What is PANDAS? RHOBH alum Lisa Rinna's daughter Delilah Hamlin shares diagnosis 

Lisa Rinna
Lisa Rinna's daughter Delilah shares PANDAS health diagnosis (Image via Instagram/delilahbelle, lisarinna)

RHOBH alum Lisa Rinna's daughter Delilah Belle Hamlin opened up about her struggles with PANDAS in a recent Instagram story on Wednesday, January 25, 2023. She posted a picture of herself with an IV running through her arm and detailed accounts of dealing with chronic illnesses since she was a child in an effort to spread awareness among her fans and followers.

Delilah is the eldest daughter of former RHOBH cast member Lisa Rinna and actor Harry Hamlin. She was diagnosed with PANDAS (Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections) and has also dealt with several other health conditions throughout her life, including encephalitis, the Epstein-Barr virus, as well as Lyme disease.

Delilah Hamlin opens up about her health (Image via delilahbelle/Instagram)
Delilah Hamlin opens up about her health (Image via delilahbelle/Instagram)

A child can be diagnosed with PANDAS when an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or a Tic disorder, or both appear following a strep throat or fever. It can also be diagnosed when the symptoms of the same worsen over time.

Keep reading below to learn more about PANDAS.

PANDAS description, diagnosis and treatment explored


While the symptoms of PANDAS differ from child to child, they are usually dramatic and out of the blue. These include panic attacks, tics, obsessions, and compulsions. Many children become moody or develop anxiety at the thought of being separated from their parents.

Strep bacteria are ancient organisms that have stayed inside the human body for the longest time. They manage to avoid being detected as they create molecules on their cell walls that are almost similar to the molecules found on a child's heart, skin, joints, and other parts of the body. This phenomenon is called "molecular mimicry."

When these molecules are realized to be foreign to the body, a child's immune system abruptly reacts to them by producing antibodies. However, due to molecular mimicry, the antibodies also attack the mimicked molecules in the child's tissues, creating "cross-reactive" antibodies.

According to Mental Health Information's website, PANDAS is considered a pediatric disorder that appears from age 3 to puberty. Healthcare providers can conclude the diagnosis with the help of the following symptoms:

  1. Presence of OCD or a Tic
  2. Onset of symptoms
  3. Episodic course and timeline of occurrence
  4. Strep infection or scarlet fever
  5. Physical hyperactivity, anxiety, jerky movements
  6. Worsening of Tics or panic attacks over time
  7. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  8. Sleeping issues
  9. Frequent bed-wetting or urination
  10. Changes in handwriting
  11. Separation anxiety and joint pains

Treatment options for a child struggling with PANDAS include antibiotics to cure strep infection after a throat culture documents the presence of strep bacteria.

RHOBH alum Lisa Rinna's daughter opens up about her health condition

Delilah took to her Instagram story and opened up about her health struggles dealing with chronic illness and autoimmune diseases. She said:

“I haven’t really spoken on my health lately, [and] if you’re new here, you’re probably confused, but for the past few years, I’ve been struggling with autoimmune/chronic illness issues that I’ve been silently battling and overcoming. It’s definitely been tough mentally alongside physically.”

The RHOBH alum's oldest daughter, however, confessed to abstaining from posting about her health issues because she didn't want people to cast her into a "sick" role but ultimately decided against it. She wanted to share her story of strength, perseverance, and patience with the world. Delilah further said:

"When you feel as though the pressure is too much, it's because you're stronger than you think. You'll never discover how strong you really are until you face pressure that you've never faced. It may seem unbearable, but the fact that God allowed it means you can handle it."

In 2019, Lisa shared that her daughter's PANDAS diagnosis led Delilah to have "serious anxiety and multiple phobias." Still, they were able to find effective therapy solutions for her to improve over time. In November 2021, Delilah opened up about suffering an accidental overdose that landed her in the hospital.

Following the incident, her family sent her to a treatment center in Arizona, according to a report by PEOPLE. However, she was "politely asked to leave" after being labeled a "medical risk."

Delilah has been following up on the treatment at home and has continued her healing journey. She completed six months of sobriety in February 2022.

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Edited by Virat Deswal
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