Venezuelan YouTube star Lele Pons is opening up for the first time about struggling with her mental health.
The 23-year-old social media icon reveals that she was diagnosed with severe OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) in a new YouTube original docuseries “The Secret Life of Lele Pons”. Along with that, she revealed that she also suffers from Tourette’s syndrome, ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), and depression. Pons has always considered her mental diagnosis as her “deepest, darkest secret” and is now using her platform to finally talk about her lifelong struggle.
“Am I scared to tell people? Yes. Am I scared of what they might say? Yes. But am I embarrassed? No.”, said Pons.
In the first episode of the series titled “I Have OCD”, Pons talks about the early signs that her family noticed when she was young. She talked about how she was always getting paranoid and would do certain things to avoid bad things from occurring. She would feel the need to touch objects or perform a certain action exactly three times like turning a faucet on and off; if she didn’t do it three times then she felt that somebody she loved was going to die. When Pons was little she believed that if she put her head in between a pillow and go for a minute without breathing, then she would be happy. Also, when she was young, there were times that she couldn’t move and was always stuck in one place so she had her father carry her around. She explained that there were things she didn’t want to do but her brain would tell her complete those actions.
Even though Pons always struggled mentally, physical activities became very easy for her. She mentioned that she used her creativity as a way to express herself and communicate with her family. When Pons was a child she would draw sketches and storyboards and would use those as a substitute for talking to tell her parents what she wants or how she feels. Her art was a way of therapy and also used singing, dancing, and now comedy as outlets to be her best self.
When she was in school, Pons had a hard time fitting in and was getting picked on. In high school, she stumbled upon the social network Vine and started making six-second videos with her friends as a way to connect with others and showcase her creative side. During the time she was making Vines she considered them as a distraction from her OCD. On the days she would make Vines Pons felt that her OCD came out even when no one noticed. In the episode, she talked about how she would take a whole day to make Vines and needed every shot to be spot-on, making her a perfectionist.
Pons has talked about how she’s been seeking treatment for her OCD in secret saying she would disappear for a month without anyone noticing, especially her fans. She says that her mental health has made an impact on her career in a positive way. Pons says her OCD has allowed her to work harder and become more productive when it comes to making content.
You can watch Lele Pons’ new docuseries “The Secret Life of Lele Pons” now on YouTube.