The Truth About Billie Eilish’s Tourette Syndrome
Billie Eilish has made a career out of being unflinchingly open and honest with her fans. The enigmatic pop star, who shot to fame with mega-hit single “Bad Guy,” is proudly divorced from the usual trappings of her job, whether it’s showing skin or performing choreographed dance routines. Eilish is still a relatively new proposition, with her moody debut album, “When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” released in 2019. But fans still feel like they know her inside and out.
Thanks to the well-received documentary “The World’s a Little Blurry” (2021), we were gifted a further insight into the singer-songwriter’s unique day-to-day life, with the good and bad represented in equal measure. Eilish has never shied away from getting real, confirming in a 2018 Instagram Story that she had been diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome as a child and pleading with fans to consider her as a whole rather than defining the pop star by her disorder (via Billboard).
The pop star has been open about her condition
As Hollywood Life advises, “Tourette’s is a rare nervous system disorder that presents with repetitive and uncontrolled movements… or sounds, called ‘tics’,” which typically emerges in early childhood. Billie Eilish revealed she suffered with the condition after videos emerged online showing her various tics, which included shrugging and rapid blinking. The pop star had a good sense of humor about the footage, describing it as “low-key funny.” During an appearance on “Ellen” in 2019, Eilish explained that, although she considers herself an open book, she didn’t publicly confirm her Tourette’s at first because, “I didn’t want that to define who I was,” (via YouTube). However, after speaking up, she realized, “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.”
The “Bad Guy” hit-maker admitted to Fader that she gets why certain people don’t understand the condition, acknowledging, “It’s confusing when someone is making a weird face gesture or throwing out their neck.” The singer-songwriter explained fans have not seen the worst of her tics, “because I’m really good at suppressing them.” However, as Eilish revealed, “the longer you suppress them, the worse they get afterwards.” Although the pop star knows someday everybody might see how bad things get for her behind closed doors, “it could be a lot worse, and it’s not, and I’m grateful for that.” Besides, “it’s f*****g whatever.”
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