Country-singer Jennifer Smestad opened up about her Tourette Syndrome and how she had to hide her symptoms for the most part of her professional and personal life.
The Nashville singer revealed that she was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 10. Ever since then began her journey of trying to control her symptoms in order to protect herself from judgement.
In an interview with PEOPLE, the young songstress shared her life’s journey after getting diagnosed with a life-altering disease.
"I could hardly function as a human," Jennifer explained the magnitude of her struggles. "I was so embarrassed, so I tried to hide it from everyone. Living that sort of double life obviously made everything harder. I would hold in as much as I could.”
The Can’t Have Mine singer tried to explain what it’s like to live with Tourette Syndrome in hopes of raising awareness. She relayed:
“Tourette syndrome is weird. You can't control it, but to a point, you can. It's like an itch. You can make the decision not to scratch it, but you will go crazy, and it will just get worse."
"You might never know that I have struggled with any of this stuff unless you spend 24 hours with me," Jennifer added.
The 28-year-old singer divulged that despite having her illness serving as a hindrance, she is determined to not let it become her identity. Jennifer shared that pushing herself to do things that makes her uncomfortable is not easy but she does it every day to change her life around.
“I was born with a ton of determination. I like to make myself feel uncomfortable with the things that scare me the most because I know that's the only way I'm going to get better at it. But yes, it was hard to start sharing that story."
Jennifer Smestad’s track Half the Man is thriving with nearly 20 million streams.