Willow Smith suffers from “extreme anxiety”.
The 20-year-old singer and entertainer has revealed she regularly battles through periods of poor mental health, as she explained she deals with the feeling of being overwhelmed by going into a “cocoon” where she can just “be with” herself.
Speaking to her mother, Jada Pinkett Smith, and grandmother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, in a preview clip ahead of the latest episode of ‘Red Table Talk’, she said: “Four days ago, I was having extreme anxiety. I couldn’t talk, I had to just cocoon and like be with myself for a moment.
“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!’
“And then, when I was ready, I opened the cocoon.”
The episode – which aired on Tuesday (22.12.20) – sees Willow, Jada, and Adrienne talk to suicide attempt survivors, who spoke out about their experiences and what helped them make it through.
And Willow also said 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.
She added: “There’s shame, there’s guilt, there’s sadness and confusion. And then you don’t even want to talk about it because you’re like, ‘I feel crazy, and I don’t want them to think I’m crazy so I’m just not gonna say anything.’”
Willow previously spoke about her experiences with her mental health as a child, as she said she began to self-harm following the success of her single, ‘Whip My Hair’, which was released when she was just 10.
She said: “It was after that whole ‘Whip My Hair’ thing and I had just stopped doing singing lessons and I was kind of just in this grey area of, ‘Who am I? Do I have a purpose? Is there anything I can do besides this?’ After the tour and the promotion and all of that, they wanted me to finish my album. And I was like, I’m not gonna do that. And after all of that kinda settled down and it was like a kind of lull, I was just listening to a lot of dark music. It was just so crazy and I was plunged into this black hole, and I was cutting myself.”
But the star managed to overcome her struggles thanks to the support of her parents, Jada and Will Smith.
She added: The support and compassion that they pour into me always inspires me to persevere through dark times.”