Howie Mandel Reveals the Ultimatum That Led to Him Seeking Mental Health Help (Exclusive)

Howie Mandel is looking back on the moments that changed the course of his life forever in his new documentary But, Enough About Me. The comedian, 65, reflected on making the documentary (streaming now on Peacock) during one of the most difficult years of his life as well as his mental health journey over the years in a new interview with PopCulture, opening up about how his wife of 42 years was the one who prompted him to seek help.

Filming the Barry Avrich-directed documentary during the COVID-19 pandemic was not easy for the self-proclaimed "world-renowned germaphobe." Mandel joked, "I thought, 'Oh my God, look at the production value.' When you're doing a documentary on a germophobe, why not have a world pandemic as your backdrop?" If any good came out of the experience, the comedian quipped he's moved his therapist "into a whole new tax bracket," but he's "thrilled" that people can now see his life in a different light.

Mandel has long been open about his journey with mental health and therapy but opens up in the documentary about how it was wife Terry's ultimatum more than 20 years ago that first pushed him to seek help. "'You either get help and do something about that or get yourself some coping skills or I and the children are out,'" Mandel recalls her saying.

While he might make light of his OCD, germaphobia and ADHD through comedy, the Deal or No Deal host said in reality "it's a real issue" that affects those closes to him. "It's really hard to live with. And that was a drastic statement [from] my wife, 'I'm done,'" he shared with PopCulture. Seeking help with a therapist for the first time after that, Mandel's life completely changed.

Filming But, Enough About Me took that to another level. "It wasn't until my late 40s that I even started going to therapy, and it was hard to share with one person in a room who I was paying to listen to me," he admitted, "let alone thousands, tens of thousands, billions of people who have access to these interviews or documentaries. It's kind of scary."

0comments

Performing for millions as a stand-up comic is no sweat for the seasoned performer, but one-on-one interactions like those seen in the documentary were significantly different. "Doing the documentary was more like therapy, but not behind a closed door, in front of an open camera," the America's Got Talent judge explained of the origin of the film's title. "So every time [Avrich] would ask or they would delve into very personal, painful things, I just kept saying, 'Enough about me. Can we talk about something else?' And that's where the name and the title came from." But, Enough About Me is streaming now on Peacock.