Billie Eilish has lived with Tourette Syndrome since childhood. Find out more about the disorder, and everything that Billie has said about her experience with it.
Billie Eilish is an international pop icon, a seven-time Grammy Award winner, and she lives every day with Tourette Syndrome. Tourette’s is a rare nervous system disorder that presents with repetitive and uncontrolled movements (liking blinking or shoulder shrugging) or sounds, called “tics” The disorder starts in childhood; Billie, 19, has stated in the past that she’s had it her “whole life.” Here’s what you need to know about the “Bad Guy” singer’s experience with Tourette Syndrome:
A History Of Billie’s Condition
While Billie has spoken openly about her experience with Tourette Syndrome, she hasn’t gone into too much detail. Aside from saying on Instagram that she “grew up” with the disorder (see below), she hasn’t revealed at which age she was diagnosed. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Tourette Syndrome, on average, presents in children between the ages of three and nine.
Billie also hasn’t elaborated on what her tics are, only that “certain things” can increase the intensity or trigger episodes. Fans who made compilations of her tics on YouTube gathered clips of the “No Time To Die” singer shrugging her shoulders, blinking rapidly, and looking upward. She told fans in the Instagram post revealing her diagnosis that she does think the videos are “low-key funny.”
Billie Reveals Her Diagnosis To Fans On IG
Billie bravely revealed to her fans that she lives with Tourette’s after they started to notice her tics. They even made compilation videos of the 16-year-old, causing her to speak out on Instagram: “I would love to get this straight so everyone can stop acting goofy… I have diagnosed Tourette’s. I’ve never mentioned it on the internet because nobody thinks I’m deadass… as well as the fact that I’ve never wanted people to think of Tourette’s every time they think of me,” Billie wrote in April 2019.
“MY tics are only physical and not super noticeable to others if you’re not really paying attention (believe me, HAVING them is a whole different type of misery),” she continued. “My Tourette’s makes easy things a lot harder. Certain things increase and/or trigger the intensity of the tics. But it’s something I grew up with and am used to. My family and closest friends know it as a part of me. I’ve taught myself techniques to help reduce them when I don’t want to be distracting in certain situations. But again, suppressing them only makes things worse after the moment is over.
“Not gonna go into FULL detail but if you want to know more, I am an open book. Wasn’t planning on talking about this on here maybe ever, but it’s gotten to a point… lol. These compilations y’all been making of my tics are low-key funny even when y’all make fun of them n sh*t. I know you’re all confused so as to what it is, so just to let ya know… it’s Tourette’s.”
Billie Opens Up More About Tourette’s In Interviews
Billie revealed more about living with Tourette Syndrome in an April 2019 interview with Ellen Degeneres. The “Everything I Wanted” singer said on Ellen (watch above) that she hadn’t spoken publicly about her condition before because “I just never said anything because I didn’t want that to define who I was.” But, she was glad that she opened up. “I think I also really learned that a lot of my fans have it, which made me feel kind of more at home with saying it, and also I felt like there was a connection there,” Billie shared.
That’s not the only interview Billie has done about Tourette’s. She gave fans insight into what her episodes are like while speaking to Fader one month prior. “It’s confusing when someone is making a weird face gesture or throwing out their neck,” Billie said. “The internet hasn’t really seen the bad ones, because I’m really good at suppressing them. The thing is, the longer you suppress them, the worse they get afterwards,” she explained. “I’m sure one day everyone will see the tic attacks that happen when I’m stressed and haven’t slept. But it could be a lot worse, and it’s not, and I’m grateful for that. And you know what, it’s f**king whatever.”