Famous people with OCD and their compulsions

There is little that I find more inspiring than hearing successful people talk about OCD. The condition that I felt would hold me back hasn’t stopped the people listed here from going on to great things. Here we will look at famous people with OCD and how it has affected them.

Many well known people such as Daniel Radcliffe, David Beckham and Charlize Theron have stated they have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Despite being a debilitating disorder, it can be a recipe for success and has contributed in positive ways to some of the worlds most famous people.

Here are five famous people that have shown signs of OCD.

Daniel Radcliffe

Even wizards can get OCD.

Hogwarts at Universal Studios

Daniel Radcliffe has spoken openly about his disorder and therapy. According to The Sun, he has stated the following about the condition:

I had to repeat every sentence I said under my breath. I would encourage everyone to undergo therapy. It doesn’t mean you’re insane or weak.

I haven’t had it this year so far and I’m missing it.

Radcliffe’s compulsions of repeating words under his breath, and taking five minutes to turn off a light are examples of compulsive behavior.

He has also opened up about alcohol addiction, and those with OCD are at greater risk of substance abuse. It is believed that up to 30% of those with OCD experience substance abuse in their lives, possibly as a way to help ease the stresses of OCD.

David Beckham

David Beckham has always been a perfectionist on the field, and this could very well be down to his obsessive mindset. He practiced his free kicks religiously, something he was truly world class at.

In this article from the Independent, he talks about his obsessive rituals at home:

I’ve got this obsessive compulsive disorder where I have to have everything in a straight line or everything has to be in pairs. I’ll put my Pepsi cans in the fridge and if there’s one too many then I’ll put it in another cupboard somewhere.

I’ll go into a hotel room and before I can relax, I have to move all the leaflets and all the books and put them in a drawer. Everything has to be perfect.

It seems Beckham has struggled with the ‘ordering’ type of OCD. And maybe his obsessive nature is what made him such a great footballer.

Charlize Theron

The South African actress has mentioned her OCD on a few occasions, the following was said on the Australian show ‘Kyle and Jackie O‘ and shared by the Irish Independent:

I have OCD, which is not fun. I have to be incredibly tidy and organised or it messes with my mind and switches off on me.

Cleaning and organizing OCD is very common and it seems like Theron has certainly experienced it.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio played a character with OCD in the movie The Aviator, and has suffered with compulsive behavior himself. According to various sources he refrained from controlling this to play the character more accurately, but this led to it getting out of control as a result.

Avoiding gum stains on the pavement and resisting the urge to walk through doorways are the compulsions he has struggled with. Other sources claim DiCaprio has said he does not suffer with OCD however.

Jessica Alba

The actress told CosmoGirl that she has had problems with obsesisve behavior:

I used to unplug every single appliance in my house. Or I’d double-check every door in my house to make sure it was locked at night.

It was like a panic come over me and I had to do something, and once I did it, I was OK. … It was really me needing to control something.

Checking is a main type of OCD and can really interfere with a sufferers day.

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Whether or not these are evidence of OCD is up for speculation without a diagnosis. But what we do know is that obsessive rituals can affect anyone and everyone.

It seems that obsessive thinking may drive some people to be perfectionists, and become experts in their field. However that is not the case for everyone. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be incredibly debilitating, and treatment is encouraged.

This article should be motivating for anyone with such a condition, knowing that it doesn’t have to hold you back. There may be aspects of it that could even help you keep at something so much that you become flawless at it.


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