The 23-year-old Venezuelan star is sharing a behind-the-scenes look at her life and personal struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder in her YouTube documentary, The Secret Life of Lele Pons. ET's Deidre Behar video-chatted with Pons, where she candidly explained how her struggles with OCD, as well as Tourette syndrome and ADHD, have affected her life, why she decided to open up about it, and how she secretly disappeared for a month to seek treatment.
"I've been doing that for a long time, sometimes my fans don't even notice when I'm gone. I have things accumulated, like content, but I've been to a ranch for a month without anyone [knowing]," Pons revealed. "When it's really bad or when there's a really big project coming, that might trigger a lot of my stuff, I go there to prepare myself."
Explaining that she's someone who always tries to be "someone else on social media" -- "Like super positive, 'Everything's perfect. I have the perfect life" -- Pons thought it was the right to time share her story, "now that I'm not ashamed and embarrassed about having OCD."
Pons' experience with OCD began at a young age: "When I was little I couldn't move, I was stuck in one place. I couldn't move and my dad had to carry me around places." She explained that "there's thoughts and there's actions… There are things that you don't want to do, but your brain and your thoughts are telling you to do them."
For Pons, she shared that she can get paranoid and does things in threes to avoid "something bad" happening.
"I do a lot of touching, a lot of checking, I touch things, everything," she detailed. "I talk to someone but I repeat myself three times and they don't notice. I touch something three times. Sometimes I even get nervous when I say [or] do something two times and I'm like, I need to go back… Everything is so calculated, it's insane. When it comes to thoughts, I have fear of, 'If I don't do this three times, something bad is going to happen.' And you really, really, truly believe it. It’s not normal, you know? Because I know for a fact that nothing bad's going to happen, but the feeling is so there that you actually believe it, it's just hard."
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There are times when it's just too much for her, and as fans will see in her YouTube series, things can get dark. "I wish I didn't have OCD," Pons stated. "I wish I could turn my brain off, because it's constantly doing stuff. It's hard because you're constantly battling yourself. I just want to turn it off. That's why I love sleeping, because it's a time when my brain is not bothering me."
And while she still gets moments of panic and uneasiness, Pons does her best to ask for help and do exercises that help her cope. But her mental health issues, she said, don't always hinder her work. They actually help her in more ways than one.
"It has impacted my career in ways that are positive," she said. "Like, I'm obsessed with hard work and I'm obsessed with making videos. People are like, 'Wow, she makes so many videos,' and I'm like, yup because I can't stop."
"There was a point where I'd make three videos a day and if I stopped I felt like my account was gonna be deleted the next day, something bad was gonna happen," she shared. "So people were like, 'Wow, she's such a hardworking person.' Like, no, it has to do with OCD too."
For more on Pons' struggles with her mental health issues, watch the video above. TheSecret Life of Lele Pons is out now on YouTube.