Howie Mandel’s wife issued him ultimatum after making family’s life ‘miserable’ with OCD battle


When Howie Mandel and his wife made vows to one another, “for better, for worse,” he did not plan on making his family’s lives “miserable.”

The comedian revealed that earlier in their marriage, his wife Terry issued him an ultimatum: if he did not seek treatment for his health condition, which he later learned was obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), she would leave him.

“I’d have my children and my wife spray everything down and not touch things. I wouldn’t take things that they were handed. I would remove some of their toys that I saw touch the ground. I was making their life miserable,” Mandel told Today.com.

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Howie Mandel admitted his wife Terry gave him an “ultimatum” if he didn’t seek treatment for his mental health struggles. (Getty Images)

“My wife just gave me an ultimatum. She goes, ‘I can’t do this anymore and I can’t have the children do it anymore. And if you don’t get help, that’s it,’” Mandel recalled. 

“So it was an ultimatum that made me ultimately go to therapy, and I got diagnosed (with OCD).”

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Howie Mandel wife Terry

Howie Mandel said that he is grateful for a blessed life, but his battle with mental health takes a toll at times. (Lester Cohen/WireImage)

The “America’s Got Talent” judge was diagnosed with OCD in his late 40s and admitted he was “embarrassed” at first about his mental health problem, noting “there is a stigma.”

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Despite using comedy to cope with his health struggles, Mandel slammed people who joke about OCD. 

“I can’t tell you how many people come up to me and go, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m a little OCD, too. I like everything in order. If my room is not clean, I’m just not happy. I’ve got a little OCD. You can’t have a little OCD.”

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The 67-year-old continued to say that he is grateful for a blessed life, but his battle with mental health takes a toll at times. 

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“I’ve been really successful. I have a beautiful family and I love what I do. But inside my head, it is a war zone, and it’s a war worth fighting, and I continue to fight it.”

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Howie Mandel on stage with a microphone

“America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder in his late 40s. (Greg Doherty/Getty Images for Allen Media Group / Byron Allen)

The comedian has previously spoken publicly about having OCD. The condition is marked by having intrusive, unwanted thoughts that can manifest as phobias and lead to repetitive behavior or compulsions as well as anxiety, according to the Mayo Clinic. 

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Last October, ahead of National OCD Awareness Month, Mandel told Fox News Digital that there is a strong stigma in society attached to mental health problems that he is fighting to change.





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