The star of Netflix’s Lady Dynamite, Maria Bamford, has been very candid about having OCD. In fact, as a comedian, she often turns to humor to talk about life with OCD, as well as her struggles with bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts.
In a 2016 interview with NPR, Bamford described OCD like this: “What it is, it’s the equivalent of, you know, washing your hands, thinking that you’re going to be dirty or that you’re somehow dirty, but it’s with thoughts. So as soon as you try to not think of the thought, the thought pops up again so — ’cause most of us have weird thoughts floating through our heads every once in a while.”
Bamford said she recalled having obsessive thoughts as early as age 9. “I stopped being able to sleep at night ’cause I had fear that I was going to kill my parents, you know, act out violently in some sort of taboo way. And it’s even hard for me to say now, act out sexually, toward something, somebody, and so I wanted to isolate so that I would not be around people at all and would stay up all night making sure that I just wouldn’t fall asleep and somehow lose control,” she explained.
In 2014, Bamford received the inaugural Illumination Award from the International OCD Foundation — an award given to influencers and media personalities who’ve talked about OCD and related disorders in an accurate and respectful way.