"Unpredictable" is a kind way to describe Susan Boyle's behavior as a result of her Asperger's syndrome, but there's one thing she can always depend on: That when she gets on stage to sing, she doesn't have to worry about having an episode.
"It never happens on stage," the Britain's Got Talent alum tells the UK's Daily Mail. "Off stage, well, it happens lots. It always has. But I'm getting better at dealing with it because I know what it is. If I feel I'm going to take a mood swing, I get up and leave. ... When I'm up on stage, even if I've had a bad day, I can become a different person. I feel safe. I don't feel judged up there. I feel accepted."
The Daily Mail's profile of Boyle describes typical interactions with the singer in all their awkwardness — characterized by drastic mood swings, angry outbursts and often total emotional shut-downs.
"I'm the only artist who needs a leash! I'm King Kong's mother!" Boyle, 53, says of her frequent tantrums. "I feel a sense of panic, not wanting to be there. I get depressed. I just go away, be myself. Then I come back to you. I always come back."
Boyle has spoken candidly about her diagnosis with Asperger's, and says she's hoping to remove some of the stigma around the condition.
"The thing is not to be nervous," she says, gently now. "If you let me see you're not afraid of me, you've got it. People with Asperger's do put a barrier up because they don't know how to trust people. I try not to. I want to let people in."
Boyle is currently in the midst of her first American tour.