Comedian Howie Mandel recently revealed the deep struggle he faced during the Covid-19 pandemic as he turned to drinking and smoking as a way to cope.
Speaking with Bill Maher on the Sunday edition of his podcast Club Random, Mandel, who has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, said the only way he could get through the shutdown was to “black out.”
“Covid fucked me up royally,” Mandel admitted. “I was smoking a lot. I can’t do anything in moderation.”
“Is that right?” Maher asked.
“I have to smoke til I’m not conscious. And if I can’t get enough pot til I’m not conscious, I would take a drink. And then if there wasn’t enough to drink, I would eat like seven gummies,” Mandel replied.
Maher then attempted to reassure him that even if Mandel were to contract Covid, he would more than likely be fine. Mandel then began to explain that he wasn’t scared of Covid at all.
“Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is just this — when you are cognizant of the fact that your thoughts and your fears are not making sense, but you can’t stop that thought or that fear. And it becomes repetitive so much so that you have to, it stops your life,” Mandel explained.
Maher replied, “It’s a kind of exquisite torture when you’re one half of your brain knows something, but the other half can’t follow it.”
Mandel then referenced famous businessman Howard Hughes who also suffered from OCD and became a recluse. Referring to Hughes, Mandel called him, “a very intelligent man who ended his final years alone in a room naked, pissing into bottles, right? I can’t tell you how close I am to that. Every waking moment of my life.”
Speaking of Covid lockdowns, he said, “Misery doesn’t love company. Right. And I was in the most miserable place in the world. And it was this nightmare that I couldn’t get out of. And the only way that I could possibly shut down was just to — black out.”
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Published: May 23, 2022
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