Leonardo DiCaprio doesn't let OCD hold him back from his dreams

Just because you suffer from mental illness doesn't mean that you can't be successful and follow your dreams.

Case in point – Leonardo DiCaprio, who won his first Oscar yesterday after being nominated six times. DiCaprio said this has been his dream ever since he was a little kid.

But did you know that DiCaprio has had obsessive compulsive disorder for most of his adult life?

About 10 years ago, while filming "The Aviator," DiCaprio admitted that he fights the urge to walk through doorways several times and step on every chewing gum stain he sees.

"I remember as a child, stepping on cracks on the way to school and having to walk back a block and step on that same crack," DiCaprio told About.com.

But this talented man didn't let this hold him back. He promised himself that he would not let his OCD take over his life.

I have met people who suffer from mental illness who think that, because of it, something is wrong with them. They let it hold them back from working toward their dreams. I hope that DiCaprio can teach you that, with treatment, anything is possible and you can achieve anything you put your mind to – and maybe even win an Oscar.

"If you can do what you do best and be happy, you're further along in life than most people,"  DiCaprio said.

Did you know that Charlize Theron and Julianne Moore, Oscar winners and presenters during last night's Academy Awards, also suffer from OCD?

Theron told Australian radio show Kyle and Jackie O, "I have OCD, which is not fun. ... I have to be incredibly tidy and organized or it messes with my mind and switches off on me."

"I have a problem with cabinets being messy and people just shoving things in and closing the door. I will lie in bed and not be able to sleep because I'll say to myself: 'I think I saw something in that cabinet that just shouldn't be there.'"

And Moore told The Guardian that she would leave her house at a certain time, at a certain pace, so that there would be green lights rather than red.

So, if you think because you are diagnosed with OCD or any other mental illness that you an unable to accomplish your dreams, take a page from these actors' books. As Moore says, "You could be dead, so just do it. That’s my attitude now: just jam it in. Just do it.”

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