Guest Post by Dee: Famous People and OCD

Charlie Sheen in March 2009
OCD …Um, among other things. Image via Wikipedia

(I was supposed  to publish this months ago, but then my mom died and I forgot about it. Someone wanted to guest post so she could add a link. Anyway, very sorry)

Famous People and OCD 

OCD—Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental anxiety disorder that causes the sufferer to have an intrusive thought process. They experience feelings of anxiety, worry, fear and discomfort if certain things are not done in a certain way. There are many angles to this illness and despite attitudes, OCD has become a genuine medical problem. People who experience excessive OCD may feel embarrassed about their problem and feel alone and isolated. OCD can also keep people from moving forward in their lives.

However, it may surprise many people to know that OCD doesn’t just affect the ordinary, average Joe or Josephine in the street. There are a whole string of famous people who have been known to suffer from OCD. People who you think have their lives perfectly mapped out, are rich, famous, have everything they could possibly want and need and yet still suffer from this serious condition. 

Who we Know has OCD 

Charles Darwin had an OCD compulsion, although in those days it was not nearly as understood as it is today. Even now, celebrities and movie stars are admitting to having some form of OCD and it is no longer a matter of shame. David Beckham recently admitted that he has a compulsion to put everything in its place. When he puts cans in the fridge he has to line them up neatly and if there is an extra can left over, he puts it away in a cupboard. He also said everything has to be in a straight line or in pairs. This is not an uncommon occurrence actually. Many people prefer things to be paired up, especially shoes. Many people like straight lines, but, the difference is, when it begins to interfere with your life and take over anything other obligation. That’s when it becomes obsessive and a problem. 

Those who watch Deal Or No Deal with Howie Mandel—U.S.A version—will be aware that he has admitted having OCD. Howie Mandel doesn’t like to shake people’s hands and his compulsion is to wash excessively. Donald Trump, that most famous of entrepreneurs also has OCD, as does, Jessica Alba, Charlie Sheen, Leonardo DiCaprio and Dr Samuel Johnson, the man who created the dictionary. 


Historically, OCD is very young in terms of name and diagnosis. Along with illnesses like ADHD and ADD, these mental issues have only recently been given stage space in the medical arena. Prior to the 1980’s medical science was still in its infancy, despite the leaps forward in treatment of many other recognized illnesses. However, diseases of the mind still remain a huge mystery and it is with that comes more shame than admitting that someone has a physical illness. People used to feel that illnesses of the mind were so misunderstood, that patients with unexplained conditions would inevitably end up in an asylum. With the dispensing of those institutions, we can now allow people with minor compulsions to feel they are still part of the big society and not feel so isolated. 

17 thoughts on “Guest Post by Dee: Famous People and OCD

  1. I suffer somewhat from this but having some insights on it I catch myself and can laugh at the foolishness of such behavior and prevent myself from being an old fuddy duddy. My parents have it so bad it was the reason that I moved out when I got my first job. Every moment of my childhood was contaminated with their insanity. My father is esp bad. I take them grocery shopping every Saturday morning. Mother selects item and he places in the cart. He is constantly arranging and rearranging as though he is placing luggage in the compact luggage compartment of an airliner. It triples the shopping time and makes me nuts. On occassion I have just screamed “Just throw the G _ _ D _ _ _ S _ _ _ in the cart !” Then he does the same thing unloading the cart onto the checkout counter. I see Martin Sheen pic here. He certainly has been off the wall of late. But his sitcom Two and a half men is the only comedy that has made me laugh out loud.

  2. funny how we find out there are so many around us, and those that we admire, suffering from the same beasts that we have…. i guess with celebs, i always thought of perfection… it’s easy to forget that they are just ordinary people who happen to have a job that has pushed them into the proverbial lime light… but otherwise, they have all the same good and bad that we do on most levels…

      1. that could be true! haha at least i
        f the world is taken over by OCD types we won’t have to worry about how it’s being run… every little detail will be taken care of for sure! lol

  3. THIS is wonderful! thank you!

    I am sorry you lost your mom. I hope the upcoming mom day goes well for you. I lost my mom in November and I am not so sure how to get through it. One day at a time. I am a number OCD person and today the WRONG numbers were coming up (I know. I know It is NOT real and you can relate to how real it is…) I related the wrong numbers to the upcoming day. Man! I get tired paying so much attention to my compulsions. It is exhausting.

    sorry to wander….

    Take care, Jen

  4. I’ve been thinking about my mom a lot lately. I’m not looking forward to Mother;s Day. We’ll get through it though, I;m sure. I prefer the number 3 and will do many things in threes.

  5. I have OCD when it comes with food. Everything in the cupboard is with the label facing out and right-side up. Same thing with the fridge. Plus, everything is rotated (even the stuff that won’t expire any time soon in the cupboard.

    My condolences about the passing of your mother.

  6. I have enjoyed reading your blog! I too am a fellow blogger with OCD, it’s always nice to read other’s thoughts and ideas. I wrote a similar piece about famous people and OCD.


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