Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the United States. They can affect everyone, regardless of age, income, or where we live. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is one such type that impacts a lot of us, including many celebrities and famous people with OCD.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is one of the five major types of anxiety disorders and it affects around 1 percent of the population, or 2.2 million people, as reported by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). OCD can be incredibly challenging to live with if it goes untreated.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a chronic and long-lasting condition characterized by uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and behaviors, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
These obsessions – thoughts, urges, or mental images – often lead to anxiety.
Common obsessive symptoms can include:
- Unwanted or forbidden thoughts related to sex, harm, or religion
- Aggressive thoughts towards oneself or others
- Fear of germs and contamination
- The need for things to be in symmetrical or perfect order
The repetitive behaviors the disorder drives in response to obsessive thoughts are known as compulsions.
Common compulsion symptoms may include some of the following:
- Continually monitoring things, such as repeatedly making sure a door is locked, a window is shut, or the oven is off
- Compulsively counting objects
- Arranging things in a particular way
- Excessive hand washing or cleaning
Habits and compulsions are not necessarily all bad, but a person battling OCD is unable to control their obsessions and compulsions, does not derive joy from their behavior, and likely deals with serious life problems due to these thoughts and behaviors.
It should be noted that celebrities and famous people with OCD are no different from anyone else. They just happen to be in the public eye, which can make their lives more complicated.
Those who don’t live their life in the spotlight are just as worthy of treatment for the condition that can minimize the unwanted symptoms so they may lead a happy and productive life.
9 Celebrities and Famous People With OCD
While there are many celebrities and famous people with OCD, the 9 listed below have been open and public about how they have struggled with the symptoms and how they manage them.
1. Amanda Seyfriend
Having recently portrayed the embattled Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in the Hulu series The Dropout, Amanda Seyfriend has said that she was diagnosed with OCD sometime after her role in the 2004 film “Mean Girls.”
In an interview, Seyfriend said she’s on medication for the condition and that her career did not suffer at all when she decided to open up about her struggle.
2. Howie Mandel
A longtime entertainer, host, and comedian, Howie Mandel is one of the most famous people with OCD and he has been incredibly open over the years about his struggle with the disorder.
In his autobiography – “Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me” – Mandel discussed his extreme fear of germs, his inability to tie his shoes because the laces had touched the ground, and that he shaved his head because it made him feel cleaner.
3. Camila Cabello
An award winning singer-songwriter, Camila Cabello has said that after she was diagnosed with OCD, she was able to manage the symptoms and ultimately cope with the condition.
“I didn’t know what it was,” she said in an interview with Teen Vogue, “and when I found out and [learned] how to step back from it, it made me feel so much better.”
4. Howard Stern
An icon in radio, the longtime “shock jock” and talk-show host Howard Stern opened up about his deep struggles with obsessive-compulsive disorder in a 2018 interview with David Letterman.
During the interview, Stern discussed an OCD-related rage that would arise for him, as well as some of his seemingly out-of-control behaviors. “I’ve come to understand that this behavior is trying to control a world that is out of control,” he said.
5. Jessica Alba
Actress turned entrepreneur, Jessica Alba has said that as a child she battled health issues, like asthma, pneumonia, and kidney issues that would keep her sick several times a year. Her health issues left her feeling as if she had no control, which then lead to the need to control other things.
“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,” she said in an article about celebrities with OCD. She added, it was like a panic that came over her and she needed to control something.
6. Daniel Radcliffe
Star of the “Harry Potter” film series, film and theater actor Daniel Radcliffe has talked about how challenges with OCD affected him when he was as young as 5-years-old.
Radcliffe said one of his compulsions was the need to constantly repeat anything he said back to himself, under his breath so no one would notice. Ultimately, he was referred to a therapist and encourages others who cope with the condition to seek therapy as well.
7. Charlize Theron
Oscar Award winning actress Charlize Theron said in a radio interview that she has OCD, adding that the condition is “no fun at all.”
In describing some of her obsessions, she talked about the need to keep everything in order, thinking about things in her cabinets that didn’t belong there, and anxiety so bad she had trouble sleeping. She also said that having children helped her get over some of her anxieties.
8. Justin Timberlake
An original member of the iconic boy band NSYNC, Justin Timberlake has said that he has obsessive-compulsive disorder mixed with attention deficit disorder and that both conditions can make life incredibly challenging at times.
Timberlake, of course, has had incredible success in both music and films, despite the symptoms he has talked about dealing with.
9. Leonardo DiCaprio
An Oscar Award winner actor and climate activist, Leonardo DiCaprio has been linked to OCD because of his portrayal of Howard Hughes in the film “The Aviator.” Hughes famously suffered crippling OCD symptoms.
For his part, DiCaprio has discussed minor compulsions that resemble those of OCD, like avoiding cracks in the sidewalk, the urge to step on gum stains, and the need to walk through doors more than one time. Whether he has ever been diagnosed with OCD or has undergone therapy is not known.
9 More Famous People and Celebrities With OCD
Below is a list of 9 other famous people and celebrities with OCD who have either been diagnosed, suggested they experience symptoms, or have displayed obsessive-compulsive disorder traits and tendencies.
- Lena Dunham
- Howard Hughes
- Cameron Diaz
- David Beckham
- Megan Fox
- Billy Bob Thornton
- Katy Perry
- Fiona Apple
- Julianne Moore
It’s common for many of us to loosely say we have OCD moments without actually being diagnosed with the condition.
If issues are affecting daily living, it’s always recommended to see a doctor about a proper diagnosis of OCD or any other mental health condition to get treatment for managing the symptoms.
The month of May is recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month and it’s a good time to take advantage of a mental health checkup.
Amanda Seyfried by Glenn Francis
Howie Mandel by Matt Ottosen
Camila Cabello by Condé Nast (through Vogue Taiwan)
Howard Stern by Bill Norton
Jessica Alba by TechCrunch
Daniel Radcliffe by Gage Skidmore
Charlize Theron by Gage Skidmore
Justin Timberlake by Gage Skidmore
Leonardo DiCaprio by Colin Chou