Obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD is an anxiety disorder that can cause a variety of symptoms. The most common characteristics of OCD are the overwhelming compulsion to perform specific tasks, referred to as rituals. OCD can cause an incredible burden on those that suffer from the condition, but this does not mean it is not possible to succeed. There are numerous well-known people that have OCD that have continued to have numerous accomplishments.
Golden Globe winning and three time Academy Award nominated actor Leonardo Wilhem DiCaprio has garnered worldwide fame for his portrayal of Jack Dawson in the film Titanic. DiCaprio suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and he has revealed that he had to force himself not to step on chewing gum stains when walking and has the urge to walk through doorways multiple times. He fights these urges so the disease does not take over his life.
Alba has starred in the Fantastic Four movies, and revealed that she has OCD which causes her anxiety if she does not repeat activities such as combing her hair or washing her hands. Her anxiety peaked around her 25th birthday when the 200 balloons her boyfriend used to decorate her hotel room triggered her symptoms.
Soccer player David Beckham is one of the most high-profile athletes to reveal his OCD symptoms. Beckham revealed that odd numbers and objects that are misaligned can aggravate his symptoms. He has been known to rearrange hotel furniture as part of his rituals. Beckham says that living with OCD is tiring but he will give into his compulsions because it is exhausting to try to fight them off.
Cameron Diaz has starred in many films including There’s Something about Mary and The Mask. She revealed in a 1997 article that she has a germ phobia and described herself as a “frequent hand washer.” She is afraid of touching doorknobs and will often use her elbows to open doors instead. She will frequently scrub knobs clean in her spare time. She says she has made peace with this phobia, proving so by removing stitches form John Stewart’s wrist on The Daily Show.
Justin Timberlake dated Cameron Diaz for some time, which is interesting considering their struggles with OCD. Timberlake has self-diagnosed his condition as a mixture of attention-deficit disorder and OCD, which can be difficult to manage. He has publically admitted to making sure things are aligned at right angles and making sure his fridge is stocked with certain foods at all times.
American business executive, television personality, author, radio personality and entrepreneur Donald John Trump is famous for hosting the television program “The Apprentice,” and also says he has borderline OCD. He has germ phobia and admits that he is afraid to shake hands, particularly with teachers. He claims that teachers have 17,000 germs per square inch on their desks as justification for this behavior. Trump also refuses to push the ground floor button of an elevator because he says that there are germs there.
Bill Bob Thornton
This actor has battled dyslexia amongst other conditions throughout his life, one of the worst being obsessive compulsive disorder. He installed many safety valves in his routine due to his abusive childhood. His OCD symptoms include repetitive rituals such as having to take mail in and out of the mailbox three times. He also assigns numbers to people in his life and refers mentally to these individuals by their numbers.
American television personality, producer and talk show game show host Marc Summers suffers from the difficulties of OCD. When working for Nickelodeon he would shower after every show and again when he returned home. He organizes his home based on strict rules and gets upset if something is out of place. Medication and physical therapy have helped him to better manage his symptoms.
Howie Mandel hosts “Deal or No Deal” and is considered one of the most public people in the entertainment industry about his OCD symptoms. He requires his makeup artists to use fresh sponges every day. He will not put money in his hands unless it has been washed and will not touch handrails. Mandel has a crippling fear of disease and this can lead to looping panic attacks about contracting diseases from different surfaces. When he entered the hospital in 2009 to treat heart problems, his fear of germs led him to refuse to put on a hospital gown.
Naturalist and author Charles Darwin suffered from a stutter and OCD. His health began to decline as early as 1825. He was 16 years old and his symptoms became incapacitating around 28. The exact nature of his illness remains a mystery but the Royal College of Psychiatrists believe that his symptoms were caused by OCD, though some experts think Darwin may have suffered from autism. Darwin had a history of illness that plagued him his whole life, and his medical history has been studied extensively for a century.