an alleyway.” However, after retelling this incident to a therapist, they helped Smith realize that was sexual abuse.

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“When a third party is instructing you to do something against your core values like that, that’s sexual abuse,” Smith said.

At the age of 9, Smith said that a teacher made fun of his physical appearance in front of the classroom.

“I felt disgusting, like I didn’t matter,” Smith said. “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 added, “I was already a self-loathing mess. ‘The other guy’ became my favorite piece of clothing to wear,” Smith said. “I’d just let him take over.”

The writer-director recalled that during the treatment he was surrounded by fellow patients that included military veterans living 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,’” Smith mentioned. “But I learned that there’s no differentiation [between levels of trauma] to the human nervous system. Internally, trauma is trauma.”

Smith modified his lifestyle by quitting smoking marijuana and easing off on social media usage adding, “I’m really interested in seeing if I can finally be comfortable sitting by myself, and just be alone with my thoughts.”

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