Howie Mandel's OCD Made His Family's Life 'Miserable', Nearly Destroyed His Marriage

The 'America's Got Talent' judge admits he was making his family's life 'miserable' because of his obsessive compulsive disorder and his wife nearly divorced him because of that.

AceShowbiz - Howie Mandel's wife threatened to dump him if he didn't have therapy. The "America's Got Talent" judge has discussed openly his struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and he admitted he only sought help when his spouse Terry - with whom he has Jackie, 39, Alex, 34, and 31-year-old Riley - gave him an ultimatum because he was making family life "miserable."

"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," he told

"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.' So it was an ultimatum that made me ultimately go to therapy, and I got diagnosed [with OCD]."

Although the star found his diagnosis "comforting," he was too embarrassed to speak about his mental health issues at the time. He said, "I was embarrassed that I had this problem, and when you have a mental health problem, there is a stigma..."

"The inability to control your brain with these obsessive thoughts and the compulsion to fight them is far more prevalent in somebody with OCD. [Other] people have weird thoughts that go through their head and then it goes away."

Howie is now urging people to speak out if they have similar struggles. He said, "[Terry] has been nothing but supportive. It's important to have people around you who are there for you. That's key, but they don't know to be there for you if you don't talk about it."

"They say that misery loves company. I don't know that I'm thrilled that one out of 40 people have OCD, but it makes my mission even more prevalent. I know how painful it is. I don't want people to go through what I go through, and a lot of people go through worse. The more people that are open about it, the more people that talk about it, the wider that safety net gets thrown for all of us."

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