‘Dancing With the Stars’ Champion Opens Up About Mental Health


ABC/Eric McCandless

Dancing With the Stars champion Rumer Willis took to Instagram to open up about her struggles with anxiety with the goal of showing her followers that front-facing social media doesn’t always tell the whole story.

The 32-year-old star wrote to her followers in a candid post on Instagram.

“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.”

Willis Opened Up About Feeling Like She’s ‘Dying’

Rumer Willis


Willis said in the post that she sometimes feels as though she’s dying because of her anxiety.

“It sometimes feels like a force so much bigger than me has taken over the control panel in my [brain],” she wrote. “But I realized the worst thing I can do is try to fight against it or be resistant to it. I have to catch myself when I find myself focusing on just wishing it was somehow different.”

The star added, “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.”

Willis Previously Revealed That She’d Had Unwanted Sexual Encounters in her Life

Willis shared some personal experiences while talking about the “gray area” of consent alongside hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow and Gammy on an episode of Red Table Talk titled “Sexual Consent: What Every Woman Should Know” available to watch on Facebook Watch.

During the episode, Willis opened up about the time she lost her virginity, saying that she did not do it because it was something she was excited about.

“When I lost my virginity when I was 18, I was more concerned with the shame that I was feeling at not having done it,” she said during the episode. “I was not abused, or it wasn’t rape, but I didn’t say yes, I wasn’t gung ho about it, but I also didn’t say no. I just let it happen.”

She explained that it was with a man who was older than her.

“He was older and took advantage and didn’t check in,” the Mirrorball champion added. “That’s where I feel like the man’s responsibility is. No means no, but what if you can’t say no? What if you’re in a position and you’re going, ‘I can’t express no because I’ve never done that.’”

Willis said that she had trouble saying no when she wanted to, even recently in her life.

“I’m telling you, something happened to me a couple months ago and I hung out with this person for a little while,” she said. “We were kissing outside and I said, ‘Do you wanna come in for a minute?’ And when I ask you to come in my house, that doesn’t mean that I’m saying that you can get me naked, that doesn’t mean I’m saying you can do this.”

She said that as soon as they got in the house, there were hands everywhere, and then when her clothes off she “just froze.”

Red Table Talk is available to stream on Facebook Watch.

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