Jada Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk Addresses 'Anxiety' amid Pandemic: People Are 'Struggling'

In Jada Pinkett Smith‘s latest episode of Red Table Talk, the actress and her guests dove into mental health and potential resources amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

During Wednesday’s episode of the Facebook Watch show, Pinkett Smith shared the table with motivational vlogger Jay Shetty and clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula alongside the show’s regular co-hosts: daughter, Willow Smith, and mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris.

Speaking to the group, Durvasula admitted that this was a particularly difficult time for people who struggle with anxiety and other mental health issues.

“My poor clients, a lot of them are struggling and they’re struggling a lot. It brings up old anxieties,” she said on the show. “People who are living with anxiety, this is a multiplier.”

“Never before have we in the mental health profession taken on something of this magnitude,” Durvasula, who has been maintaining online consultations and sessions with her clients amid the outbreak, added. “It’s all hands on deck.”

The psychologist then detailed that one of the main side effects of this increased anxiety has been lack of sleep, as worry and fear keep people awake.

“People are literally waking up in the middle of the night and having panic attacks,” she said. “And it’s not just about the virus — it’s about jobs, and money, and future and family. People are thinking catastrophically.”

Durvasula told the group that she often recommends that her clients really focus on making a routine for themselves during this time, to them feel in control while “doing a lot of acceptance work around what they can’t.”

She also emphasized that it was important for people to understand that they are not “crazy” for feeling the way they do. “It’s okay to really normalize that any reaction at this point is okay. Don’t judge your reaction,” she said.

Shetty agreed with Durvasula, and also encouraged people to really focus on self care during this time uncertain time period.

“We deal with more challenges in 24 hours today, because of what we are exposed to, than what we were in a whole lifetime 25 years ago,” Shetty said, as Pinkett Smith and the rest of the table voiced their agreement. “We are just hearing about each and every person’s pain, and that’s a lot of pain to process. We have to become careful with whose pain and how much pain we can take on.”

Pinkett Smith, 48, admitted this was an area she herself needed to work on, as she is someone who can be co-dependent.

“Now thats my codependency, you know I want to,” she said with a laugh. “This has been a real time for me — I have no choice but to let go, and let God.”

Red Table Talk airs Wednesdays on Facebook Watch at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET.

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