Howie Mandel has revealed his struggling with Anxiety and CD (Obsessive Compulsion Disorder) for almost his entire life. The America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel told that every day of his life is a struggle for him.
Howie Mandel has a fear of germs, which works in triggering his OCD- repetitive and intrusive thoughts and fixations. “I’m living in a nightmare,” says Mandel in an interview with People.
Mandel told, “I try to anchor myself. I have a beautiful family and I love what I do. But at the same time, I can fall into a dark depression I can’t get out of.”
Howie was first diagnosed for the condition in his 40s, but the star, who is in his mid-60s, never mentioned it to people until 2006. He said, “My first thought was that I’ve embarrassed my family. Then I thought, ‘Nobody is going to hire somebody who isn’t stable.’ Those were my fears.”
Howie’s wife Terry confirmed and said the pandemic specifically played a major role in triggering and worsening Howie’s condition.
“There isn’t a waking moment of my life when ‘we could die’ doesn’t come into my psyche. But the solace I would get would be the fact that everybody around me was okay. It’s good to latch onto okay. But [during the pandemic] the whole world was not okay. And it was absolute hell,” told Howie.
Talking about his coping mechanism, Mandel stated using humor to get through it. “My coping skill is finding the funny. If I’m not laughing, then I’m crying. And I still haven’t been that open about how dark and ugly it really gets. Comedy saved me in a way,” says Mandel. “I’m most comfortable onstage. And when I don’t have anything to do, I turn inward – and that’s not good.”
Howie accepted still dealing with depression and anxiety, but stated that public might now get the depth of his condition. He explained, “People see inconsistencies, especially in the media, ‘Oh he hugged someone’ or ‘he shook someone’s hand.’ I can shake your hand. But then I’d think I didn’t wash it well enough. And I’d go back and forth in a loop washing my hands for hours. I understand the funny in that. But it doesn’t mean it isn’t incredibly painful. And I don’t want to defend my mental health. I just want to maintain it.”
“My life’s mission is to remove the stigma. I’m broken. But this is my reality. I know there’s going to be darkness again – and I cherish every moment of light,” said Mandel.