Celebrities With OCD: Famous People Who Have Spoken Out About OCD And Why Representation Matters

Reviewed by Lauren Guilbeault

Published 06/29/2022

Obsessive-compulsive disorder, frequently abbreviated or referred to as OCD, is a common mental health condition that’s said to impact one out of every forty adults or 2.3% of the population aged 18 and above in the United States. It’s also said to impact one out of every one hundred children. OCD affects people of all ages and walks of life, and while it can come on at any time, it’s most common for someone to develop OCD from the ages of 8-12 or in their late teen or young adult years. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be debilitating, and if you have it, you might feel as though you’re alone, but that’s not the case. You may actually share the condition with one of your favorite actors, musicians, authors, or poets. In this article, we’ll go over a list of famous people who have OCD, why representation matters, and how to get support for the condition if you think you might have it.

About OCD And OCD Subtypes

Obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD is a mental health disorder that is characterized by obsessions and compulsions. Obsessions refer to a fixation that someone has, where compulsions refer to compulsive behaviors that a person uses in order to manage the obsession temporarily. For example, if someone has contamination OCD, they may be obsessed with contamination and may clean or wash their hands obsessively to avoid contamination. Contamination OCD affects about 25% of OCD cases, and while it’s often the most recognized form of OCD in the media, it is not the only kind of OCD there is. OCD isn’t a slang term for being orderly or tidy; obsessions and compulsions can relate to virtually anything.

Other common types or subtypes of OCD are symmetry obsessions with ordering compulsions (where someone may be obsessed with symmetry and order items compulsively) and harm OCD with checking compulsions, which often manifests as an obsession with preventing harm or the fear that someone will harm another person, such as a family member, alongside checking compulsions. This may look like calling a family member excessively to make sure that they’re okay, engaging in compulsions that seemingly have nothing to do with the obsession (for example, someone might have a thought like, “If I don’t step on the cracks in the floor, my mom will be okay; if I do, something bad will happen”), or checking doors and appliances to make sure that they’re closed or off. Someone diagnosed with OCD might also experience relationship OCD, religious OCD, sexuality OCD, or OCD with prominent obsessions, but no visible compulsions.

When it comes to obsessive-compulsive disorder, the bottom line is that it manifests differently for every person. OCD is not a quirk or a personality trait. It’s extremely difficult to live with, and it can be debilitating. The good news is that OCD is a highly treatable condition.

Famous People With OCD

You may have searched the web for, “Daniel Radcliffe OCD” or “Leonardo DiCaprio OCD” when looking for actors with OCD. That is because Daniel Radcliffe and Leonardo DiCaprio are two very well-known celebrities with OCD. Here is a list of celebrities who have spoken out about having OCD:

  • Daniel Radcliffe
  • Leonardo DiCaprio
  • Camila Cabello
  • John Green
  • Fiona Apple
  • Howard Stern
  • Howie Mandel
  • Megan Fox
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Neil Hilborn
  • Charlize Theron
  • Jessica Alba

Many of these celebrities, as well as a number of others, have spoken up about their OCD treatment, symptoms, or both.

OCD In the Media

In addition to celebrities who have opened up about their experiences with OCD, there are a number of popular books and other pieces of media that focus on OCD. “Turtles All the Way Down” was written by John Green, who has opened up about struggling with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder himself. Other popular books about OCD include “Obsessed: A Memoir of My Life with OCD” by Allison Britt and “Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive” by Fletcher Wortmann, both of which are memoirs by people living with OCD. One famous poem about OCD that you may have heard of or read about is “OCD” by a slam poet named Neil Hilborn. There are a number of self-help books and workbooks for those living with OCD as well that you can look for if you’re interested in self-help rather than media pieces. The International OCD Foundation has a list of recommended self-help books and books for professionals on its website.

OCD Facts And Statistics

Here are some facts and statistics about obsessive-compulsive disorder that you may not know:

  • About 2.3% of the United States population has obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder impacts roughly one out of every 40 adults aged 18 and above, and one in every 100 children.
  • Family history increases the likelihood that someone will have OCD.
  • About 90% of adults who have experienced obsessive-compulsive disorder have a comorbid or co-occurring mental health diagnosis, meaning that they have more than one mental health disorder. Anxiety disorders and depressive disorders are some of the most common OCD comorbidities, but it’s not uncommon for substance use disorder, ADHD, eating disorders, or PTSD to occur in those with OCD.

Why Representation Matters For OCD

Representation matters for a number of reasons. One is that representation helps to spread awareness. For example, if you’ve lived with OCD symptoms for most of your life but have no idea what OCD is, you might not hear about it until you see it represented by a person or storyline in the media. For example, you might come across an interview with celebrities with severe OCD, and you might see yourself in what they’re saying. Then, if you research the condition and see that it fits, you can make an appointment with a medical or mental health professional where you can relay your symptoms and get an accurate diagnosis. Another massive reason the representation matters is that it helps to decrease stigma or misconceptions about mental health and mental illness. Again, depictions in movies and TV show depictions aren’t always accurate, and nothing replaces lived experience. If you have a loved one that has obsessive-compulsive disorder, listen when they tell you about the unique ways in which it impacts them.

Signs Of OCD

Are you wondering if you may have symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder? Here are some potential signs and symptoms of OCD to look out for

  • Obsessions
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Ritualistic behavior
  • Repetitive words, phrases, or actions
  • Intrusive thoughts and images
  • Hypervigilance
  • Panic attacks or anxiety
  • Impulsivity
  • Feelings of guilt, fear, or depression
  • Social withdrawal or isolation from others

OCD is diagnosed when someone’s symptoms impact their life and ability to function. It is a disorder that can affect various foundational areas of someone’s life, such as their work, schooling, and interpersonal relationships. A person with OCD may know that, realistically, bad things are unlikely to happen even if they do not act on compulsions. The difficulty there is that the nagging of the obsession and compulsion is so strong that they are unable to ignore it.

How To Get Support For OCD

The first line of treatment for OCD is often a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT called Exposure Response Prevention or ERP*. ERP is a type of therapy that focuses on exposure and distress tolerance. There are numerous routes you can take to find a counselor or therapist who treats OCD. Often, your first step will be to contact your primary care provider so that you can make an appointment to come in and talk about your symptoms. During that appointment, you can ask for a referral to a therapist or counselor. Other options for finding a counselor or therapist who specializes in OCD are to contact your insurance company or visit their website to see what they cover in terms of counselors or therapists in your area, conduct a web search for “OCD therapists near me” or a similar phrase, or to check an online directory. You may also consider using a provider search tool like the one at the upper right-hand corner of the Mind Diagnostics website or going through an online therapy website. For peer support options, consider looking into forums and support groups.

“Thoughts are only thoughts. They are not you. You do belong to yourself, even when your thoughts don’t.” – John Green

Take The Mind Diagnostics OCD Test

Are you wondering if you could have obsessive-compulsive disorder? If so, consider taking the Mind Diagnostics OCD test. While it is not a replacement for a diagnosis or evaluation from a medical or mental health professional, getting insight into your symptoms is important, and taking the OCD test might just be the first step to getting the help that you need. The Mind Diagnostics OCD test is for those aged 18 and up, and taking the test is fast, free, and confidential.

Click here to take the Mind Diagnostics OCD test.

*For all information regarding specific treatments, please consult a medical or mental health professional.