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Anxiety disorders top the chart as some of the most common mental health disorders in the United States. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) falls into this category. It should come as no surprise that there are many celebrities and famous people with OCD who are affected by the disorder.
The National Institute of Mental Health defines OCD as a chronic and long-lasting disorder, in which a person has battles with uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and behaviors.
Among the U.S. population, an estimated 2.2 million people – around 1 percent of the population – struggle with this disorder to some degree or another, reports the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Women and men are affected at equal rates and 19 years of age is the average for symptoms of OCD first appearing.
Since there is no demographic immune to this treatable mental health disorder, it should come as no surprise that even celebrities of different stripes and careers suffer from the disorder.
9 Famous People and Celebrities With OCD Who Struggle With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
With 2.2 million people in the U.S living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder each year, it makes sense that the disorder impacts all walks of life.
Here are nine famous people and celebrities with OCD who have been successful living with their condition and serve as an inspiration:
1. David Beckham
World-renowned soccer player David Beckham has opened up about his struggle with OCD on a few occasions.
“I’ve got this obsessive-compulsive disorder where I have to have everything in a straight line or everything has to be in pairs,” he told the Independent.
Beckham also admitted that he’s tried to stop his obsessive behaviors, but has been unable to, including what he calls an addiction to the pain of getting tattoos.
2. Katy Perry
Singer songwriter Katy Perry struggles with more than just the paparazzi. The pop star admits to being something of a germaphobe and practices “crazy cleaning rituals in her house.”
She has on occasion talked about her struggle. “I’m so OCD,” Perry told a Z100 radio host. “I always want to put things in alphabetical order. I’m also a little Howard Hughes about germs.”
3. Howard Hughes
Speaking of Howard Hughes, the 20th century American magnate died in 1976 at least in part due to his severe OCD.
Hughes famously spent four months in a darkened movie screening room, never leaving. He was surrounded by Kleenex boxes that he continually stacked and sorted. The industrialist also stored his urine in bottles.
The industrialist’s “eccentricities” are so numerous that films have been made about his mental decline.
4. Leonardo DiCaprio
Oscar Award winning actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, who portrayed Howard Hughes in the biopic “The Aviator,” struggles with OCD.
Though DiCaprio’s OCD is not as severe as the real-life character he played, he’s admitted that he fights different compulsions, like walking through doors several times as well as the urge to step on chewing gum stains.
5. Lena Dunham
Actress and writer Lena Dunham came out of the gate with her debut HBO project “Girls,” a television show that chronicled many of her real-life battles with OCD.
In an interview with Vogue, Dunham said her goal is to create a more dialogue about anxiety by, “teaching kids from a young age that it’s as okay to say ‘I’m anxious’ as it is to say ‘I hit my knee.'”
6. Howard Stern
Longtime shock-jock and radio icon Howard Stern came clean about some of his OCD issues in a 2018 interview with David Letterman on Netflix.
Stern said at points in his career he failed to address anxiety issues, telling Letterman that he used to spend hours in his bathroom before work just touching things.
“I’ve come to understand that this behavior is trying to control a world that is out of control,” he said on the show.
7. Fiona Apple
Recording artist and writer, Fiona Apple, has been outspoken about her ongoing struggle with OCD.
Apple admitted that the disorder played a part in a seven year delay between albums and, even now, says the disorder keeps her from traveling that much.
“I don’t go anywhere, really, except for Largo,” a Los Angeles venue, Apple confessed in an interview.
8. Justin Timberlake
Pop icon Justin Timberlake says his battle with OCD affects various aspects of his daily life.
Timberlake says he also deals with attention-deficit disorder (ADD), a condition that makes it hard to focus among other symptoms.
“I have OCD mixed with ADD,” the pop star said in an interview. “You try living with that. It’s complicated.”
9. Howie Mandel
Howie Mandel, a comedian, game show host and judge on “America’s Got Talent” has a long history of OCD.
The entertainment mainstay even wrote a book about his disorder called “Here’s the Deal: Don’t Touch Me,” a reference to his germaphobic tendencies that keep him from interacting with his fans.
Mandel’s honesty about his mental health has made him an advocate for greater public awareness about OCD.
“If I didn’t take my meds, I wouldn’t be here,” Mandel announced in an interview. “I’d be locked in a room someplace.”