‘America’s Got Talent’ Judge Howie Mandel Speaks Out About Battling ‘Depression,’ Mental Health Struggles

by Anna Dunn
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

America’s Got Talent Judge and comedian Howie Mandel recently spoke out about battling depression and Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Mandel has a new documentary out about his life and his struggles with his mental health.

He recently spoke to TMZ Live about the film and how he’s doing now.

Shooting for the documentary began before the pandemic, but the self-described germaphobe said that once COVID hit, they had to continue filming.

“This broke out, and [we] had to continue and I had to show up places. And cameramen are wearing mask suits and it’s just really hard,” he said. Howie Mandel has been open about his Mental Health struggles over the past few years, but he didn’t originally seek help until a conversation with his wife.

“Obviously, as I’ve been open about and I am in the documentary, my mental health is on full display. And I talk about it in the documentary, the thing that drove me to go get help and notify myself of my own issues was an ultimatum I once got from my wife where she said ‘You either go get help, or that’s it.'”

While Mandel got help, mental health struggles don’t simply vanish overnight, and Mandel’s germ-related OCD symptoms made the pandemic a “nightmare” for him. Because of that, on top of the general stress of the pandemic that plagued all of us to a certain extent, Howie Mandel had a very difficult year.

“I’ve moved my therapist into a whole new tax bracket,” he joked. “I’ve upped my meds.”

When asked if he was doing alright, Mandel decided to keep it honest.

“I’m really down,” he said. “I’m teetering on depression.”

Howie Mandel Has an Important Message about Getting Help

While Mandel suffers from diagnosed mental illnesses, he shared an important message to those without.

“You don’t have to have OCD or ADHD or all the issues I deal with. You just have to be a human being and this has put a weight on the world’s shoulders. People are screaming out for help, people that would normally not ask for help. So if there is one glass half full, I believe that the stigma of having a mental health issue or reaching out and asking for a coping skill is kind of making its way to the forefront.”

The America’s Got Talent judge has become quite the mental health advocate over the years, using his celebrity status to advocate for the destigmatization of mental health struggles. And as the world changes due to the pandemic, it looks like some are becoming willing to talk more openly about those issues.

If you’d like to watch the trailer for Howie Mandel’s documentary, you can take a look at it below. The documentary is available to stream on NBC’s Peacock streaming service.