15 Celebs You Didn’t Know Suffer From Severe OCD

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So many Hollywood stars and iconic personalities suffer from the mental illness.

If it seems like OCD and celebrity go hand-in-hand, there’s a reason. Some sources have even claimed that the disorder has become a status symbol since so many Hollywood stars and iconic personalities suffer from the mental illness. Although researchers say that there is no evidence to suggest that celebrities are particularly disposed to OCD, the disease’s symptoms, which include checking, frequent washing, and being exceptionally organized, might be helpful to a person when it comes to their career. Psychologist Stephen Whiteside from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota specializes in the disorder, and has said: “It would make sense that people with these types of traits can be highly successful.” Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder, that afflicts sufferers with anxiety. It manifests in a variety of forms but is most commonly characterized by a subject’s obsessive need to perform a particular task or set of tasks. These strong compulsions are commonly called rituals. These rituals can disrupt daily living, driven by repetitive thoughts and images that are accompanied by acute feelings of anxiety. So common is the disorder, especially among highly successful and public figures, that the phrase “obsessive compulsive” has become part of the English lexicon, and is often used imprecisely to describe someone who is especially meticulous or absorbed in a cause. Clinical OCD has nothing to do with obsessive compulsive personality disorder, in which the sufferer is unaware that their rituals are abnormal. OCD is, however, linked with Tourettes syndrome. This link might seem unintuitive when there is such a provenance of OCD amongst the most public and charismatic people in our society. But it seems that these celebrities have not let it get in the way of their rise to the top, and have even profited from their obsessive tendencies:

15. Leonardo DiCaprio

From Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet to Titanic, Catch Me if You Can and the Wolf of Wall Street, Leo DiCaprio has earned his Hollywood spotlight. He may have a star on the walk of fame, but did you know that he also has an obsession with sidewalks. The actor once played another famous sufferer of OCD, Howard Hughes. While playing the role, DiCaprio reconnected with his childhood obsession in order to play the character more accurately. Describing his experiences, DiCaprio has said in an interview about The Aviator: “I remember as a child, stepping on cracks on the way to school and having to walk back a block and step on that same crack or that gum stain. Let’s just say it took me a while to get to set, having to step on tons of things.” Speaking about playing Howard Hughes’ OCD habits, DiCaprio said: “I would come to [Martin Scorsese] with an intricate list of all of Howard’s eccentricities, like how he would eat his peas, what he would and wouldn’t do, how he’d use a napkin. How he translated that cinematically was amazing. I would say, “This is what I know I need to do for my OCD. This is the way it works, otherwise it equals death for him.” And then, he would shoot it.”

14. Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick is considered to have made some of the greatest films of the 20th century, including The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, and 2001 Space Odyssey. Renowned for his obsessive research into every detail of the worlds of his films, and for the grueling perfectionism with which he directed his actors, Kubrick seems nonetheless to have made great art out of the disease. Kubrick’s father taught him chess at age twelve, and the game remained a lifelong passion. When Stanley was thirteen years old, his father bought him a Graflex camera, triggering Kubrick’s fascination with photography. Kubrick’s friend, Alex Singer, persuaded him to start making short documentaries. Kubrick agreed and independently financed his first film, Day of the Fight (1951). Kubrick was known for the scrupulous care with which he chose his subjects, his slow and meticulous working methods and his technical perfectionism. A man of some reserve, he rarely gave interviews and was reluctant to step into the spotlight, earning him a reputation as a recluse. But a genius nonetheless. Stanley maintained almost complete artistic control and attained mastery over his OCD by putting it to work in his films, earning him the backing of financial support from major studios and the respect of Hollywood.

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