Billie Eilish has always been extremely transparent with her fans — be it her struggles with early fame, or distaste for internet commentary on her wardrobe choices. So, too, has the star publicly discussed living with Tourette's syndrome; Eilish has dealt with tics for years, having been diagnosed at 11-years-old, and though she says they’ve lessened over time, some of her tics are still “very exhausting.”
In a conversation with David Letterman for his Netflix show My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, the Happier Than Ever singer opened up about her Tourette’s and how it’s affected her life. Specifically, Eilish pointed out how much it hurts when people are mean about it. “The most common way that people react is they laugh because they think I’m trying to be funny... and I’m always left incredibly offended by that,” she shared.
Her tics are part of her daily routine, which Eilish has grown used to, but it’s still tough for her to deal with day in and day out. “These are things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re very exhausting,” she said. If you’ve only ever experienced Eilish while she’s performing, you’ve probably never noticed her Tourette’s. That’s because she says that if she’s moving around, she’s not ticcing.
Even though Eilish’s Tourette’s syndrome has weighed on her for years, it’s still a part of her, and it’s not something she’s ashamed of. In fact, she’s happy to discuss it with you if you want to listen. “I really love answering questions about it because it’s very, very interesting, and I am incredibly confused by it,” Eilish said. “I don’t get it.”
In being more open about it, Eilish has discovered that more people have Tourette’s syndrome than she ever realized, including other musicians. “What’s funny is so many people have it that you would never know,” Eilish said. “A couple artists came forward and said, ‘I’ve actually always had Tourette’s,’ and I’m not gonna out them because they don’t wanna talk about it, but that was actually really interesting to me.”
Eilish’s episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is available to stream on Netflix now.
Photo via Getty/ Kevin Mazur
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