Willow Smith is getting candid about her ongoing anxiety episodes. The 20-year-old entertainer opened up about her struggles with extreme anxiety while sitting down on the latest episode of Red Table Talk.
The special episode featured suicide attempt survivors speaking out and opening up about their experiences and how they made it through.
In this exclusive clip from the powerful new episode, the musician-actor daughter of Hollywood titans Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith opens up to her Red Table Talk co-hosts, mother and grandmother Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and explains what it feels like when she becomes overwhelmed.
Willow used an example from last week to describe how she used a self-soothing technique to deal with a moment of what she called “extreme anxiety.”
“Four days ago, I was having extreme anxiety,” the 20-year-old recalls. “I couldn’t talk, I had to just cocoon and just be with myself for a moment.”
“I think self-soothing is the single most important thing you can learn how to do in life,” Willow said.
Turning to her mom, Willow explains, “That was so important because it would have been so much more intense if I had been looking to you to be like, ‘Help me!'”
“I really do believe that when we get into those tough spaces that sometimes it can be even more tough for us if we’re expecting for others to do something about how we’re feeling,” her mom added.
Willow also opened up about how an anxious episode feels to her. For Willow, she understands the difficulty of dealing with an emotional crisis, and how lonely it can be to struggle with anxiety and other mental health issues.
“There’s shame. There’s guilt. There’s sadness. There’s confusion,” the “Whip My Hair” singer said.
“And then you don’t even want to talk about it because you’re like, ‘I feel crazy. I feel crazy for feeling this way and I don’t want them to think I’m crazy, so I’m just not going to say anything.’”
Willow has a history of being candid about subjects that many celebrities avoid. Back in 2018, the entertainer spoke about turning to self-harm when she felt like her life was out of control. She revealed at the time:
“I feel like I lost my sanity at one point. It was after that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing and I had just stopped doing singing lessons and I kind of was in this gray area of: Who am I? Do I have a purpose? Is there anything I can do besides this?”
“I never talk about it because it was such a short, weird point in my life,” Willow said of the tough childhood years. “But you have to pull yourself out of it.”