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Billie Eilish On Being 'Incredibly Offended' When People Laugh At Her Over Tourettes

·2-min read
Photo credit: Momodu Mansaray - Getty Images
Photo credit: Momodu Mansaray - Getty Images

Musician Billie Eilish has opened up about her life with Tourettes syndrome, revealing that she gets 'incredibly offended' when people laugh at her tics.

According to the NHS, 'Tourette's syndrome is a condition that causes a person to make involuntary sounds and movements called tics.' The condition usually begins during childhood, and whilst there is no cure, treatment can help manage symptoms.

Speaking on David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Billie – who was diagnosed with Tourettes syndrome at the age of 11 – said: 'If you film me for long enough, you’re gonna see lots of tics.'

On the topic of how misunderstood the condition is, and how people's perception of Tourettes impacts her, the singer went on, 'The most common way that people react is they laugh because they think I’m trying to be funny… and I’m always left incredibly offended by that.'

It's one of the reasons she's so open about having the condition, with the hope that she can educate others as she also learns more about Tourettes herself. 'It’s very, very interesting, and I am incredibly confused by it,' she admitted. 'I don’t get it... [but I'm] very happy talking about it.'

Photo credit: Momodu Mansaray - Getty Images
Photo credit: Momodu Mansaray - Getty Images

On a day-to-day basis, the 20-year-old revealed that she doesn't experience tics when she is moving around or performing, and that some tics have gone away in the years since she was diagnosed. But, she says, there are still some tics that she experiences regularly. 'These are things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me,' she explained. 'But for me, they’re very exhausting.'

Billie continued: 'What’s funny is so many people have it that you would never know. A couple [of] artists came forward and said, "I’ve actually always had Tourette's," and I’m not gonna out them because they don’t wanna talk about it, but that was actually really interesting to me.'

Previously, the musician has opened up about suppressing her tics when she's in public, saying in her documentary: 'It’s confusing when someone is making a weird face gesture or throwing out their neck. The internet hasn’t really seen the bad [tics] because I’m really good at suppressing them.'

She went on, 'The thing is, the longer you suppress them, the worse they get afterwards. I’m sure one day everyone will see the tic attacks that happen when I’m stressed and haven’t slept.'

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