• Roger Chen

Celebrities with OCD

Updated: Feb 11



Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder affects roughly 2% of the world’s population. For those who have the condition, it might feel isolating. More likely than not, you will be the only person you know who is dealing with the disorder. But on the contrary, there are many celebrities in the spotlight that deal with the exact same struggles. Here are just a few:


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Daniel Radcliffe

Most widely recognised for playing the titular character in the Harry Potter franchise Radcliffe was diagnosed with the condition at age 5. In a 2012 interview with the Sun U.K, he revealed that his compulsions were rather severe―so much so that it would take him several minutes to turn off the light in any given room. In that same interview, Radcliffe stated:


“I had to repeat every sentence I said under my breath. I would encourage everyone to undergo therapy. It doesn’t mean you’re insane or weak. I haven’t had it this year so far and I’m missing it.”


In spite of this, Daniel has still led a successful career not through acting, but also writing and producing as well.


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Howie Mandel

The actor/comedian has had a very successful career in the entertainment industry; he has hosted shows such as Deal or No Deal, and sat as a judge for America’s Got Talent But when outside of the public eye, Mandel’s OCD takes a tremendous toll on his daily life. Like many others with the disorder, his most distinct obsession is germs. Due to this, Mandel stated in a 2009 ABC News article that he refrains from shaking hands with others as much as possible. He stated further that:


“In my mind [my hand] is like a petri dish. ... Otherwise, I would spend the day, as I have in the past in my life in the men's room rubbing and scrubbing and scalding.”


Despite these debilitating compulsions, Mandel still manages his OCD and uses the condition as a source of inspiration for his show acts, often using his phobias and OCD tendencies as part of his comedy and charm.


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Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio has lived with mild/moderate OCD for most of his adult life. He often feels the urge to walk through doorways multiple times. In a 2003 interview with People, he claimed to generally have his OCD under control, he says that when playing the lead character in "The Aviator” (a biopic about Howard Hughes, a renowned 20th century entrepreneur ) he stopped trying to control it in order to do a better job at the lead role. Unfortunately, once he stopped controlling it, it became harder to control, and took many months before he was able to limit the hold OCD had on his life. However, in recent years he has been able to regain control not only of his condition, but also of the impacts OCD poses on his everyday life.

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Although OCD affects a small amount of the world’s population, it poses a significant effect on the lives of millions around the world. There is a lack of accurate representation of OCD in pop culture and in the entertainment industry as well. However, for people growing up with the condition, it is nice to know that despite its tribulations, OCD cannot inhibit someone from becoming successful at their passions.


- By Bunmi Omisore
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