Justin Timberlake has not only brought SexyBack, he has also revealed that he has both ADD and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). In an interview with Collider.com the 27-year-old singer/actor is quoted as saying, “I have OCD mixed with ADD, you try living with that.”
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), OCD -- an anxiety disorder characterized by repeated, upsetting thoughts called obsessions and repeated actions or rituals called compulsions -- affects about 2.2 million American adults. It strikes men and women in roughly equal numbers and usually appears in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. ADD affects approximately 2 million children in the United States and according to the NIMH between 30 percent and 70 percent of these children will continue to exhibit symptoms in the adult years.
Though ADD and OCD can obviously present challenges in an individual’s life, problematic symptoms improve with treatment and Timberlake is obviously thriving.
In addition to his music, laughter has been a big part of Timberlake’s life. “My earliest memories as a kid was I would always try to make my mom and my stepdad laugh at dinner. Or make my friends laugh in class. And I don't know, it’s something I just really enjoy doing.” Timberlake continues to enjoy the excitement of live performances, as well. He even still gets butterflies right before taking the stage. “It’s not like, ‘Oh my God, I hope I do good.’ You just kind of get caught up in the electricity of it,” says Timberlake. “And when that stops happening, you should stop. It’s addictive, you know what I mean?”
Family and a sense of humor can be a great source of support in dealing with the stress that comes along with OCD and ADD. He credits his mother and stepfather for teaching him humility and keeping him grounded with a simple message -- everybody puts their pants on the same way every morning. Michael Jordan was the “it” celebrity when Timberlake was a kid. “I remember when I was really young and my parents telling me, He’s a great basketball played but that doesn’t make him superhuman, you know? That makes him a great basketball player.”
This matter-of-fact approach has continued to help Timberlake in his adult life. When he begins to feel too much pressure to meet people’s needs or fascination, he is able to just let it go. “I don’t invest in it. And I stay away from it as much as I can,” says Timberlake.
Sharing about his OCD and ADD also lets the world know that if you have OCD or ADD you are in good company!
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