World Mental Health Day 2022

10th October 2022

Make Mental Health &
well-being for all a Global Priority


Leonardo Di Caprio – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

The Aviator | Hand Washing Scene | Leonardo Di Caprio - YouTube

This is a scene from Film “Aviator” (2004) where Leonardo Di Caprio played a role of Howard Hughes, who spend his whole life with OCD. Leonardo seems to have a good understanding of the disorder, as he himself faced some obsessive and compulsive thoughts during early stages of his life. The Oscar-winning star admitted he feels compelled to walk through doorways numerous times and step on sidewalk stains left by used chewing gum. But DiCaprio has managed to keep his OCD.

In an interview with Britain’s Daily Mirror, Caprio said, “I'm able to say at some point, 'OK, you're being ridiculous, stop stepping on every gum stain you see. You don't need to do that. You don't need to walk 20 feet back and put your foot on that thing. Nothing bad is going to happen,”; “I let it all go and never listened to other voices”. Leonardo’s experience with OCD teaches us that it is possible to lead a happy and successful life with OCD. It teaches us that all OCD is common global concern to all, irrespective of status, gender, race, or ethnicity. It shows that dedication to treatment is vital for recovery whether that be formal treatment with a mental health profession through counselling, medication, or self-management techniques.

OCD is a mental health problem that does not discriminate on account of age, income social stratification etc. This disorder can pop-up in early adolescence, for men and women in their late 20s or even for older adult. OCD affects men, women, non-binary, children and even celebrities like David Beckham, Katy Perry, Vidya Balan, Ajay Devgan etc. From outside, it can be difficult to relate to symptoms of OCD and its easy to dismiss its existence. However, mental health is an issue that cannot be resolved with maintaining a stigma, or being secretive about it. Mental health is complex on account of stigma attached to it. We could look at things from outside and think how could OCD lead to being anxious, unhappy and don’t really understand what people with OCD goes through behind closed door. What we can do is, is open to talk freely without fear of being judged by others. It could be the initial step to deal with OCD.

People suffering from OCD frequently experience severe anxiety due to intrusive obsessed thoughts which they are finding difficult to control. They may also engage in elaborate rituals to alleviate the anxiety caused by obsessions. Such obsessions are in form of unwanted thoughts, images, urges, worries, or doubts that appear in your mind on a regular basis. It could be as simple as checking to see if a door is locked, repeating a specific phrase in your head, or checking how your body feels. Such obsession becomes compulsion when the person can’t control his or her thoughts or behaviour, spends several hours with constant thinking and acting on it, performs behaviours or rituals for no pleasure, and feels some problems in daily life as a result of these thoughts or behaviours.


How to manage OCD?

OCD is basically treated with the help psychotherapy, counselling and in some cases medication. One can take free online self-assessment as first step to identify the problem and seek online consultation with best clinical psychologist.  Psychotherapy can be an effective treatment option for both adults and children suffering from OCD. Certain types of psychotherapy, such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), Behavioural Activation (BA)and other related therapies (e.g., habit reversal training), have been shown in studies to be as effective as medication for many people. Exposure and Response Prevention (EX/RP) CBT, which involves spending time in the situation that triggers compulsions (e.g., touching dirty objects) but then being prevented from performing the usual resulting compulsion (e.g., handwashing), is also effective in reducing compulsive behaviours in OCD. One can also talk to an online counsellor, while they face distress due to their OCD symptoms.

Video Credit: RealActing | The Aviator | Hand Washing Scene | Leonardo Di Caprio - YouTube



  • Practice Relaxing techniques like breathing exercise. When you're feeling worried, apprehensive, or busy, relaxation can help you take care of your wellness.
  • Practice Mindfulness. You could discover that your CBT therapist incorporates some mindfulness-based techniques into your treatment. Stress and anxiety can be lessened with the use of mindfulness.
  • Maintain Good Sleep. You can deal with challenging emotions and situations by getting enough sleep.
  • Maintain good dietary Habits. Your mood and energy levels may change if you eat regularly and maintain stable blood sugar levels.
  • Exercise regularly. Do engage in any form of exercise.