Lewis Capaldi reveals Tourette syndrome diagnosis: ‘It’s something I am living with’

The 25-year-old Scottish singer has been treating the condition with botox injections and says that he is ‘learning new ways to cope all the time’

Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi has revealed that he has been diagnosed with Tourette syndrome. The 25-year-old star, who broke out with the chart-topping 2018 single Someone You Loved, said on Instagram Live that the diagnosis “makes so much sense”: “When I look back at my interviews from 2018, I can see that I’m doing it,” he said.

The singer said that he chose to go public with the diagnosis because he “didn’t want people to think I was taking cocaine or something,” and noted that he had initially thought it was “some horrible degenerative disease” before he was properly diagnosed. “My shoulder twitches when I am excited, happy, nervous or stressed,” he said. “It is something I am living with.”

Capaldi said that he has been getting botulinum toxin injections in his shoulder to stop his involuntary twitches, and that he is “learning new ways to cope all the time”. News of Capaldi’s Tourette diagnosis comes after two sold-out shows at London’s O2 Arena, and ahead of Friday’s release of Forget Me, his first single in three years. Reviewing one of Capaldi’s London shows for the Guardian, Alim Kheraj praised the show’s moments of “raw emotion”.

“Tourette’s affects 1 in 100 school aged children, however the public perception is that it affects only a minority. Lewis Capaldi speaking out about his diagnosis will hopefully encourage others who are in the public eye to do the same,” said Emma McNally, CEO of Tourettes Action.

“The more people who talk about Tourette Syndrome, the more people who share their stories, the better. Being diagnosed can be daunting. Newly diagnosed children need to see successful adults sharing and talking about their diagnosis, it will give them hope for the future.”

Tourette syndrome affects approximately 300,000 people in the UK. In 2018, American pop star Billie Eilish revealed she was diagnosed as a child. “I’ve never mentioned [Tourette syndrome] on the internet because nobody thinks I’m deadass [serious],” she wrote on social media at the time, “as well as the fact I’ve just never wanted people to think of tourettes every time they think of me.”

Earlier this year, Eilish opened up about her experiences with the condition in an interview with David Letterman, saying that it causes “things you would never notice if you’re just having a conversation with me, but for me, they’re very exhausting”. “So many people have it that you would never know. A couple artists came forward and said, ‘I’ve actually always had Tourette’s,’” she added. “That was actually really interesting to me because I was like, ‘You do? What?’”

• This story was amended on 7 September 2022. It previously stated that Capaldi made his comments to the Sun; they were in fact made on Instagram Live.


Shaad D'Souza

The GuardianTramp

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