5 Celebrities With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

5 Celebs With OCD


Nearly 2.2 million Americans suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Obsessive-compulsive disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized by obsessions and compulsions

A person with OCD experiences recurrent thoughts, impulses or images that are intrusive and unwelcome; these obsessions cause anxiety. A person with OCD is unable to ignore these thoughts and performs compulsions or ritualized behaviors to somehow combat or neutralize resulting distress. These compulsions are usually excessive and unrealistically connected to the obsession.

For example, a person obsessed with cleanliness and consumed by fear of germs may compulsively wash her hands until they become chaffed and bloody.

People with OCD possess insight into their condition and realize that this OCD is a product of the mind. However despite such insight, these people are unable to shake the obsessions and compulsions. Instead without appropriate treatment, obsessions and compulsions seem to take control of the sufferer. Often, people with OCD spend an hour or more a day engaged in a chronic cycle of obsession and compulsion.

Celeb #1: David Beckham

David Beckham
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Thanks to his athletic prowess and photogenic visage, soccer great David Beckham's popularity has transcended sports and made him one of the most recognizable stars on the planet. Furthermore, being married to Posh Spice (Victoria Beckham) further adds to Beckham's celebrity cachet.

During his storied career, Beckham has played football--soccer to us Americans--for Manchester United, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and the LA Galaxy among others as well as winning league titles in 4 countries, including the United States, Spain, France and England. In 2003, Beckham was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

In an interview with Jonathan Ross, Beckham says he likes pairs and even numbers. He also lines up the drinks in his fridge just so with labels facing out.

Celeb #2: Howie Mandel

Howie Mandel

Whereas David Beckham has by his own admission "a bit of OCD," funnyman Howie Mandel has severe OCD that confounds nearly every aspect of his life.

In 2009, Mandel opened up to ABC news about his diagnosis. We learned that Mandel is terribly afraid of germs--hence the fist bump in lieu of handshake on his game show "Deal or No Deal"--and that he's obsessed with checking, as in checking the locks on his door.

In addition to OCD, Mandel also has ADHD. Interestingly, Justin Timberlake has both these conditions, too.

Celeb #3: Lena Dunham

Lena Dunham

Wunderkind "Girls" creator and star, Lena Dunham, has battled OCD her entire life.

On the "Late Late Show," Dunham divulged the following:

One of my OCD things as a child was forcing myself to imagine having sex with Chris Farley in even increments ... to then avoid having to have sex with Chris Farley.

In other news, Dunham credits exercise as helping her with anxiety and OCD.

Celeb #4: Howard Hughes

Howard Hughes

Billionaire aviator, movie producer, businessman and philanthropist, Howard Hughes, spent his whole life battling his obsession with germs. 

The final years of Hughes's life were spent ensconced in dark hotel rooms, lying in beds naked in what he thought were germ-free zones.

Celeb #5: Megan Fox

Megan Fox

Actress Megan Fox, who shot to stardom after her role in the Michael Bay-helmed mega-hit "Transformers," has OCD. 

Fox, like many people with the disorder, is obsessed with germs and cleanliness. Two things she detests most: public toilets and restaurant silverware.

5 Celebs With OCD


Depending on symptom severity, the treatment for OCD ranges from stress reduction to neurosurgery.  Most people with this condition, however, benefit from behavioral therapy and medications, including SSRIs such as Luvox or Paxil.

Selected Sources

Hewlett WA. Chapter 21. Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder. In: Ebert MH, Loosen PT, Nurcombe B, Leckman JF. eds. CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment: Psychiatry, 2e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2008. Accessed December 06, 2015.

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