If You Suffer From Obsessive Compulsive
Disorder (OCD), You Might Be Interested to Learn There Are a Lot of
Famous People with OCD...
...It Interferes with Their Lives Just As Much as it Does Yours
There are a lot of famous people with
and if you suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), you might
be interested to learn that it interferes with their lives just as much
as it does yours.
Many of these celebrities have shared their battles with OCD with
the rest of us. This is a good thing because it lets us know we aren’t
alone and we can learn how other people deal with their OCD.
Dr. Stephen Whiteside, a psychologist at the Mayo Clinic in
Minnesota, specializes in anxiety disorders and he said there is no
research to show that celebrities are especially likely to get OCD.
(See this article from ABC News.)
It appears that famous people with OCD have been with us for a
long time, even back to the days of Michelangelo. Let’s take a look at
some of them.
Historically Famous People with OCD
There have been a number of historically famous people with OCD and we
will take a look at a few of them here. Many of them are thought to
have had OCD because the diagnosis didn’t exist when they were alive and
so experts who’ve reviewed their life and work have speculated these
historical figures may have had OCD.
- Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882): While the exact nature
of his illnesses remain a mystery, the Royal College of Psychiatrists
believe that Darwin suffered from OCD. Some experts believe he also had
autism. He had a history of illnesses throughout his life and they
have been studied for nearly a century.
- Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870): According to the experts who’ve analyzed Dickens’ works, he apparently suffered from mild OCD.
- Michelangelo (1475 – 1564): He had some odd habits, such
as sleeping in his clothes and was reported to have never removed his
boots…these things have led experts to believe he suffered from OCD.
- Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827): He had OCD and was also deaf.
- Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784): This English author, poet, essayist, and critic had OCD as well as Tourette’s Syndrome.
- Marcel Proust (1871 – 1922): This French novelist never was officially diagnosed with OCD but he was thought to have had it.
- Stonewall Jackson (1824 – 1863): This Confederate general
believed one of his arms was longer than the other one; he’s thought to
have had Asperger’s Syndrome and OCD.
- Nikola Tesla (1856- 1943): This revolutionary scientist,
inventor, and engineer had OCD as well as autism. He obsessed over the
number 3 and created elaborate rituals around the number 3.
- Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955): Einstein was thought to have OCD.
- Howard Hughes (1905 – 1976): By the late 1950s, Howard Hughes has developed symptoms of OCD and social avoidance behavior.
Current Famous People with OCD
Donald Trump: He has a
about germs so that he is afraid to shake hands, especially the hands
of teachers. Trump says teachers have 17,000 germs per square inch on
their desk, so he refuses to shake their hands. He also won’t push the
ground floor button of an elevator because of all the germs on the
button. He says he has borderline OCD.
Leonardo DiCaprio: Leonardo has OCD and he has to force
himself to avoid stepping on chewing gum stains while he walks. He also
fights urges to walk through doorways a number of times as he doesn’t
want his condition to take over his life.
Jessica Alba: She reports she suffered from OCD as a child.
Cameron Diaz: Cameron has OCD and has admitted she
constantly rubs the doorknobs in her house so hard in order to clean
them that the original paint on the doorknobs has faded away. She also
admits washing her hands numerous times a day and she uses her elbows to
push open doors.
Alec Baldwin: Alec has OCD and he says the condition disrupts his life and his schedule.
Charlie Sheen: Charlie has OCD, among other problems.
Charlize Theron: Charlize has OCD that involves excessive cleaning.
Jennifer Love Hewitt: Claims she cannot sleep at night if her closet or cabinet doors have been left ajar.
Billy Bob Thornton: Thornton has OCD which manifests as
repetitive and compulsive actions. He also suffers from phobias.
Thornton and Warren Zevon became close friends after they discovered the
other had OCD.
Woody Allen: Woody suffers from OCD.
Katy Perry: Perry admits to having OCD tendencies when she is very stressed out.
Howard Stern: Howard chronicled his struggles with OCD in his book, Miss America
and admits he struggles with the need to complete several types of
rituals in order to distract himself from his fears about going into
Dan Aykroyd: Dan has Tourette’s Syndrome and he also may have OCD.
Roseanne Barr: Roseanne has OCD.
Howie Mandel: Mandel has OCD and Attention Deficit
Disorder (ADD). He avoids shaking hands and touching other people in
order to avoid germs. He also shaves his head in the belief it makes
him feel cleaner.
Stanley Kubrick: Kubrick is thought to have OCD.
Kathie Lee Gifford: Gifford is also thought to have OCD.
Fiona Apple: She has OCD.
Harrison Ford: Ford is terrified of reptiles and spiders and says he has OCD about it.
Justin Timberlake: Timberlake has OCD and ADD; he likes to line things up perfectly.
It is easier to find famous people with OCD who are currently
alive because they’re here to tell us they have it! It’s also helpful
to look at their behaviors because they share many of the same behaviors
that the historically famous people with OCD had.
The encouraging thing about reading about famous people with OCD
is that it helps us realize we are not alone with this disorder and that
it can strike anyone.
Famous people with OCD struggle with it just as much, if not more so, than “normal” people because they are in the public eye.
The average person does have a degree of privacy and anonymity
and can often hide their OCD. Famous people with OCD have every move
scrutinized by the paparazzi and media and this makes it very difficult
for them to have the privacy they need in order to work on their OCD
without outside disturbances.
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