Surprising Facts About 21 Famous People With OCD

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Surprising Facts About 21 Famous People With OCD

Going several decades back, people didn’t know about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Many people who suffered from this condition did not understand what they were going through. Today, over 2.2 million Americans suffer from OCD. Among them, there are some famous people with OCD.

This is an anxiety disorder that affects people from all walks of life, including celebrities. OCD is a chronic and long-lasting mental health illness. People struggling with this disorder are always fighting with their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. OCD is usually uncontrollable until treatment is initiated. We’ll look at some of the famous people with OCD and how they’ve been able to control this mental condition and live successful lives.

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Katy Perry – American Singer-Songwriter

Katy Perry struggles with more than just the paparazzi. She has been very vocal about her struggles with obsessive tendencies and believes the medical condition developed when she was a child.

famous people with OCD

The pop star admits to having crazy cleaning rituals in her house. Katy’s OCD worsens in certain situations like when she is on tour.

She can throw tantrums because of minor problems and sometimes it becomes hard for her to handle the situation.

Katy Perry’s OCD Habits

  • Hangs clothes in a certain way
  • Obsessed with color coordination
  • Buttons everything up
  • Is obsessed with putting things in an alphabetical order
  • Has a crazy cleaning ritual
  • Has germaphobe tendencies

While it may sound crazy, OCD patients often freak out if things in their normal routine are disturbed. They can go out of control and engage in repetitive behaviors to get rid of their anxiety.

This is something that Katy Perry struggles with. She freaks out if her clothes have cat hairs. She gets mad if her makeup breaks. She loses her cool and becomes a different person if there are fingerprints on her sunglasses.

In her words, she cannot breathe when there’s a disturbance in what she perceives as normal.

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Leonardo DiCaprio – American Actor

Oscar award-winning actor, Leonardo DiCaprio also struggles with OCD. The Titanic star has openly admitted in interviews that he has lived with mild to moderate OCD most of his life. Fortunately, his OCD is under control.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s OCD Habits

Leonardo has admitted that he fights different compulsions like:

  • The urge to walk through doors several times
  • The urge to repeatedly step on cracks on his routes
  • Intensively obsessive urge to step on chewing gum stains
famous people with OCD

While Leonardo’s OCD has plagued him in his adulthood, he admits he allowed his compulsive tendencies to worsen when he portrayed film producer/director Howard Hughes in the biopic The Aviator.

Howard had intense OCD for cleanliness and order. Things went out of control for DiCaprio after shooting the movie as it became harder to control his OCD. It took many months to limit the hold OCD has on his life.

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Justin Timberlake – American Singer-Songwriter

Living with OCD is not as easy as it may sound. Justin Timberlake admits that his OCD affects various facets of his life.

famous people with OCD

The pop icon says he also deals with attention-deficit disorder (ADD), which makes things a little more difficult for him. ADD makes it hard to focus and when mixed with OCD, it becomes difficult for him to carry on daily tasks.

Life can be complicated if you’re struggling with both disorders.

Things Justin Timberlake Does Out of OCD

  • Always ensures that he stocks the refrigerator with certain foods
  • Always ensures everything is organized and lined perfectly

Justin Timberlake claims that he loves to entertain his fans despite all the complications he faces due to his mental health disorders. Sources say that the SexyBack singer finds himself arguing with his wife, Jessica Biel, about the items he wants in the fridge. Because he usually wants things lined up in a certain manner, it’s evident why Justin argues with his wife over the fridge space.

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Howie Mandel – Canadian Comedian

Howie Mandel has had a long career in Hollywood. He is best known for his work on America’s Got Talent and Deal or No Deal. The Canadian performer has been living with OCD for as long as he can remember. He has been very open about his struggle with OCD, anxiety, and depression. In 2009, Howie published a book titled Here’s the deal: Don’t Touch Me. The book is a reference to his germaphobic disorders. On the set of Deal or No Deal, Howie does the fist bump instead of shaking hands in order to work around his germ anxiety.

Howie Mandel’s OCD Habits

  • Has crippling fear of germs
  • Wears rubber gloves and surgical masks when loved ones are sick
  • Refuses to shake people hands
  • Avoids handrails like the plague
  • Takes several baths a day
  • Is obsessed with cleanliness
  • Will not touch the money unless it’s been washed
  • Rushes into continuous thoughts
  • As a child, he refused to tie his dirty shoelaces
  • Can’t use a public or shared bathroom
  • Confirms doors are locked again and again

Howie Mandel says his condition did not have a name when he was growing up and people never thought there was a need to go to the doctors. But he appreciates the support and love he got from his parents, which allowed him to be himself. However, it was difficult for him to deal with the effects of OCD.

famous people with OCD

Is OCD the Reason Why Howie Shaved His Head?

Howie initially shaved his head bald for a role, but then found out that the look felt so streamlined and so clean. His hair was one of the things he used to find dirty, so having a bald head gives him comfort and helps him keep his OCD under control.

Strange Incidents Where People Tried to Tease Howie Due to His OCD

One of the most heartbreaking things faced by OCD patients is people teasing them because of their condition. Howie has faced the same situation many times because people did not understand his condition fully. Here are some of the incidents he had to face due to his OCD:

  • In 2005 when Howie was a guest host at a show called Live with Regis and Kelly, one of the guests seized Howie’s hand to tease him. He wanted Howie to get over his fear of germs. As a result, the host Kelly Ripa had to reprimand the guest Rob Schneider on-air and also got hand sanitizer from an audience member.
  • In 2007, Howie Mandel held an interview with former NFL running back Marshall Faulk. Faulk asked Howie for a handshake, but he simply refused and noted that he would rather fist bump the same way he does with Deal or No Deal contestants. But that was not the end of it. Faulk ignored Mandel and a few moments later, he sneak attacked Howie and shook his hand. Howie screamed and walked away. He then went ahead to wash his hands several times because of his OCD.
  • During the season 5 episode of America’s Got Talent, a contestant came to the stage with an act that involved sneezing. Howie pressed his X button and went into the aisle until the act was over. He requested the other judges to press their X buttons to end the act and because of this, the contestant was unable to perform.

The entertainment mainstay uses his platform to raise awareness about OCD. He even testified in Congress about his experiences. Howie hopes that in speaking openly about his experiences, he can help remove the stigma attached to mental health conditions.

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Howard Stern – American Radio Personality

Howard Stern has been outspoken about his struggles with OCD. In his book Miss America, he gave a detailed description of how his OCD appeared while he was in college. He was never able to turn on the car radio without tapping certain buttons a number of times with his right hand.

famous people with OCD

When he was about to enter the world of broadcasting, the pressure was enormous for Stern so his brain set up a maze of rituals that were part of his defense mechanism.

Howard’s OCD Habits

  • Moderate fear of germs
  • Spending hour in his bathroom touching different items
  • Petrifying fear of illness, especially cancer

When he identified these habits and connected them to OCD, Stern says he put his compulsive behavior under control through psychotherapy and meditation. This has helped him maintain personal and professional relationships.

Do you think you have similar symptoms as any of the famous people with OCD? Get OCD diagnosed properly with EZCare Clinic!

David Beckham – English Former Professional Footballer, Co-Owner of Sanford City, and the Current President of Inter Miami CF

One of the best and most accomplished English footballers, David Beckham admitted to struggling with obsessive behavior in a 2006 interview. On a few occasions, he has described what living with OCD is like.

David Beckham’s OCD Habits 

  • Rearranging his hotel rooms and putting leaflets and books in a drawer
  • Counting clothes and ensuring they’re in pairs
  • Urge to have everything placed in a straight line and symmetrical pattern
  • Addicted to having tattoos mainly because he enjoys the pain of the needles
  • Having new cleats for every football match
  • Arranging items in the fridge in symmetrical patterns
  • Lining up soft drink cans to make everything “look perfect”
  • Buying groceries in even numbers
famous people with OCD

While Beckham has tried to get his obsessions and compulsions under control, he hasn’t been successful. Because of Beckham’s status, opening up about being challenged by his own mental health really played a huge role in reducing the stigma associated with the condition.

Visit EZCare Clinic and call us today to book an appointment to obtain optimal mental health solutions.

Amanda Seyfried – American Actress, Singer, and Model

The Mean Girls and Mama Mia actress has opened up about her obsessive compulsions and the medications she’s been taking to keep her condition under control. When she started having OCD, she actually thought her behavior was triggered by a brain tumor.

famous people with OCD

This prompted her to get an MRI scan, after which she was referred to a psychiatrist.

Amanda Seyfried OCD Habits

Thanks to therapy and medication, Seyfried’s condition is improving and her fears are greatly diminishing.

Everyone needs help, even famous people with OCD. Get professional assistance from EZCare Clinic for OCD by clicking the button below.

Lena Dunham

The multi-talented actress, writer, and director are always open about her health issues. Lena Dunham has dealt with anxiety and OCD since she was a child and these conditions have taught her many things.

She says she would never have been afraid to seek help if someone had advised her earlier. She believes her situation would have been different if there was enough support.

Lena Dunham OCD Habits

  • Scared of almost everything
  • She gets intrusive and repetitive thoughts
  • Obsessions that affect her everyday life to a huge extent. Dunham says that talking about her feelings will never take away her compulsions.

Dunham has been struggling with anxiety for a long time. In an interview with Vogue, she explained how she missed high school for 74 days because of how anxiety made her days miserable.

famous people with OCD

She has obsessive fears and there are many things that keep her at night, including:

  • Leprosy
  • Typhoid
  • Appendicitis
  • Unclean meat
  • Headaches
  • Foods she hasn’t seen coming from their packaging
  • Foods her mother hasn’t tasted first
  • Kidnapping
  • The subway
  • Homeless people
  • Milk
  • Rape
  • Sleep

This is just a shortlist of the things that Lena is afraid of. Actually, it would not be an exaggeration to say that she has fear of everything. She was a babysitter while in college. Over time, she slipped into depression because of her emotions and intrusive thoughts and never wanted to be left alone in a room. Lena believes nothing can be done to get rid of her OCD.

Visit EZCare Clinic and call us today to book an appointment to obtain optimal mental health solutions.

Nikola Tesla – Serbian-American Inventor

Nicola Tesla is one of history’s acclaimed investors, electrical engineers, physicists, and futurists who transformed modern society. Tesla is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern AC electricity supply system, which helps deliver current to buildings. This man, whose inventions helped shape the second half of the 20th century, was struggling with mental health problems, most notably OCD. When Tesla started showing symptoms of OCD, he became obsessed with the number three, which compelled him to do things in 3s. When taking his daily swim, he always swam 33 laps and if he lost count, he would start over from zero.

Also, he had an urge to circle a city block three times before he could enter the building. And once he left the building, he had to turn right only.

famous people with OCD

Other OCD Habits of Nikola Tesla

  • Guesstimating the weight of his food.
  • Eating dinner every night at exactly “8:10 PM.” It was always a requirement to have three napkins near his plate while having dinner.
  • Was obsessed with counting the number of times he chewed his food.
  • Fear of pearls.
  • Fear of shaking hands and touching hair.
  • Obsession with pigeons.
  • Obsessed with hand washing.
  • Aversion to women wearing earrings.
  • Had a strong urge to stay in hotel rooms that were divisible 3 times.
  • He polished his silverware multiple times because of his germaphobia.
  • Curled his toes hundreds of times every night.

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Charlize Theron – South African-American Actress

Charlize Theron is also one of the celebrities struggling with OCD, which she says is not fun. Because of her condition, she has to be incredibly tidy and organized or her mind will be messed up. She has also professed that the worry of chaos keeps her up at night.

Whenever she gets a new role, the award-winning actress thinks about her character obsessively. She becomes obsessed with the scripts and what her role will entail.

Charlize Theron’s OCD Habits

  • Urge to have everything tidy and in order.
  • Insomnia due to anxiety.
  • She avoids using public toilets. Also, she doesn’t use toilets that don’t have seat covers.
  • She has a problem with cabinets being messy and the thought that they contain things that shouldn’t be there.
famous people with OCD

Charlize says that she’s not OK with her condition. This is usually the case with OCD patients who have to constantly struggle with their emotions and actions. Living such a life never gets easy.

Visit EZCare Clinic and call us today to book an appointment to obtain optimal mental health solutions.

Frank Sinatra – American Singer

Frank Sinatra was one of the most iconic singers in the 60s. While he never opened up about his struggles with OCD, his wife, Barbara Sinatra, shared some of the intimate parts of his life in her memoir. She confessed about Sinatra struggling with intense OCD.

famous people with OCD

OCD Habits of Frank Sinatra

  • He was a cleanliness freak. This started with an urge to keep his hands clean, but his obsession with cleanliness grew steadily over the years.
  • He would take more than 10 showers a day to keep himself clean.
  • He had the urge to repeatedly wash his hands.

The great Frank Sinatra was a perfectionist that those around him wondered if he was doing some things to show his powers. In some cases, he would postpone recording sessions and still make payments to the musicians. He did this out of his obsession with perfection.

Do you think you have similar symptoms as any of the famous people with OCD? Get OCD diagnosed properly with EZCare Clinic!

Cameron Diaz – American Actress

Cameron Diaz has publicly talked about her OCD, but throughout Hollywood, she is known for her unusual obsessions and compulsions. But in as much as she struggles with OCD, Cameron’s condition is not debilitating and she has learned to embrace it with a high head.

She does not allow her compulsions to block her path to success.

Cameron Diaz’s OCD Habits

  • She is a germaphobe.
  • Has been described as a frequent hand-washer.
  • Has a fear of touching doorknobs, often using her elbows to open them. This has also prompted her to scrub her doorknobs so many times that she faded their paint.
famous people with OCD

While there’s no news of Cameron Diaz getting treatment for her OCD, she once revealed that she has “made her peace” with her condition and even went ahead to remove stitches from the interview host on camera.

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Billy Bob Thornton – American Actor, Singer, Playwright, and Occasional Director

Sling Blade actor-turned-musician Billy Bob Thornton says his OCD is minor. He believes it was caused by the abuse he suffered as a child. Billy tries to keep his disorder under control probably does not feel awkward in front of others. His OCD compels him to follow some rituals.

famous people with OCD

Ways Bill Bob’s OCD Expresses Itself

  • He has an obsession with mathematics and numbers.
  • He has a compulsion for repetitiveness.
  • He is unable to use certain numbers in certain situations.

Billy is so into numbers that he thinks numbers take on meanings that are specific to certain circumstances and people. He also says he can’t use a number in the same way under different circumstances.

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Fred Durst – American Rapper

Fred Durst is very secretive about his OCD so there isn’t much information about what his obsessions are.

However, he is rumored to suffer from an acute obsessive-compulsive disorder. It is thought that the condition is embarrassing for him, which is why he is very secretive about his condition.

famous people with OCD

But he says that his OCD makes touring hell for him so you can imagine just how challenging it is for him to live with his mental disorder.

Visit EZCare Clinic and call us today to book an appointment to obtain optimal mental health solutions.

Tim Howard – American Soccer Player

Tim Howard has been very open about his struggle with Tourette syndrome and OCD. Because of him having Tourette syndrome (a disorder that involves sudden, involuntary, and repetitive movements or unwanted sounds that can’t be easily controlled) in combination with OCD, many of his symptoms are overlapped. Tim started experiencing OCD symptoms when he was 10 years old.

Tim Howard OCD Habits

  • The urge to walk through the house tapping objects in a certain order. For instance, he could touch the wall, railing, door frame, light switch, or picture in a specific rhythm.
  • On his way to school, he could collect things like acorns, rocks, or dirt. The urge was so strong that he could go back if he managed to walk a few steps from the rock.
  • Uncomfortable sensations were only relieved through clearing his throat, rolling eyes, blinking, etc.

Do you think you have similar symptoms as any of the famous people with OCD? Get OCD diagnosed properly with EZCare Clinic!

Howard Hughes – American Aviator, Business Tycoon, and Motion-Picture Producer

Throughout his life, business magnate Howard Hughes was known for being eccentric, but he became more withdrawn and reclusive towards the end. His OCD was so severe that he ended locking himself away in a dark room that he considered a germ-free zone. We know that many people don’t understand OCD and what it entails. In the past, there wasn’t a lot of information about the condition.

Many looked down on Hughes’s obsessions and habits, so the public kept wondering what could make a once-powerful titan mad. Years after his death, medical experts came to the conclusion that he had OCD.

Howard Hughes OCD Habits

  • Perfectionist
  • Contamination freak – spent most of his life trying to avoid germs
  • Wore tissue boxes on his feet to protect them
  • Ate the same types of food
  • Stacked and rearranged tissue boxes
  • Watched the same movies repeatedly, For instance, he watched Ice Station Zebra 150 times
  • Burned clothing if someone near him became ill
  • Wrote a manual for his staff on how to open a can of peaches
  • Feared pollution and radiation to the extent that he stopped nuclear testing programs
  • Ordered staff to wash their hands over and over again with unused soap bars
  • Ordered staff to cover their hands with paper towels when serving his food or touching his doorknobs
  • Stored his urine in bottles
  • Locked himself in a darkened room away from people
  • Believed germs could only come from the outside
famous people with OCD

Here are more stories about Howard’s obsessions and compulsions:

  • Hughes once hired someone to solely catch flies. However, he told the employee not to kill any flies because he believed that would spread germs.
  • Howard’s OCD kept worsening over the years that he ended up moving into Desert Inn Hotel and refused to leave. Instead, he bought the hotel to follow his compulsions and seclude himself.
  • Howard wrote a staff manual on how he would want cans of peaches to be opened. The manual included directions for removing the label and scrubbing the can, rewashing the can, and pouring the content into a bowl while ensuring that the bowl and can do not come into contact.

Ironically, Howard ended up neglecting his personal hygiene, rarely brushing his teeth or bathing. He believed that germs could not come from him so, later in his life, he was not inclined toward his cleanliness. He was convinced that contamination could only come from the outside, which is one of the most common symptoms of OCD.

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Marc Summer – American TV Personality

Marc Summers became a household name back in the late 80s and early  90s on Nickelodeon’s game show Double Dare. The show was surrounded by green slime, sloppy physical challenges, and infamously chaotic obstacle courses. Because of this, the charismatic host often rushed to change his clothes as soon as the broadcast ended.

Marc Summers suffered from crippling OCD and his life revolved around orderliness and cleanliness. Marc lost his job after going public about his condition. While Summers thought opening up about his OCD would help educate the public and spread awareness, not everyone reacted positively. Many people were ignorant and started spreading rumors about how he was a freak and difficult to work with.

famous people with OCD

Marc Summers OCD Habits

  • Perfectionist
  • Taking showers multiple times a day
  • Putting things in specific places
  • Reading labels on all products he wished to buy in grocery stores
  • The urge to keep his house clean all the time

Since Marc’s OCD diagnosis, about 80% of his condition has been cured. But because OCD never goes away in its entirety, it sometimes sneaks back, but he has it under control.

Before you read more about famous people with OCD, click on the button below and get treatment from a mental health specialist.

Martin Luther – German Priest, Professor of Theology, Composer

Before OCD was considered a mental disorder, people thought of it as madness or demons. This was the case with Martin Luther. Because of his OCD, Martin started having blasphemous thoughts. He would confess in front of priests for hours, exposing even the smallest details of his sins.

Martin Luther OCD Habits

  • Urges to curse the righteous God who punishes sinners
  • Intrusive thoughts of wrath
  • Confusing and disturbing thoughts
famous people with OCD

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Charles Darwin – English Naturalist, Biologist, and Geologist

Best known for his contributions to the theory of evolution, Charles Darwin was also known to suffer from several illnesses, including OCD. Like other OCD patients, Darwin struggled with constant worries and intrusive thoughts, which brought many challenges to his everyday life.

famous people with OCD

Charles Darwin OCD Habits

  • Had constant fear that his children would inherit his kind of illness.
  • Whatever he did during the day kept haunting him at night that he could not sleep.
  • Craved reassurance from others and felt himself to be ugly.
  • Being ashamed about his appearance, even on defects that were so minute for other people to notice them.
  • Was self-critical and repeated his reassurance mantra hundreds of times.
  • Was often obsessed with the idea that people might have misunderstood him and that he had created the wrong impression.

Do you think you have similar symptoms as any of the famous people with OCD? Get OCD diagnosed properly with EZCare Clinic!

Samuel Johnson – English Writer

One of the greatest figures of the 18th-century, Samuel Johnson, also struggled with OCD in combination with Tourette syndrome. His OCD made him do the following:

  • Touching every post on his way and go back if he missed any
  • Avoiding cracks on his path
  • Keeping count of steps while using the stairs
  • Performing a complex ritual of twisting and twirling his hands every time he crossed a doorstep
famous people with OCD

Do you think you have similar symptoms as any of the famous people with OCD? Get OCD diagnosed properly with EZCare Clinic!

Daniel Radcliffe – English Actor

Apart from struggling with alcoholism, the Harry Potter star also struggled with severe OCD. He once revealed that there was a time he took 5 minutes to switch off a light. In addition, he used to repeat sentences. Asking for help, he said, was the best thing he did to help put his condition under control. Asking for help is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult steps taken by mental health patients.

famous people with OCD

Daniel’s OCD began when he was 5 years old. He kept his condition a secret, but it only got better when he started working with a therapist. For this reason, he encourages everyone struggling with OCD to open up about it and seek professional help.

Bottom Line

It’s not uncommon to hear people claiming that they have OCD. However, only true OCD sufferers know the pain that comes with the condition. Many celebrities who suffer from OCD find it challenging to go about their daily life as they have to constantly fight with the disorder. This list represents a small number of famous individuals and their struggles with OCD. We hope that it helps you realize that OCD can be diverse when it comes to the symptoms and the reactions it elicits.

Even if you don’t have OCD, when you meet someone who does, make sure you don’t tease them for their actions. It’s only that they don’t have control over it and making fun of them will not have any positive effect. So, learn to accept and love everyone, including those with mental health disorders.

Book your appointment with EZCare Clinic today!

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