Last updated on 04.06.2020
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in an anxiety disorder that can affect anybody. It isn’t peculiar to a particular race”,sex or the individual’s socio-economic status.
The word OCD came into use in 1941 but the disorder itself predates the name as famous people like Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Michelangelo, Ludwig Van Beethoven were posthumously diagnosed with the illness.
Experts describe OCD as an anxiety disorder which is characterized by recurrent compulsion or obsession that are time consuming and causes significant distress. This actions are recognized by the individual affected as unreasonable or excessive.
The obsession can range from contamination fears, sexual orientation and obsessions, causing harm on purpose or by accident to oneself and others, symmetry and exactness, religious, pedophilic and so on.
The compulsion can also range from counting, repeating, checking, cleaning and washing, mental rituals, ordering and arranging amongst others.
Generally, someone suffering from this disorder has a deep rooted anxiety which prompts thoughts that upset them which are called obsessions. Some of them find relief by repeating particular rituals which are called compulsions. This disorder has a serious impact on their lives but there are different ways of managing the illness and still leading a successful life.
OCD has been listed by World Health Organization as one of the biggest causes of disability. There is a lot of stigmatization in the public so sufferers mostly keep their illness hidden.
Some celebrities suffering from the disorder have been brave enough to open up about it. Here is a list of 10 famous people with OCD.
1. David Beckham
The football star opened up about his illness in the year 2006 during a television interview with ITV1. He admitted that he has the compulsion to have everything in pairs or on a straight line. He sometimes rearranges the books and leaflets in a hotel room before he can relax. Everything just has to be perfect. He confesses that he has tried to break the cycle of this repetitive behaviour but can not seem to stop.
His wife Victoria Beckham calls him a weirdo. In an interview she admits that their refrigerator is coordinated and symmetrically arranged. If there are 3 drink cans in the fridge. He throws one away because they have to be in pair and even numbers.
2. Jessica Alba
She is a famous American actress who has featured in lots of movies and television series. Her first appearance on television was at the age of 13 although she became prominent at the age of 19 with her lead act in “Dark Angel” and her Golden Globe nomination.
Jessica reveals that she has struggled with OCD since she was 10. Her rise to stardom has helped her manage the illness better but she isn’t shy to talk about it.
Jessica has struggled with her condition while growing up but has chosen to look at the positive aspect of her illness. She claims that her compulsion to do things right helps her put in her best in all that she does.
She shares an incident where Cash Warren (her then boyfriend now husband) filled her hotel room with 200 balloons as a surprise for her birthday. She was thrilled at first and loved it. But she soon began to feel anxious and they had to call house keeping to clean it up.
She seem to have gotten over most of her anxiety issues although she still has the compulsion of unplugging all home appliances every time she leaves the house or double checking all the doors to make sure they are locked. She describes the feeling as that of panic which compels her to do or control something.
3. Leonardo DiCarprio
The savvy and sharp-witted American actor and producer is never the type to do anything halfway. He is known for the true to life manner in which he portrays any character he takes up. He has been nominated severally and has won 3 Golden Globe Awards, One British Academy Film awards, Academy Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
He rose to international lime light with his performance in “Titanic” (1997) which was the first film with highest gross at that time.
After playing an OCD character (Howard Hughes) in “Aviator”, Leonardio admitted that his struggle with OCD returned and he had to keep telling himself how ridiculous he was for stepping on every chewing gum stain or going back 20 feet to step on something. He played the role so well that he began giving in to his own compulsions and maybe inducing a severe form of OCD in himself.
4. Donald Trump
The President of the United States is one of the few popular people that has openly spoken openly about their OCD.
Before he became the President, he has admitted to having phobia for germs which makes it very difficult for him to shake hands with people. He also admits to washing his hands as frequently as he can and drinking from a straw to avoid contamination.
Jimmy Kimmel put together a video recently to show the President’s OCD tendencies. As observed from the video, President Trump obsessively move things around once he sits at a table or desk. It might be a notebook, coffee cup, glass, paper or pen.
5. Megan Fox
Megan is a well known model and actress who has been vocal about her different insecurities with her self image, self esteem and OCD tendencies.
She admits to having a sane and balanced childhood at home but was bullied a lot in school because of her aggressive personality and making friends with boys.
Her anxiety peculiarities involve the use of public toilet which she believes releases lots of germs when flushed and the use of cutlery in a restaurant. She finds it difficult to put her mouth where over a million mouths might have been especially considering the amount of bacteria present in the mouth.
6. Billy Bob Thornton
The eccentric and multi-talented actor, musician, film maker, songwriter and singer has revealed that his OCD stems from his difficult childhood.
In an interview with “The independent” in 2004, he admits to having phobia for antiques especially french silverware which are big and old. He also has the compulsion to constantly calculate mathematics. Some certain numbers symbolize some certain people to him so he can’t use them is some circumstances. Thornton admits that his condition can be very exhausting.
7. Cameron Diaz
Cameron is a retired actress who acted in comedies almost all of her career. She is ranked as the richest female celebrity by Forbes in 2010 and number 60 of the wealthiest 100.
It is obvious that OCD is not exclusive to the rich or poor. Despite the amount of wealth possessed by Cameron, she still suffers from this illness.
She has a peculiar obsession with doorknobs and which she believes are germ infested. She sometimes open doors with her elbow to avoid touching them. Cameron admits to cleaning the doorknobs in her house so much that the original paint on them has faded.She also washes her hands many times a day.
In other to cope with her OCD and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) she uses the “Transcendental Meditation technique” which makes everything easier.
8. Justin Timberlake
The versatile actor, singer-songwriter and record producer has been vocal about his struggle with OCD. He has a condition similar to David Beckham with his obsession with lining things in pairs. He also wants his refrigerator stocked up with certain things.
Justin says he is obsessed with neatness generally and can spend hours lining objects perfectly.
9. Charlize Theron
The South African and American actress has received several awards for her outstanding performances. She retained her South African citizenship when she became an American citizen in 2007. Theron has been named as one of the world’s most influential people.
Theron has an obsession with neatness. Her surroundings has to be organized and tidy or else it messes with her mind. She sometimes lay awake worrying about messy cabinets or things not been in their right place.
In her appearance on “The Ellen Show” she admits that being a mother especially sharing her home with her son and daughter has eased her symptoms. She reveals that she has given up on some rooms but her kids are allowed everywhere in their house. She has just learnt to be less anxious about unimportant things and remain happy.
10. Howie Mandel
The comedian and actor is one of the few celebrities that has spoken openly about mental health. He believes that stigmatization will continue to prevent people from getting help and talking about OCD. Howard suffers from different obsessions ranging from his pathological fear of being contaminated by germs and cannot shake hands with anyone unless he is wearing a latex glove. He has poked fun at himself severally about his illness and reveals that his shaved head isn’t as a result of hair loss but because it makes him feel cleaner. He has a smaller house built behind his main house where he goes for solitude especially when a family member is sick.
He has admitted to being afraid of public bathroom and can’t use any besides his own.
Howard admits to have struggled with his condition since childhood but didn’t know to seek help until he became an adult.
As more people celebrities especially continue to speak out about their struggle with OCD and mental illnesses generally, the stereotypes and stigmatization might come to lessen and more people will get to understand that Obsessive-Compulsive disorder isn’t race”,gender or economic standing specific. It can happen to anybody.