Howie Mandel opened up about his own experiences with mental illness on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” From the outside, he sometimes seems to be a cheerful person, but when he’s at home, especially alone himself, he stated that’s not the case at all.
He confessed that his celebrity status had a negative impact on his mental health, not a positive one.
Kelly Clarkson was shocked to learn this. Mandel then acknowledged, “I’m heavily medicated.”
The 65-year-old admitted to PEOPLE that he has battled anxiety and OCD for essentially his whole life, starting when he was a little child. Because he didn’t have any classmates to make friends with when he was younger, he was labeled “strange.” He’s now saying that he is paid to act strange. Every day is an uphill battle, according to America’s Got Talent judge.
I’m living in a nightmare, he declared. I work to ground myself. I love what I do and have a lovely family. But, I can also experience severe sadness from which I can never recover.
The COVID-19 pandemic, according to Mandel, who has been married to his wife Terry since 1980 and has three children—Alex, 31, Riley, 28, and Jackie, 36—was extremely traumatic for him.
In every minute of his waking life, he remarked, the thought “we could die” crosses his mind. But the fact that everyone in my immediate vicinity was fine would give me comfort. It’s wise to cling to okay. But the world as a whole was in bad shape [during the pandemic]. Also, it was pure torture.
Mandel battled with the decision to disclose his diseases, as evidenced by the fact that he didn’t do so until 2006 despite being diagnosed in his thirties. “My first reaction was that I’ve embarrassed my family,” he admitted. Suddenly I realized that nobody would hire someone who wasn’t stable. My worries were those.
Like other comedians, he used comedy to get through the most trying times of his life.
“My coping mechanism is finding the amusing,” he declared. If I’m not smiling, I’m probably sobbing. And I’ve still held back on how horrible and dark it actually gets. In a way, comedy saved me. I feel most at ease on stage. And when I have nothing to do, I withdraw, which is not healthy.
Mandel acknowledges that the general public might not fully understand the seriousness of his disease, despite the fact that he claims to still struggle with severe depression. People notice contradictions, especially in the media, he claimed.
So, he gave someone a hug or shook their hand. I can give you a handshake. Yet I’d then feel like I hadn’t thoroughly cleaned it. And I would spend hours repeatedly washing my hands in a loop.
I can see the humor in that. But, that does not make it any less unpleasant. And I have no desire to defend my mental well-being. All I want to do is keep it.
Mandel claims that his life’s work is to end the stigma, which is why he is speaking out now about his issues with mental health.
While he is aware that nothing about this will be simple, he is optimistic that despite all of his difficulties, he will continue to treasure the times when there is no evil in his life.