Inside Billie Eilish's Life With Tourette Syndrome

Billie Eilish took the world by storm when she first appeared on the music scene in the late 2010s. At the time, the "Bad Guy" singer was only 17 years old and writing songs well beyond her years. With haunting vocals and stirring verses about mental health, Eilish has become the quintessential Generation Z pop star.

While some disagree with the themes of her lyrics, Eilish has defended her songs. She told Vogue, "Songs about being depressed or suicidal or completely just against yourself — some adults think that's bad, but I feel that seeing that someone else feels just as  horrible as you do is a comfort." Aside from her frank attitude toward mental health, Eilish has schooled her fans about another condition that afflicts her. At 11 years old, the Grammy-awarded singer was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. 

Eilish revealed her diagnosis after fans began creating compilation videos, mistaking her tics for the sort of "goofy" behavior they've come to expect from the singer. However, that wasn't the case, and Eilish shared an Instagram story detailing her condition. "I would love to get this straight so everyone can stop acting goofy ... I have diagnosed tourettes," she wrote (via Pop Buzz)."My tics are only physical and not super noticeable to others if you're not really paying attention." Here's what we know about the singer's life with Tourettes syndrome. 

Billie's tics have nearly caused her harm

While Billie Eilish is aware that her tics aren't as bad as others, the singer says her symptoms can be "very exhausting."

In her 2021 documentary, "Billie Eilish: The World's a Little Blurry," fans were treated to a behind-the-scenes look into the singer's life — including her tics. While the singer was hard at work with her team, she experienced a tic attack. The attack lasted for about a minute before she detailed another scary episode. Eilish said, "I've done some crazy s*** because of my Tourettes. I f****** broke a glass once in my mouth because of them." The singer further explained she has one tic which causes her to "bites down" on things "really hard."

When Eilish revealed her diagnosis in 2018, she explained her ability to suppress her tics so as to not cause a distraction in certain situations but said it comes with a price. "Surpressing them only makes things worse after the moment is over," she wrote (via Pop Buzz). It appears that her symptoms haven't eased up. During an appearance on David Letterman's "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction," the singer started ticking, prompting a discussion about her condition. "These are things you would never notice if you're just having a conversation with me. But for me, they're very exhausting," she explained. 

Billie doesn't want her tics to define her

Billie Eilish was worried that by revealing her condition, she could be defined by it. "I've never mentioned it on the internet because nobody thinks I'm deada*s... as well as...the fact that I've never wanted people to think of Tourettes every time they think of me," she explained (via Pop Buzz). This isn't the only time the 20-year-old has shared this sentiment.

After announcing she had Tourettes, Eilish paid a visit to "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," where she explained that those closest to her were already well aware of her tics. "Everybody in my family, all my friends, all the people that are closest to me know I have it," she explained. "I just never said anything because I didn't want that to define who I was." Despite her apprehensions about announcing her condition to the public, it seems some good has come from it. "A lot of my fans have it, which made me feel kind of more at home with saying it," she explained. "I felt like there was a connection there." Eilish has seen continued success and her second album debuted atop the Billboard 200 albums chart. So, her Tourettes clearly isn't something that has defined her.