Tallulah Willis Discusses Mental Health, Suicidal Thoughts

By David Konow 10/17/19

The 25-year-old used Instagram to bring attention to smiling depression.

Tallulah Willis with sister Rumor
Tallulah with sister Rumer

Demi Moore’s long-awaited memoir, Inside Out, has been making headlines for her confessions about her past drug abuse, love life, and growing up in a dysfunctional family. Now her daughter, Tallulah Willis, is speaking out on Instagram about her own mental health struggles as well.

Back in December 2018, Willis posted a video of herself dancing in a pink bikini, seemingly happy and carefree. Now, she writes, “We are not what we show. When I filmed this video I remember everyone telling me over and over how they wished they had my energy, my freeness, a ownership of self.”

High-Functioning Depression

Yet nothing could have been further from the truth. “When this video was filmed I was three months into the deepest suicidal hole I had ever been in.”

Willis’s confession was timed to coincide with World Mental Health Day. She continued, “I’m not ready to share my story yet, but I’m with you… Pain is pain. It’s different and enters each of our lives through a myriad of ways, but each electric stab or dull ache is real. The kind of pain that you can’t see, the pain that lives in the space behind your throat. I’m scared of my brain, the capacity for pain it has and will continue to bear. My fight is daily and for the duration of my life and each day I choose to find the glowed moments, a thefted giggle, or true peaceful pause.”

While Willis said she’s not ready to share her story, she has spoken out about her mental health before. In 2015, she spoke about suffering from depression with Teen Vogue, explaining, “I haven’t felt OK with who I am since I was 11 years old.”

Her Own Worst Critic

Coming from a famous family, Willis inevitably became a target for cyberbullies, and she “became my own worst critic.” Willis eventually developed an eating disorder and her weight plummeted to 95 pounds. Once her depression engulfed her in college, she went into a treatment center.

“It’s not night and day,” she explains. “It’s not like now I completely love myself and have no problems. That isn’t how it works. But there are the starting points of that, and that’s really exciting.”

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In addition to contributing for The Fix, David Konow has also written for Esquire, Deadline, LA Weekly, Village Voice, The Wrap, and many other publications and websites. He is also the author of the three decade history of heavy metal, Bang Your Head (Three Rivers Press), and the horror film history Reel Terror (St Martins Press). Find David on LinkedIn and Facebook.