As a germaphobe, Howie Mandel was overly careful throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. But when “America’s Got Talent” was nominated at the 2022 Kids’ Choice Awards in April, Mandel decided it was time to mingle. Mandel caught the virus. His symptoms were light enough, something he attributed to being vaccinated, he told TMZ on April 27. But the toll the isolation took on his mental health was severe.

For 10 days, the “AGT” judge was confined to a room to protect his wife, who is also in her 60s. “I went insane,” he said. “I still feel like I’m recovering from that, the insanity. And I’m not joking. I got incredibly depressed, incredibly neurotic.” As someone who lives with a mental disorder, Mandel has specific ways to maintain his symptoms at bay. “My only panacea to my physical health and my mental health is distracting myself,” he detailed. “You can’t distract yourself for 10 days alone in a room.”

Living through the pandemic with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder was no walk in the park. “It’s scary for me. People make fun of that fact and say, ‘Oh, now everyone is living like you. You must be comfortable,'” he told the Desert Sun in March. But that wasn’t the case. “It was always comforting to have people around me to go, ‘Don’t worry, you aren’t going to get sick. Nobody is sick here and you don’t have to worry.’ Then that changed two years ago.”


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