Billie Eilish Revealed a Secret, ‘Really Weird’ Condition – And How It Makes Her Stronger
In an interview with David Letterman, Billie Eilish opens up about her experience living with Tourette Syndrome and shares words of wisdom that can be applied to anyone’s life.
Billie Eilish has never been one to shy away from deep topics. In fact, it’s one of the things her fans love about her. The 20-year-old singer is known for baring her heart in songs such as everything i wanted and idontwannabeyouanymore, the former being about suicidal ideation and the latter about self-hatred.
Recently, Eilish opened up about another difficult topic on David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, as she talked with him about her experience living with Tourette Syndrome.
Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder that usually develops in childhood. The condition involves unwanted, repetitive and uncontrollable actions, often referred to as “tics.” There are two types of tics: motor tics and vocal tics.
Examples of motor tics are blinking or shrugging, while examples of vocal tics are clearing one’s throat or blurting out words. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Tourette Syndrome, but there are treatments to help manage the condition.
Why Did Billie Eilish Open Up about Tourette Syndrome?
During the interview, Eilish started ticcing. At first, Letterman asks her, “What’s going on, is it a fly?” Eilish casually tells him the lights triggered her tics. “If you film me for long enough,” she says, “you’re gonna see lots of tics.”
Letterman leans into the topic with polite curiosity, asking if the singer is open to talking about her condition. Eilish responds in the affirmative.
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“It’s really weird,” she says, playing with the rings on her fingers. “I haven’t talked about it at all. The most common way that people react is they laugh, because they think I’m, like, trying to be funny.”
She laughs. “I’m always left incredibly offended by that.”
It’s completely understandable why the Happier Than Ever singer would be offended by that. Living with a condition like Tourette Syndrome is difficult enough, but having to worry about how others might react to the tics adds a whole extra layer of emotional pain and stress.
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However, Eilish is helping reduce the stigma surrounding Tourette’s by speaking candidly about her experience. According to the American Psychiatric Association, research shows that knowing someone with a condition “is one of the best ways to reduce stigma,” adding, “Individuals speaking out and sharing their stories can have a positive impact.”
For Billie Eilish fans that might also live with Tourette’s, they may feel empowered — or at least less alone — knowing that their favorite artist understands them.
How Billie Eilish “Made Friends” with Tourette Syndrome
In concluding this portion of the interview, Letterman expresses his thanks to her for educating him on Tourette’s. She replies, “I actually really love answering questions about [Tourette’s] because it’s very, very interesting. And I am incredibly confused by it, and I don’t get it.
“These are things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re very exhausting. It’s not like I like it, but it’s part of me. I have made friends with it. And so now, I’m pretty confident in it.”
“I have made friends with it” might be the most profound line of this scene. This is something that can be applied to everyone’s life. Not everyone has Tourette’s, but everyone has demons they wrestle with daily.
Maybe they suffer from depression, bad self-image, are grieving someone or something, are under immense work stress or living with crippling anxiety. Sometimes, these demons won’t go away. And the harder one fights them, the harder they fight back, and the more the person suffers.
But Eilish has made friends with her demons. She doesn’t like having the condition, but she acknowledges it’s a part of her. She’s learned to live with it instead of fighting against it.
Billie Eilish is relatable — she shows her fans that she struggles, too, whether it be mental health or tics. By speaking out on living with Tourette Syndrome, the singer continues to be a force for good and an inspiration to many.