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Howie Mandel Gets Honest About 'Painful' OCD Struggle, Says He's 'Living in a Nightmare': 'I'm Broken'

Howie Mandel Gets Honest About 'Painful' OCD Struggle, Says He's 'Living in a Nightmare': 'I'm Broken'

Howie Mandel is getting very honest.

The 65-year-old America’s Got Talent judge opened up in an interview with People about his near-lifelong battle with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD.

Click inside to read more…

“I’m living in a nightmare…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,” he admitted.

“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.”

Howie first opened up about his diagnosis about 15 years ago publicly.

“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…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.”

He also pointed out that it may be difficult for the public to grasp just how bad his condition really is, based on his appearances.

“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.”

A few weeks ago, Howie brought that lightness to AGT with a really fun outfit. See what he wore!

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Photos: Getty Images
Posted to: Howie Mandel

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