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Billie Eilish Opens Up About Tourette's Syndrome

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Billie Eilish Opens Up About Tourette's Syndrome

Billie Eilish has opened up about having Tourette's syndrome after ticcing during an interview.

The Happier Than Ever singer appeared on the most recent episode of Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman series, where she discusses everything from inspiration to imposter syndrome.

At one moment during the interview Eilish appears to turn her head and open her mouth, to which Letterman asks, “What’s going on? The fly?”

Billie Eilish was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome when she was 11. Credit: Netflix
Billie Eilish was diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome when she was 11. Credit: Netflix
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She replies, “No I’m ticcing,” before Letterman apologises and Eilish admits that ‘the lights’ brought it on. 

“If you film me for long enough, you’re going to see lots of tics,” she explains, adding, “I don’t care. It’s really weird, I haven’t talked about it at all.”

Letterman then asks if she’s comfortable discussing it, and the pair begin speaking on Eilish’s diagnosis and how it’s impacted her life. 

“The most common way people react is they laugh, because they think that I’m trying to be funny,” she says.

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“They think I’m going like [imitates tic] as a funny move, and so they go, ‘Ha’. And I’m always left incredibly offended by that.

“Or they go like [looks behind her] ‘what?’... and then I go, ‘I have Tourette’s’.”

David Letterman was grateful to the singer for opening up about the condition. Credit: Netflix
David Letterman was grateful to the singer for opening up about the condition. Credit: Netflix

Letterman expressed concern that he had the same reaction, saying he thought he’d ‘said something to piss her off’, but the singer quells his worries. 

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​​“What’s funny is so many people have it that you would never know,” she continues.

“A couple of artists have come forward and said, ‘I’ve always had Tourette’s.’ And I’m not going to out them because they don’t want to talk about it but that was always actually really interesting to me.”

After expressing gratitude to Eilish for sharing about the condition with him, the host said: “I hope to God what we’ve done here didn’t exacerbate this. I know nothing about this.”

“Not at all,” Eilish replied, adding: “I actually really love answering questions about it because it’s very, very interesting. And I am incredibly confused by it, and I don’t get it.”

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The 20-year-old star reveals that she was diagnosed at age 11 when she had small tics, explaining that some tics dissipate over time but the main ones such as ‘ear wiggling’, ‘raising her eyebrow’ and ‘flexing her arm muscles’ occur all day long. 

Eilish said she's 'made friends with it'. Credit: Alamy
Eilish said she's 'made friends with it'. Credit: Alamy

“These are things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re very exhausting,” she says.

“It’s not like I like it, but I feel like it’s part of me. I have made friends with it. And so now, I’m pretty confident in it.”

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But during performances she explains that her tics aren’t present, concluding the segment by saying there’s ‘no ticcing at all’ when she’s moving and focusing. 

Featured Image Credit: Netflix/Instagram

Topics: Billie Eilish, Health, Mental Health, Netflix

Daisy Phillipson
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