Rumer Willis opens up about anxiety struggle: 'Sometimes I feel like I'm dying'

Elise Solé
Rumer Willis wrote on Instagram that she experienced a recent bout of anxiety. (Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)
Rumer Willis wrote on Instagram that she experienced a recent bout of anxiety. (Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Rumer Willis coped with a recent bout of anxiety by sharing it with the world, not fighting it.

The 32-year-old daughter of Demi Moore, 58, and Bruce Willis, 65, posted a selfie to her Instagram Stories on Monday, capturing her state of mind. "Wanted to share something vulnerable because I think it is important to remember there are many sides to everyone and so much we don't see outside of the lens of social media," she wrote. "I have been dealing with bad anxiety since yesterday, but working on learning how to self-soothe."

She added, "It's really hard when they get bad and sometimes I feel like I'm dying, I get nauseous and my heart won't [slow] down. It sometimes feels like a force so much bigger than me has taken over the control panel in my [brain]."

Rumer admitted that accepting her feelings, not dismissing them, is healthiest however, "I have to catch myself when I find myself focusing on just wishing it was somehow different," she wrote. "So here I am, sitting here feeling like I'm gonna melt, even though I know I won't and just trying to lean into the discomfort as scary and painful as that is."

Rumer Willis admitted to experiencing
Rumer Willis admitted to experiencing "bad anxiety" in an Instagram post. (Screenshot: Instagram/Rumer Willis)

The strategy appears to work for the What Lies Ahead actress: In November, she wrote on Instagram, "Feeling weird and not ok and just letting that be ok. Who’s with me?" with a video of herself staring wordlessly into the camera.

Rumer, who in January, reached a four-year milestone in her sobriety, has said she was bullied online as the daughter of famous parents. “They said I had a huge jaw. They said I had a 'potato head,'" she told HuffPost in 2019. “When you’re 14 or 15, I didn’t really understand having value in myself yet. My mind went to, ‘OK, so if I get skinny or if I dress the right way or present myself very hyper-sexually and dress this way, then I’ll be valued.’”

She added, “I still deal with insecurity and trying to figure out my own path in all of it."

Rumer and her younger sisters all work to normalize mental health conversations. Tallulah Willis, 27, has shared her history of anxiety, depression and suicidal feelings and Scout Willis, 29, recently said her body image was previously low, a perspective she's working on.

The women spent part of last year in quarantine with their parents (along with Bruce's wife Emma Heming and their two young daughters), a time Moore called a "blessing." She added, "It's everything that's come forward has allowed us to reevaluate what's important and what needs attention that has been overlooked and neglected."

If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741.

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