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Lele Pons says she was ‘embarrassed’ to share struggles with OCD, Tourette's syndrome

Megan Sims
·3-min read
Lele Pons says she was ‘embarrassed’ to share struggles with OCD, Tourette's syndrome
Lele Pons says she was ‘embarrassed’ to share struggles with OCD, Tourette's syndrome

Lele Pons got candid about her experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome on the latest episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans.

Pons, who has nearly 43 million Instagram followers, said she first started experiencing symptoms when she was 9 and couldn’t stop touching the car door handle.

“My mother was like come inside the house and I was like crying. I was like oh my God, I can’t. I don’t know what’s going on. What is this? They didn’t know what it was, they called all our doctors. I got diagnosed with OCD and Tourette's,” she explained.

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Home photoshoots💙💙💙 I’m bored...

A post shared by Lele Pons (@lelepons) on

Pons explained that for her, an OCD episode consists of wanting to do things that she does not want to do, but has to do to stop her from feeling uncomfortable or itchy. She has to do a ritual three times, including turning her shower handle, and sometimes when she hears someone say a word incorrectly, she has to say it perfectly in her head. The star revealed that these episodes bring about negative thoughts that can even range to suicidal thoughts.

“I’m a loser, this is so embarrassing, who’s going to love a person like me,” Pons said of the thoughts that go through her mind. “If I don’t do this, my family is gonna die, I’m not gonna have a successful career anymore, you’re never gonna find a man, you’re never gonna get married, you’re never gonna be happy, you’re never gonna have a baby, that’s it, it’s over OK, let’s just kill ourselves, ya know?”

She admitted that she did not want to get help for a long time as she kept her struggles secret.

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Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️ @lou_flores

A post shared by Lele Pons (@lelepons) on

“I was really embarrassed. I actually spent years literally being like ‘I don’t care about therapy, I don’t need it because I’m like so famous and I’m too good for this, and I’m like I cured myself.’... I made so many mistakes in my personal life and there’s a lot of things I can’t explain,” Pons admitted.

One of those issues was her obsession with friend Juan Pazurita, who has appeared in several of her videos. The former Vine star admitted to spending $70,000 on a birthday party for Pazurita in hopes of convincing him to love her. “For me the hardest with OCD is the ROCD, the relationship OCD,” Pons said, offering that with hindsight she recognizes that she wasn’t in love with Pazurita, rather she was obsessed with him because of the disorder.

It was this Pazurita incident that made Pons’s manager realize she needed help. “They took me to a ranch for a month and I met so many patients that had the same thing as me,” she said. “And that was when I was like ‘I have a big platform. What am I doing with it?’”

So to that, she has a message:

“Whatever you have does not define you...it’s part of who you are,” Pons said. “I think that for people who are struggling the best thing they can do is learn about what they have. My favorite thing is going to group therapy.”

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