Marsai Martin recently opened up about surviving the hardest year of her young life. The 14-year-old is best known for her role as Diane Johnson on the ABC TV sitcom Black-ish.

Marsai has enjoyed more success at her age than most adult stars in Hollywood. She became the youngest executive producer in Hollywood history with the movie Little and she was also the youngest person to sign a first-look deal with Universal Studios.

But success comes with a price - as Marsai is quickly learning.

In a somber post titled "Appreciation post to God" on Instagram on Tuesday, Marsai expressed her struggles with self-doubt and "dark emotions."

"This year has been a rollercoaster," she wrote.

"Moments from this year, I was in a dark place. A place that I didn't think I was going to get out of. I thought I wasn't good enough and I thought I needed to present myself in a way that was 'perfect' when I didn't need to. Putting so much pressure on myself. Fighting with myself. The more I kept how I was feeling hidden, the more this dark emotion got bigger."

The youngest said she prayed for guidance out of the dark place. But after talking to her parents, Joshua and Carol Martin, she found a sense of relief.

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"Thank you God for hearing my prayers. Thank you God for blessing me with the greatest family and friends. I encourage everyone to speak their mind to anyone u trust. Even asking a random person “how are you?” Can mean something. Also, be yourself because no one can be like you, other than YOU. Okay I’m done bye".


View this post on Instagram

Appreciation post to God: I sometimes see these types of posts as corny but this is how I feel lol. This year has been a roller coaster. This year has been filled with crazy emotions and big blessings that I couldn’t even imagine me having. Moments from this year, I was in a dark place. A place that I didn’t think I was going to get out of. I thought I wasn’t good enough and I thought I needed to present myself in a way that was “perfect” when I didn’t need to. Putting so much pressure on myself. Fighting with myself. This feeling had nothing to do with how child actors think. These were my own personal thoughts. The more I kept how I was feeling hidden, the more this dark emotion got bigger. I finally talked to my parents even tho they already knew how I was feeling. It made me feel better about myself. A sense of relief. I started praying more, talking more, and spending more time with the people I love. Now I’m feeling the best I’ve ever felt In a long time. Thank you God for hearing my prayers. Thank you God for blessing me with the greatest family and friends. I encourage everyone to speak their mind to anyone u trust. Even asking a random person “how are you?” Can mean something. Also, be yourself because no one can be like you, other than YOU. Okay I’m done bye?? - MM

A post shared by Marsai Martin (@marsaimartin) on

Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Stay grateful bew .... much love ! <3

  • Lovely1

    She will be just fine. 14. She's venting like any typical teen...Only difference is back then, we had diaries. Bless up boo!! Xoxo


    She is blessed to have parents who can assist her through those difficult times and build her up, there is nothing like a great support system when dealing with self-struggles. I love this little queen. God be with her.

  • SJ


  • SpiceGirl

    Praying for you boo

  • Guest

    She is such a cutie. Never stop communicating with parents and family. Bless.

  • Vegas1989

    She is did a good thing to bring this to her parents and seeking their advise and wisdom and then relying on her personal relationship with God.

  • Renee26

    She's so cute... That's what parents are for. ?

  • Vonda K

    Dear beautiful, sweet and uber talented child please leave Hollyweird asap if you value your sanity and morals!

  • Sassie

    She's SOOOOOO cute and well spoken. I REALLY like her. I wish her all the best. And I'm glad her parents were able to help her find relief. Depression is REAL.

  • 9 Mind

    Dark place at 14? Sheesh wait to grown-up life catches up with that ass!

  • Wreckognize Game

    I am so glad that she has parents that she can talk to and trust. She didn’t know her light was still shining in a dark place.

  • JesusSidePEACE

    I'm so proud of her. I'm teaching my young son coping skills now.

  • iWasteTime

    I love her!
    It reads to me like she's growing up, finding herself and her place in this world.
    I pray she stays humble and grounded in her family.

  • T Willis

    She is growing (puberty wise) very quickly....

  • Bree

    I hope and pray she is getting the necessary guidance she needs to navigate Hollywood so she doesn't end up broken like Reginae Carter.

  • Dontgetdraggedhoe??

    I bet she was. My bestie and i love her shes our daughter in our heads and we keep worrying about her being a dark skinned fabulous talented young lady in a world that lowkey still use the brown paper bag test. We love you marsai never forget that. You got a whole gang of aunties rooting for you

  • chan chan

    If she was in a dark place before 14 and rich then baby I’m afraid for her. I’m just gonna leave that there.

  • Gloria

    You’d be surprised with how many adolescents haves depression

  • KarmaBackAround

    Child stars always go thru this depression.. dating back to gary Coleman's little n depressed! Hope she dont end up like Maya Campbell

  • Pamela

    Somehow Jodie Foster managed to stay sane. Hmmmmm

  • Ghetto Real Name

    Depression in her age group among teen girls and the feeling she describes as the need to be perfect are common. Its not new either bc I hate when people are like "these new age kids" etc. Im 42. I felt that way when I myself was a teen. Just bc she has a diff. set of circumstances doesnt mean she is immune. Its mostly hormones than anything. Hormones dont know if they are rich.

  • Phillybruh

    Sometimes these little people regardless of celebrity have real issues that they need to work through and as parents we need to recognize it and properly assist

  • Ghetto Real Name

    Im not. I was on the pediatric Cymbalta study and BABY

  • PLEASEDontTellMe

    Y'all understand when someone rich is depressed....but don't understand the kid in the ghetto ?

  • KarmaBackAround

    Y'T n lucky lol

  • Fire & Ice

    Baby girl is growing up on us...took a second to recognize her. It's good that she's opening up and has a great support system. Beautiful young lady btw ??

  • Ghetto Real Name

    I understand them too. Its hard out here period for kids and has been a long LONG time.

  • PLEASEDontTellMe

    Yes it is.... Society over all doesn't apply the phrase "mental health" enough to the children in the ghetto

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Teens go through this periodt ..... it's called peer pressure .... especially in this generation with the social platform out there ...... it's good to raise awareness and to show what keeps her in alignment ....

  • Ghetto Real Name

    They should.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    I do understand ... peer pressure ... ( da pressure from their peers) hell even I went through that as a child ... as have all

  • Renee
  • KcoolMuziq

    Gary(whom I ran into at my bank years ago) was one of the reasons I entered show business. But his depression was due to his parents working him to death while he suffered through a kidney disease & suing his parents and a financial advisor for misappropriating his multimillion fortune when he was a minor.

  • Bree

    Definitely. I grew up in the projects. But my siblings and I didn't know it was the projects because we lived and dressed well. Thanks to our hard working mother. I was a Plain Jane and talked differently than my peers. I got called "white girl" and I'm not even light skinned.

  • Bree

    Wow! Gary had a hard life. I pray all the time because I want my children to have normal lives. My husband and I work hard but I don't want them to feel like they have to fill our shoes or our pockets one day.

  • KarmaBackAround

    I'm sure she will have some kind of unsung mess that will come out later n her career..but praying for the young sista!

  • Mo Laughz

    Ya sure bout that? Lord knows I love me some Jodie Foster, but she is kinda.. "out there"

  • Queen B

    She's so cute! I love the glasses

  • yvette46

    Beautiful Child!!

  • Jordan’s Memory

    This girl is blossoming into a beautiful young lady!

  • Psychic Lulu

    She's so-so beautiful

  • Pamela

    She seems to be a drama-free lesbo compared to most of Hollywood. Heck, she even has crazy ol Mel Gibson's back.

  • Leggs1018

    Believe it or not, I had those same spectacles the summer before my 9th grade year and they glowed in the dark! I was the epitamy of nerdy and suffered from ridicule and the social awkwardness of being a preteen. My point is, this too shall pass and every little girl shall blossom into a lady! All little girls need the freedom to just BE and have the security of knowing that better days are AHEAD! ??

  • Chicagowise

    She's a beautiful girl, but that gold dress is doing way too much! ?

  • Applebootay

    RIGHT! I was in a dark place too cause my momma was crazy and teens just go through shat rich or poor. Thank God for Jesus though....

  • Mo Laughz

    True. She is unproblematic.

  • jay

    Most likely someone was trying to bully her or hate on her and she kept it in. Take up some karate and handle your business little one. Also talk to your parents about any bully. Don't feel ashame.everyone will not like you. Its not you its them.

  • Candance

    She is an amazing young lady. I wish her and her family all the best in the years to come!! <3

  • Strappyheels

    Or she can just so happens to suffer from depression.... Depression doesn’t mean she cannot live a full life. Just like diabetes, depression is real.. And it doesn’t mean you’re lacking or something was done to you. Sometimes it just is.
    When someone speaks their own truth, just listen.

  • Blak

    Way to young to be talking about battling depression and working too hard. She should enjoy her youth and stop thinking about a career for a few years

  • Anji

    I worked 2-3 months most years and my parents kept me doing regular kid stuff ..sports, music, scouting, drill team , church.Entertainment didn't consume my young life. My childhood pals weren't in the industry. I stayed grounded.

  • Rhyme and Reason

    Depression comes when things are bad such as poverty, poor parenting, bullying, peer pressure, how we “think” we look or what we “think” others think or say, or how we respond to negative comments or praise!

    Depression comes when life is going great, when externally, we seem to have a lot (car, apartment, house, kids, spouse, degrees), rich, wealthy or enough to pay our way!

    It’s a spirit (it seeps in), don’t let the devil darken your days, remember what’s good, what you like about yourself, show gratitude, Praise God not things, celebrate LIFE in any station in life!

  • LLC

    she's so precious

  • Leggs1018

    On the contrary, she’s a young woman exploring her adolescent body and the setting is appropriate. She’s very well-spoken and unlike those in the public eye she maintains a youthful disposition and is absolutely GLOWING in GOLD!

  • Leggs1018

    OAN- depression can be a by-product of genetics as well as outside stimuli.
    To be completely honest, I find myself with reoccurring bouts of it with my impending nuptials and the anxiety that comes with being someone’s Mrs.
    I find that living holistically and my scriptures keeps it at bay, but even in the best of times the Devil has a tendency to creep in and the need to rebuke him is dire.

  • Eileen

    Thats what I was going to say...

  • JazzyBossyJen

    Hope they don’t chew her up young and spit her back out like Keke..

  • Malificent

    Showbiz will ruin your chile!

  • chris

    Good for her but she need to put them tiddays away

  • TransMichelle

    Material success is a "high" in the beginning then afterwards it becomes monotonous and unfulfilling. These people are surrounded by many people but still feel lonely. Some are saying "she's acting like any typical teen." Well, typical teens are not like the teens 2 to 3 decades ago. Teens today commit suicide and kill. Plus, don't forget this is Hollyweird. There's no telling what they had this girl doing to "make the grade." Ped0philia and "sexual initiation" is HUGE in Hollyweird. Yes, that means black children too. You'd be shocked what they do to children. That's why I am suspicious of Tyler Perry's project he announced for "children" including sex trafficked kids and LGBTQUAG (?)...a perfect breeding ground for pedos. Don't get started....! LOL

  • Logan Roberts

    Marsai has accomplished so much at 14. She should be alright as long as her parents stay supportive, don't get greedy & keep protecting her. And put God first in her life.

  • Soon2BWife

    Lord help this grown child baby girl woman.
    It must be hard dressing and acting like an adult when you are only 14.


    14? Just wait lil one lol

  • Guess Who

    ...I'm gonna hold my mule on this.

  • davine puddin

    I once had a very young man maybe about 18 in the entertainment business in my taxi. He was on the phone with his mom. After the phone call he called his bank and transfered 5000 to her account. Got off the phone and said he is to young for this shit. I said quit. Than he said he cant cause now to many people rely on a pay check from him. Than he said hes been working since 14. I felt bad for him. When I dropped him off I said nice home. He said thanks but it's always something. He said he gave his mom money for different businesses. Than he said I see why my other peeps have their parents working for them. He looked so tired and sad at 18


    The food probably.

  • ThatNigerianGirl

    They really chewed Keke!

  • ThatNigerianGirl

    Marsai baby girl, you is smart, you is confident, you is beautiful.

    I hope love and light surrounds you and depressing thoughts stay away from you. ?

  • jay

    Real talk.

  • jayhawkpride

    "I was in a dark place?" Parents please stop sacrificing your children for your own selfish gains. A child shouldn't be in that sick world!!