Obsessive compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It is characterized by strong urges to do certain things repeatedly. These “things” are called rituals or compulsions by the scientific community. While everyone feels anxiety, fear, uncertainty or worry at some time, people who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder have no way to “shut off” that anxiety. This results in behaviors and feelings that are taken to extremes.

Much of the time, the anxiety and the compulsive rituals go hand in hand. If a person suffers from anxiety about cleanliness or germs, this may be accompanied by compulsions to wash a lot, clean things, or not touching things that may have germs on them. Obsessive compulsive disorder can be incredibly disrupting for people and make it difficult to live a “normal” life. However, having OCD does not mean that you cannot live a productive life. In fact, many famous people have suffered from OCD and still produced amazing work. The following is a list of famous (both living and deceased) people with obsessive compulsive disorder:

1. Woody Allen (actor)
2. David Beckham (soccer superstar)
3. Billy Bob Thornton (actor)
4. Alec Baldwin (actor)
5. Leonardo DiCaprio (actor)
6. Jennifer Love Hewitt (actress)
7. Charlie Sheen (actor)
8. Charlize Theron (actress)
9. Cameron Diaz (actress)
10. Dan Aykroyd (actor)
11. Katy Perry (singer)
12. Howie Mandel (actor)
13. Jessica Alba (actress)
14. Howard Stern (radio personality)
15. Stanley Kubrick (director)
16. Roseanne Barr (actress)
17. Kathie Lee Gifford (actress)
18. Harrison Ford (actor)
19. Justin Timberlake (singer & actor)
20. Marcel Proust (writer)
21. Samuel Johnson (writer)
22. Martin Scorsese (Director)
23. Charles Dickens (writer)
24. Donald Trump (businessman)
25. Howard Hughes (producer & director)
26. Stonewall Jackson (military leader)
27. Nikola Tesla (scientist)
28. Albert Einstein (scientist)
29. Charles Darwin (scientist)
30. Michelangelo (artist)
31. Ludwig van Beethoven (composer)
32. Joey Ramone (musician)
33. Fred Durst (musician)
34. Michael Jackson (musician)
35. Fiona Apple (musician)
36. Sir Winston Churchill (politician)

For example, Academy Award-winning American screenwriter, actor, director, playwright and singer Billy Bob Thornton suffers from some symptoms of OCD. He says, “The simple ones (compulsions) I can explain to you. The more complex ones, I don’t even know how to tell anybody.”

Donald Trump, famous for his hair style and catchphrase, “You’re fired!” has an irrational fear of germs. He refuses to shake hands with people (especially teachers) and won’t even push the floor button on an elevator.

Cameron Diaz, American actress has reported rubbing doorknob so hard before opening doors that the original paint has faded. She is quoted as saying that she washes her hands “many times” each day. She is also known to use her elbows to open doors.

Michelangelo, one of the greatest artists of all time, was thought to have suffered from OCD. Obviously, during the time period he lived there was no way for him to officially be diagnosed with OCD. However, his attention was obsessively on his work, he was not social, and had an extremely short temper. He also refused to take off his clothes and boots most of the time, even when his boots were causing damage to his feet.

David Beckham, one of the most famous soccer players of all time, suffers from OCD that requires absolute cleanliness of everything around him. If something is out of order it must be attended to immediately. He also has a compulsion any time something is not in a pair. For example, if there are three of something together, one must be added or taken away to alleviate his anxiety.

As you can see, some of the most productive, interesting, and creative people in the world have suffered from OCD. While OCD may make certain activities more difficult, it doesn’t prevent a person from doing something incredible.


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