Known for being vocal about issues close to her heart, like clapping back at body shamers and openly discussing her struggles with mental health and identity, Billie Eilish is continuing to share her personal experiences on a public stage. Most recently the 20-year old has opened up about living with Tourette’s Syndrome.
Appearing on the fourth season of David Letterman’s documentary series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Billie spoke to David about her life, including speaking openly about her Tourette’s Syndrome for the first time. The Grammy Award-winning artist shared intimate details, revealing how much it affects her day to day life, including performances. During the interview, Billie experienced a tic, stating that “if you film me for long enough, you’re going to see lots of tics.” Despite host, David Letterman providing Billie the opportunity to avoid talking further about her Tourette’s Syndrome, she openly shared her experiences, thanking David Letterman for asking “I’m very happy to talk about it,” she explained.
From being diagnosed at age 11, Billie revealed she experiences different tics everyday, that typically arise when she is still or unfocused. From clicking her jaw to wiggling her ear with her finger, Billie spoke candidly about how exhausting living with Tourette’s Syndrome is. “These are things you would never notice having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re exhausting.” The singer continued to explain “the most common way that people react is they laugh, because they think I’m trying to be funny,” before sharing “I’m always left incredibly offended by that.” In continuing to share her experiences, she explains to David Letterman, “now, I’m pretty confident in it.”
When it comes to onstage performances, Billie shares “When I’m moving and focusing, I’m not ticcing.”
Tourette’s Syndrome is a condition of the nervous system that causes involuntary actions known as tics. There are two types of tics, motor and vocal tics. Motor involves movement of the body, like aggressive blinking, muscle spasms, or neck jerks. Vocal tics are sounds that a person makes, like saying random words or phrases.