Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish Talks About Living with Tourette’s Syndrome

Photo: BBC

In an interview, Billie Eilish said that living with Tourette’s Syndrome (TS) can be “very exhausting.” When talking during David Letterman’s My Next Guest show on Netflix, the award-winning singer underwent an on-camera tic. 

“If you film me for long enough, you’re going to see lots of tics,” she stated. 

More than 300,000 children and adults have TS in the UK, as per a report from Tourette’s Action. TS is a condition that results in a person involuntarily making sounds and movements called tics. It commonly begins in the childhood years. However, the tics and other symptoms commonly improve after years and, at times, completely go away. 

According to Billie during the interview, she doesn’t undergo tics while performing and that some particular tics have vanished over time. However, others still happen frequently. 

“These are things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me,” she states, further saying, “but for me, they’re very exhausting.” 

Billie stated that she “really loves” conversations about her encounters with TS but said she is “incredibly confused by it.” However, the singer also acknowledges that people often react positively when she undergoes a tic. 

“The most common way that people react is they laugh because they think I’m trying to be funny. I’m always left incredibly offended by that,” she stated. 

A 29-year-old Terrina Bibb can relate to that reaction. She began experiencing signs of tics when she was 21, and following several visits to neurologists, she was ultimately diagnosed at 24, which is actually late. 

She recounts that the previous year, someone stared at her nonstop in a restaurant during a “really bad tic attack.” 

“It’s just rude, and it frustrates me. People ask, ‘why do you have to swear so much?’ I wish I didn’t have to, but it’s something I can’t control,” she states. 

Bibb hopes for people to treat her, as well as others living with TS, ordinarily, further saying that she doesn’t “mind educating people on it, but I just don’t think people should be rude.”


Opinions expressed by Famous Times contributors are their own.