Howie Mandel Opens Up About Being Diagnosed with OCD in His 40s and His Work with NOCD
Lifestyle October 03, 2022
Howie Mandel wants to end the stigma on talking about mental health.
On Monday’s episode of “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” the “America’s Got Talent” judge opened up about being diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in his 40s, as well as his long-standing battle with depression and anxiety.
“I have a lot of mental health problems,” Howie told Jennifer Hudson. “I’ve been saddled with this my whole life.”
Throughout his life, the comedian has dealt with compulsive rituals and repetitive thoughts, and eventually reached a breaking point.
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His health became so bad that his wife Terry — whom he married in 1980 — couldn’t “handle it” and threatened to leave him.
Even after receiving a formal diagnosis, Howie was “embarrassed” about his condition and what that would mean for his family and his career.
However, these days, Howie is an advocate for mental illness and has partnered up with NOCD, a telehealth provider that connects individuals affected by OCD with licensed therapists.
Noting that the COVID-19 pandemic brought attention to the “mental strife” the world faces, Howie highlights how mental illness is a universal issue.
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“Nobody alive doesn’t deal with the weight of trying to find a coping skill,” Howie said. “You can deal with isolation, trauma… Nobody goes through life without suffering once.”
As a way to cope with his ailments, Howie started a podcast, “Howie Mandel Does Stuff Podcast,” with his daughter Jackie, who also suffers from OCD.
“I started doing a podcast with my daughter because of my mental health. Both me and my daughter suffer from this,” Howie said, noting that the idea for the podcast stemmed from him and Jackie prank-calling each other during the pandemic.
Overall, Howie wants to remove the stigma surrounding mental health to ensure that every individual gets the help they need.
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“I want it to be normal. People need to know that everyone goes through something. If you’re not going through something, you know someone who is. Let’s remove the stigma of mental health.”
“The Jennifer Hudson Show” airs weekdays. Check your local listings.