Alec Baldwin Detailed His ‘Serious’ Struggle With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

  • Alec Baldwin revealed he struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
  • He was recently diagnosed and has begun to track his symptoms.
  • He hopes to raise awareness by talking about it and giving it the platform it deserves.

    Alec Baldwin has been in the spotlight for decades. He’s produced films, starred in them, and made people laugh with comedy. But he’s never felt fully comfortable revealing a certain part of himself, until now. After years of contemplation, Baldwin has revealed that he struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), in hopes to give the condition the attention it deserves.

    The actor shared his experience on his new podcast, What’s One More, which he hosts with his wife Hilaria Baldwin. They were joined by Howie Mandel, who told the public about his OCD in 2006, and his wife Terry Mandel.

    The Baldwins were delighted to talk to a couple who are familiar with how OCD can impact a family. “We’ve been learning a lot about OCD over the past few years,” Hilaria said, calling it a “very personal” issue. Then Alec began to open up.

    “OCD is something I personally struggle with,” he said. “I’m grateful to Howie for opening up at a time when few people were talking about this publicly, and there was even more of a stigma about OCD and mental health than there is today. It’s through empathy, understanding, and being kinder to one another that we can finally remove the stigma and change the narrative.”

    Alec didn’t explain his symptoms in depth but noted that he, like Howie, experiences a fear of germs and intrusive thoughts. He added that he’s just now beginning to track them.

    “Is germophobia the only way that that OCD was expressed, and what was the beginnings of when you started to track that and sense that?” he asked the America’s Got Talent judge. “Because I’m going through this myself now. I am, like really seriously.”

    OCD can be broken down into two major components, per the National Institute of Mental Health. First, there are obsessive thoughts, which can spur high anxiety. The second is compulsions, or urges to do rituals or practice certain behaviors to try and control these thoughts and anxieties.

    As Howie has previously explained, he said he experiences intrusive thoughts that others can easily brush off. For example, he often thinks he didn’t wash his hands well enough after touching something dirty, or worries that he didn’t lock the door after leaving his house.

    Up until now, Alec had only briefly spoken of his symptoms. In 2017, he described an episode to NPR that occurred on his way to catch a flight. “I walked out of that house with almost crippling OCD. I’d be standing in the hallway of my apartment in New York, and the driver was downstairs, and I needed to get into the car now, right now, or I was going to miss my flight, and I’d be making sure that all the books were stacked neatly on the table in the entry hall of my apartment,” he explained. “I’d be sitting there literally with my thumbs squeezing the books so all the seams were right and the books were stacked just so.”

    He attributes those feelings to growing up in a chaotic household with five siblings. “I didn’t realize it was all coming out of this house of mine, which was just a hurricane and a mess all the time, because my mother just didn’t have the energy to clean up after six kids,” he said.

    Now, at 63, he’s finally putting a name to it all while receiving great support from Hilaria. “We’re still very new to the journey of understanding what OCD is, but we’re learning that by being open about our challenges, we find a community where we realize we are not so alone, and we can be a part of paving the way for more people to seek help,” she said on the podcast.

    She continued her message on Instagram, showing gratitude for the Mandels and everyone willing to be vulnerable about their mental health journeys. “Grateful for you, Howie and Terry, for our conversation,” she wrote. “Your gift of sharing touches many and saves lives.”