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  • Writer's picturejohn kepler

Bruce Willis' Daughter Tallulah Details His "Decline" With Dementia

The 29-year-old opens up about Bruce Willis' battle with dementia in a moving essay: "He still knows who I am and lights up when I enter the room."

Tallulah Willis is being transparent about her mental health struggles over the years.

In a moving personal essay for Vogue, the 29-year-old actress — the youngest daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore — opened up about struggling with body dysmorphia and how that led to her developing anorexia, among other mental health diagnoses.

“For the last four years, I have suffered from anorexia nervosa, which I’ve been reluctant to talk about because, after getting sober at age 20, restricting food has felt like the last vice that I got to hold on to,” she wrote.

Tallulah was admitted to a residential treatment facility when she was 25 in order to address not only her eating disorder but her depression, which she said lingered from childhood.

“It was a largely therapeutic experience; for the first time, I grieved the 15-year-old misfit me, the ugly duckling,” she shared. “I was also diagnosed with ADHD and started on stimulant medication, which was transformative.”

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders and can result in difficulty paying attention and controlling impulsive behaviors, or being overly active, according to the CDC.

“I felt smart for the first time,” Tallulah said of taking her medication, “but I also started to enjoy the appetite-​suppressant side effect of the meds. I saw a way to banish the awkward adolescent in favor of a flighty little pixie. And like so many people with eating disorders, my sense of myself went haywire.”

“There’s an unhealthy deliciousness at the beginning of losing weight rapidly,” she added. “People are like, ‘Oh wow!’ And then quickly it turns to, ‘Are you okay?’ My friends and family were terrified, and I dismissed it.”

Tallulah explained that people in her life questioned if it was her ADHD medicine causing her to lose so much weight. She said she rationalized it by trying to convince herself that it was helping her focus when it was actually “helping me to build a life outside of how I looked.”

“An eating disorders therapist would tell me later, the smaller you are, the bigger you feel,” Tallulah said. “How twisted is that?”

“By the spring of 2022, I weighed about 84 lbs.,” she recalled. “I was always freezing. I was calling mobile IV teams to come to my house, and I couldn’t walk in my Los Angeles neighborhood because I was afraid of not having a place to sit down and catch my breath.”

Her family stepped in and sent her to Driftwood Recovery, a rehabilitation center in Texas. While there, Tallulah said she was introduced to a variety of therapies and put back on her medication.

However, what she wasn’t expecting was another diagnosis. At Driftwood, the actress learned she had borderline personality disorder.

Borderline personality disorder is a mental illness that severely impacts a person’s ability to regulate their emotions, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. This can increase impulsivity, affect how a person feels about themselves, and negatively impact their relationships with others.

“By the time I left Texas, in October [2022], I felt a lot better,” Tallulah wrote in her essay. “I realized that what I wanted more than harmony with my body was harmony with my family — to no longer worry them, to bring a levity to my sisters and my parents. An emaciated body wouldn’t do that. I had felt the weight of people worrying about me for years, and that put me on my knees.”

Now, Tallulah said focusing on her recovery is a process, admitting that she has to “resist the temptation” and “urge myself to move on” everytime she sees the clothes in her closet from when she was at her unhealthiest.

Tallulah shared that she’s been focusing on rebuilding her relationship with her family, specifically with her father after the Die Hard icon was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.

“Recovery is probably lifelong, but I now have the tools to be present in all facets of my life, and especially in my relationship with my dad,” she said.

“In the past I was so afraid of being destroyed by sadness, but finally I feel that I can show up and be relied upon. I can savor that time, hold my dad’s hand, and feel that it’s wonderful,” Tallulah continued. “That whole thing about loving yourself before you can love somebody else — it’s real.”



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