For the past few weeks, fans have gotten an inside look into the life of Lele Pons with her YouTube docuseries, The Secret Life Of Lele Pons. Now, the internet star has opened up about the decision behind releasing “raw” and “unfiltered” episodes surrounding her mental health struggles, relationship with her father and living with OCD and Tourette’s syndrome.
“I kept it a secret for so long because I was really embarrassed,” she explained on E! News‘ “Just The Sip” podcast. “I didn’t want people to see me differently…I don’t know. I’ve had really bad experiences in the past, like when I was little with OCD, and people judging me. So I had that in my head for awhile.”
She continued, “And then it got to a point where I couldn’t function anymore and my managers and my friends kind of noticed, and I had to be completely honest with them. But they took it in such a good way; like, they were so supportive that it kind of made me realize that maybe there are people that are super supportive of this.”
The 23-year-old revealed that she filmed the docuseries over the course of two years because this didn’t want to be something she talked about in “just one video.”
“It’s so raw. It’s so unfiltered. You’re literally letting people into your life,” Lele explained. “I was like, this is so dear to my heart. I have to do this.”
Despite being apprehensive to share her diagnoses, the internet star said, now that the show has come to an end, she’s received positive feedback from the series.
“There’s so many people that came out saying that they have OCD as well…Parents have come to me saying that their kid has OCD,” Lele said. “There are some people that are just like, ‘This can’t be real.’ Because obviously some of them don’t understand what OCD is, and some of them haven’t seen me with OCD, of course. Like, I don’t show that. I’ve never shown that. Everybody’s, like, shocked.”
The social media influencer concluded with a message to listeners, and urged anyone struggling with OCD to seek help.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Youth Crisis Hotline at 1-800-448-4663.