Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be an incredible burden to deal with, but it doesn’t mean you can’t succeed. There are a surprising number of famous people with OCD. In this feature, we’ll delve deep into their tortured psyches to find out how their disorder affects their career and how they cope with it. Maybe we can learn something from these 10 celebrities who suffer from OCD.
One of the most recent celebrities to come out with obsessive-compulsive disorder is the very hot Megan Fox. Fox, who recently announced that she’d reunite with Michael Bay for "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," has been struggling with the condition for years. Like many OCD people, it manifests as an intense awareness of germs. Fox refuses to use public restrooms or restaurant silverware, and displays some symptoms of agoraphobia. However, after the birth of her son Noah (not really the cleanest of events), she noted that her OCD went heavily into remission.
It seems impossible that somebody who dealt with cascading green slime and other gak every day on the set of "Double Dare" would have an obsessive fear of germs, but Marc Summers somehow managed to survive it. The Nickelodeon mainstay’s OCD led him to shower immediately after each show, and then again at home the same day. His home was arranged along strict rules and he became upset when anything was out of place. Combinations of behavioral therapy and medication have helped him get it under control.
One of the most public stars in Hollywood when it comes to obsessive-compulsive disorder, Cameron Diaz’s condition manifests itself as an overwhelming fear of germs, especially on doorknobs. In her home, the polish is worn off of every knob because she insists on opening them with her elbows. She also cleans her house daily and washes her hands multiple times every day. Diaz has generally had success controlling her OCD symptoms and it doesn’t affect her work on the set.
It’s interesting that Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz dated for so long, considering they both have struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Timberlake is self-diagnosed as having a mixture of OCD and attention-deficit disorder, which seems like a very difficult thing to deal with on a daily basis. Some of the behaviors that he has admitted publicly include making sure things are lined up at perfect right angles and ensuring that certain food items are always present in his fridge.
The host of "Deal or No Deal" is one of the most public OCD sufferers in the entertainment industry. His makeup artists are required to use fresh sponges every day, he never touches handrails, and he won’t put money in his hands until after it’s been washed. Howie’s crippling fear of germs kicks off endless, circular loops of panic around the possibility of getting a disease from any surface. If you meet him, you’ll notice that he refuses to shake hands, preferring a slightly more hygienic fistbump.
OCD affects people in the world of sport as well, and one of the most high-profile athletes to suffer from it is soccer star David Beckham. Beckham becomes agitated if objects aren’t arranged precisely, and odd numbers also upset off his obsessive-compulsive mind. He’s even been known to rearrange hotel furniture if it doesn’t line up neatly enough for him. Beckham admits that living with OCD can be quite tiring, but he claims that not giving into his compulsions is even more exhausting because he can’t stop thinking about it.
Related: Athletes With Weird Phobias
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio’s obsessive-compulsive tendencies first became apparent when he was a child, as he was constantly forcing himself to step on every gum stain he saw on the sidewalk while avoiding cracks. With time, he managed to overcome that compulsion for the most part, but he admits that it sometimes comes back to plague him. DiCaprio actually used his OCD tendencies when he played Howard Hughes in "The Aviator," as Hughes had some pretty serious germaphobia and would only make physical contact with specially selected Mormon aides.
It’s kind of funny that a man who has made a very good living plumbing the depths of human depravity could have OCD, but Howard Stern’s battle with the condition was no laughing matter. When he was first getting his start in broadcasting just out of college, Stern’s anxiety manifested itself as a series of obsessive rituals that he had to perform, including tapping his car radio dial a certain number of times with his right hand before turning it on.
Billy Bob Thornton
The iconoclastic actor has dealt with a lot of issues in his life including dyslexia, but obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of his biggest worries. His abusive childhood instilled a number of mental safety valves. Thornton’s OCD manifests itself in repetition – he’s talked about having to take his mail out of his mailbox and put it back in three times, and he also assigns numbers to individual people and mentally refers to them by those numbers. On one of his band’s albums, there’s a song called “Always Countin’” about the condition.
Next: The Best Celebrity Photobombs
It took alternative songstress Fiona Apple seven years to record her latest album, “The Idler Wheel is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do.” The reason? Obsessive-compulsive disorder. Apple’s OCD makes itself known in numerous ways, from straightening out garbage in the trash can to a complete inability to drive. The intensity of her mental condition has essentially made her a hermit, rarely venturing out of her Los Angeles neighborhood except to tour.