Howie Mandel Opens Up About His ‘Painful’ Struggle with Anxiety and OCD

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Howie Mandel has been living with severe anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder for nearly his entire life, but for the America’s Got Talent judge, every day is still a struggle.

“I’m living in a nightmare,” says Mandel, 65, who first exhibited symptoms of his OCD – repetitive and intrusive thoughts and fixations, often brought on by his debilitating fear of germs – as a child.

“I try to anchor myself. I have a beautiful family and I love what I do. But at the same time, I can fall into a dark depression I can’t get out of,” he tells PEOPLE for one of this week’s cover stories.

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