Comedian Howie Mandel told fellow comedian Bill Maher on Sunday’s episode of the latter’s podcast, “Club Random” that he would often resort to “blacking out” to cope with the stress of Covid-19 lockdowns.
Mandel, who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), told Maher that the stress of lockdowns would often exacerbate his anxiety and led to him making less-than-stellar health choices.
The Daily Wire reports:
“COVID f***ed me up royally. I was smoking [marijuana] a lot. I can’t do anything in moderation,” Mandel said.
“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 elaborated.
Maher pointed out the fact that a reasonably healthy person like Mandel had nothing to fear with regard to COVID, noting that the risk of complications or severe disease was low for him. And that was when Mandel explained that his reaction had nothing to do with fear — but everything to do with his OCD.
“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, comparing himself to the reclusive businessman Howard Hughes. “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.”
Madel wasn’t the only one stunning to substances to cope with pandemic lockdowns. Data has shown that rates of depression, alcoholism, and drugs abuse all spiked during periods of intense Covid rates.