Out of most major musicians in the entertainment scene right now, Billie Eilish is known for her distinct personality and no-guff mannerisms. She takes her career quite seriously, both because she cares about music and her fans, but also because it helps her feel a little more consistent in her life.
On a recent interview on David Letterman’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction on Netflix, Eilish spoke about living with Tourette’s syndrome, a neurological disorder she was diagnosed with at age 11. Tourette’s syndrome is known for causing unusual verbal and physical tics in those affected, which can appear strange and random to an outside observer.
“The most common way that people react is they laugh because they think I’m trying to be funny,” Eilish said about experiencing her tics in public. “And I’m always left incredibly offended by that.”
While her Tourette’s isn’t as overpowering as it was when she was younger, it does still have a presence in Eilish’s life. “These are things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me,” Eilish said. “But for me they’re very exhausting.”
“If you film me for long enough, you’re gonna see lots of tics.” https://t.co/tFbyn2GWUn
— BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) May 23, 2022
The only time Eilish never seems to experience any of her tics at all is when she’s performing on stage. “When I’m moving around I’m not even ticking at all,” she said.
Eilish added that she was happy to discuss what it’s like to live with Tourette’s publicly because it’s “interesting” to her. She also divulged that she’s aware of several other musicians who live with Tourette’s, though she would not divulge their identities. She stressed that she was “not gonna out them because they don’t wanna talk about it.”